All Articles: Spouses

Spouses and partners of British citizens or people settled in the UK can apply for a visa to join or remain with their loved ones. These applications are dealt with by the Home Office under the immigration rules. Specifically, the part of the rules that applicants need to navigate are...

5th September 2023
BY Gabriella Bettiga

The Appendix FM minimum income requirements for spouse and partner visas can catch out even those with enough money to meet them. Having the money only takes you so far: the income must come from a specific source, must be calculated in a certain way, and specified evidence must be...

21st August 2023
BY Jack Freeland

In other posts we have looked at the requirements to be satisfied by a spouse or partner who seek leave to enter or remain. Under Appendix FM, the sponsor can be a British citizen, a settled person, a refugee, or someone with humanitarian protection, limited leave under Appendix EU, Appendix...

5th April 2023
BY Gabriella Bettiga

Many UK immigration categories impose a requirement that the visa holder must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period — that is, if the person wants to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Joanna and Nath have explored the 180-day absence rule, and...

30th September 2021
BY Nichola Carter

If you meet the financial requirements of Appendix FM at the date of application but your sponsor then leaves their job, do you still qualify for a spouse visa? Yes, the Upper Tribunal found in Begum (employment income; Rules/Article 8) [2021] UKUT 115 (IAC). Facts of the case Ms Begum,...

20th May 2021
BY Alex Piletska

Everyone in the UK has the right to respect for their family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But as a migrant from outside the European Economic Area, what do you actually need in order to be able to stay in the UK on the...

30th July 2020
BY Iain Halliday

What happens when you enter the UK as a visitor and then apply to remain here so that you can stay with your British family members? Most immigration lawyers can easily answer this question: your application will be refused. But things can get a bit more complicated. While it is...

27th April 2020
BY Iain Halliday

Adilah is from Afghanistan. In 2012, she marries a British citizen, and moves to the UK on a spouse visa, which her husband applied for on her behalf. When she arrives in the UK, things are, to say the least, different from what she had imagined. She can’t leave the...

25th March 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

The case of SD (British citizen children – entry clearance) Sri Lanka [2020] UKUT 43 (IAC) shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone following developments around Appendix FM and the rules relating to the rights of family members of British citizens to move to the UK. That does not, though,...

24th February 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have dominated recent news headlines with their announcement that they intend to “balance” their time between North America and the UK, reducing the time spent on official royal engagements. This change of direction raises many questions, of clearly which...

13th January 2020
BY Elijah Granet

We’ve received the following enquiry about the rules on settled status for EU citizens and their families after Brexit: Can the third country national spouse of a dual EU/British national apply for the EU Settlement Scheme? “Third country national spouse” is immigration lawyers’ jargon for a non-European husband or wife....

26th November 2019
BY CJ McKinney

The 2016 referendum sent shockwaves through the European community in the UK, but now that the dust has settled, the picture is far less alarming than appeared at first. Various groups who seemed particularly vulnerable in the wake of the vote, including European spouses of British citizens, no longer need...

21st May 2019
BY Karma Hickman

This post is about what happens to a migrant who is in the UK on a partner visa if their sponsor passes away. If their partner dies before the migrant becomes settled, the last thing on their mind will be their immigration status. However, as status as a partner is...

11th October 2018
BY Nicholas Webb

So, the Royal Wedding approaches. But once the bunting is bought, the flags are flown and the merchandise marketed, what happens next for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry? Will they live happily ever after and, if so, where and with what visa? Princes and princesses often seem to come from...

14th May 2018
BY Colin Yeo

Making an immigration application for clients is all in a day’s work, but working on your own wife’s visa is enough to reduce even an expert to tears, writes an anonymous Free Movement contributor. While courting my wife during a sabbatical abroad, I would worry about things like whether I...

23rd February 2018
BY Anon

Hearty congratulations from all of us at Free Movement to the former army officer and UN charity worker who are due to marry next year. But given that Meghan Markle is an American citizen, what hoops will the happy couple need to jump through in order to complete their nuptials? You...

28th November 2017
BY Nicholas Webb

An ex-soldier who struggles to walk, speak or perform basic household tasks following a stroke has been told that he must look after his children without their Philippine national mother because these do not constitute “exceptional circumstances” in the eyes of the Home Office. Simon and Leah Waterman returned to...

20th October 2017
BY cjmckinney

This week the story of Dan Newton and his family has hit the newspapers. This post explains why the Home Office has acted as it has. It is not a mistake. Since harsh new rules were introduced in 2012, UK immigration policy does not usually allow British citizens working abroad...

16th October 2017
BY colinyeo

A couple can enter into a “marriage of convenience” even if they are in a genuine relationship. This was, in summary, the finding of the High Court in R (Molina) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 1730 (Admin). Background The appellant, Mr Molina, was a Bolivian...

16th August 2017
BY Nath Gbikpi

The Supreme Court has handed down its judgement in the case of Sadovska and another (Appellants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent) (Scotland) [2017] UKSC 54. In unanimously allowing the appeal, the Supreme Court ruled that the burden of proof of establishing a ‘marriage of convenience’ falls on the...

26th July 2017
BY nathgbikpi

Now that the election manifestos have been officially published we have an indication what Labour and Conservative have planned for EU nationals living in Britain. While the Labour manifesto confirmed a pledge to immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain the polls continue to point to...

31st May 2017
BY Chris Desira

In linked judgments in the case of MM and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 10, known to many as just “the MM case,” the Supreme Court has this morning upheld in principle the Minimum Income Rule which requires an income of at least £18,600 for...

22nd February 2017
BY Colin Yeo

The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has published a new report on the Home Office approach to sham marriages. The report is critical of the change in approach brought about by new powers conferred on officials by the Immigration Act 2014: The inspection found that the initial implementation of...

21st December 2016
BY Colin Yeo

The Court of Appeal has reiterated that the burden of proof for proving whether a marriage is a sham for immigration law purposes rests with the Home Office. The case is Agho v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 1198 and it confirms the obiter remarks of...

9th December 2015
BY Colin Yeo

The Supreme Court has dismissed the challenge brought against the introduction of pre-entry English language testing for spouses seeking to enter the UK as the family members of British citizens and those present and settled in the UK. The formal title of the case is R (on the applications of Ali and Bibi)...

18th November 2015
BY Colin Yeo

Last week the Children’s Commissioner for England released a study into the impact of the Coalition Government’s new family immigration rules, introduced in 2012. The report is an emotionally difficult read with some heart breaking quotes but unfortunately I’m not sure that those who should read it will read it; it is...

16th September 2015
BY Colin Yeo

The idea of a “proxy marriage” is rather alien in the UK and our fairly recently developed romantic love culture. It involves one or both parties to a marriage being represented by someone else at the marriage ceremony rather than attending in person. It is a sort of literal version...

21st July 2014
BY Colin Yeo

UPDATE: see report of Supreme Court judgment here. The judgment is now out in the long awaited case of MM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 985, the test case challenging the minimum income threshold for spouses wishing to enter the United Kingdom. The Court of...

11th July 2014
BY Colin Yeo

The Home Office has updated its statistics on the number of families with pending applications separated by the £18,600 minimum income threshold for spouses. At the end of December 2013 it was 3,014. At the end of March it stood at 3,641. That is a LOT of separated families and an almost unimaginable amount...

2nd July 2014
BY Colin Yeo

This is while the Home Office, judges and lawyers battle the harsh spouse minimum income threshold through the courts. For an idea of the human misery this is causing, see the distressing comments on this blog here, here and here.

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12th March 2014
BY Colin Yeo

UPDATE: Outcome now known and reported here. Last week the Court of Appeal heard the Home Office appeal in the spouse visa minimum income case. The judges heard argument over two days and did not give a decision there and then. The timescale for a decision is unknown but is...

11th March 2014
BY Colin Yeo

Around 3,000 couples in England and Wales will tie the knot tomorrow (Saturday 15 February). According to a Home Office guestimate between 48 and 123 of these marriages will be ‘sham’, which is to say they will not be ‘genuine and subsisting’ as required by UK Immigration Rules. But what does...

14th February 2014
BY Natasha Carver

Newly introduced Immigration Rules (Statement of Changes HC 803) due to take effect on 1 December 2013 will end a concession for family members of members of the armed forces, forcing many such families to separate if the soldier is stationed to the UK. Ending the concession and bringing soldiers into line...

20th November 2013
BY Colin Yeo

I’ve had quite a few queries asking for updates on the spouse minimum income case, MM & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWHC 1900 (Admin). The challenge to the rules essentially succeeded in the High Court but the Home Office have appealed to the Court of Appeal (blog...

28th October 2013
BY Colin Yeo

Child abduction is a criminal offence. It requires covert departure from the UK to another country, and from the abductor’s point of view preferably one that is not in Europe, not a signatory to the Hague Convention and that does not have a bilateral agreement with the UK. The incredibly...

24th October 2013
BY Colin Yeo

Fantastic video by Maryam Tafakory about the effect of the minimum income rule for spouses. Hat tip to Migrants Rights Network.

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31st July 2013
BY Colin Yeo

My client today applied for a spouse visa in May 2012. A refusal was eventually issued in November 2012. The appeal took place today, 14 months after the application and 8 months after the refusal. The hearing took 20 minutes and it was allowed there and then by the judge....

30th July 2013
BY Colin Yeo

Last week Monday, I represented a married couple in the husband’s immigration appeal in the First-Tier Tribunal instructed by Yomi Oni-Williams of Owens Solicitors.  I have the couple’s consent to write this post although there is no need for me to publish any identifying information.

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22nd July 2013
BY Sarah Pinder

Almost exactly a year after they were first introduced, Mr Justice Blake sitting in the High Court has in a lengthy, complex and very carefully considered judgment found that the controversial immigration rules requiring a minimum income of at least £18,600 for spouse visa applications are ‘unjustified and disproportionate’ where...

5th July 2013
BY Colin Yeo

As we saw yesterday, the topic of English language is de rigueur at the moment. Last week, the UKBA also announced in its April 2013 Statement of Intent that the government is planning changes to the Immigration Rules in relation to the English language requirement when applying for settlement and...

16th April 2013
BY Sarah Pinder
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