James is a British citizen who has studied at the University of Edinburgh and now works at the Law School there. James is married to Louisa, a Brazilian citizen who volunteers at a local Scottish charity. They have been married for two years. Louisa is currently in the UK on Spouse visa which the couple managed to secure under the new rules given that James’ job at the University pays over the £18,600 threshold.
James would like to undertake a PhD at the University of Edinburgh (which is necessary if he wants to further his academic career); however, under the new rules even on a generous PhD scholarship of £1000 a month, the couple would not meet the requirements to secure Louisa a visa in the UK.
The only way the couple would be able to stay in the UK would be if Louisa was able to secure a job to meet the shortfall, a task that is complicated by the fact that the couple are planning to have a child in the nearest future (not to mention the difficulties of finding work for a non-national in the current economic climate).
James is now planning to undertake his PhD in the Netherlands or Italy where he and Louisa will not have any problem securing a residence visa for Louisa under EU law if James manages to secure a funded PhD position. James feels upset that he cannot stay in Scotland, a country that he loves, and that he cannot stay at the University of Edinburgh where he feels happy and at home.
Under the old rules, James and Louisa would have been able to remain in the UK because the UKBA would have taken into account, not only James’ PhD scholarship, but also the couple’s savings and guarantees of financial support from the couple’s parents. This evidence taken together would have been more than enough to satisfy the old test which would have required the couple to show that they would not need recourse to public funds.
*Names have been changed to anonymize the case story.
IF YOU ARE ALSO AFFECTED BY UK HOME OFFICE FAMILY IMMIGRATION POLICY, GET IN TOUCH WITH US TO INCLUDE YOUR CASE IN OUR PORTFOLIO TO THE FAMILY MIGRATION INQUIRY AT THE WESTMINSTER PARLIAMENT.
For further details on the new Family Migration Rules, please review the June 2012 Home Office Statement of Intent on family migration rules. Also read the overview by Migrants’ Rights Scotland and the Migrants Rights Network briefing.
If you are experiencing the same or other issues as a result of the new family immigration rules, please email email@example.com. You can also get in touch with Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.