"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Friday 15 March 2013

Free movement in Europe, more changes to immigration rules

First, something useful about free movement in Europe.


Mirrored from a response seen on Facebook. This is a very useful statement regarding rights rights to live and work in Europe. This is about Spain, but can be generalised to anywhere.

Original link : http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/worker-pensioner/non-eu-family-members/spouses-children-parents_en.htm

More documents : http://www.scribd.com/sjplep/documents


Second, changes to the family immigration rules - April 2013.


... with commentary below (thanks to https://twitter.com/LaraMascaraNYC for the pointers ).

My initial thoughts - these are supposedly 'minor' changes, but some of them are broadly positive.

For instance, the clarification that there will be the 'grace period' on the 28 day rule; the clarification on self-employment income, i.e. that they will take the average over 6 months-  rather than the lowest month's pay (for instance, if someone has a slow month at work, during a holiday period for instance); that investment funds can be counted towards the savings requirement - not just a pile of cash; and greater flexibility to those on maternity/paternity leave etc.

It's not a massive step forward, but every little helps.


• To clarify that the transitional provisions for further applications made by those granted entry clearance or limited leave to enter or remain under Part 8 of the Rules before 9 July 2012 can only be accessed by persons in the UK and subject to the requirements of Part 8 for such applications.

(So those who are under the old rules can only make further applications under the same rules while they are in UK, not after they've gone back home or moved abroad.)

• To provide that a person may apply for further limited leave to remain as a partner under Part 8 within a period of 28 days of the end of their last such leave.
(A grace period of 28 days to apply for FLR after expiry.)

• To provide that the partner of a Points Based System migrant not on a route to settlement cannot switch into the partner route under Part 8 and amalgamate their leave as a partner under both routes towards the qualifying period for settlement.
(So those in UK as a dependant of points based system migrant who is ineligible for settlement (such as student and more recent intra-company transferee) cannot combine their stay in UK with that of family route towards settlement.)

• To ensure that references to the UK National Recognition Information Centre are correct. (UK NARIC is the agency responsible for providing a comparison of international qualifications against UK qualification framework levels).

• In respect of the financial requirements for partners and dependent children under Appendix FM and Appendix FM-SE:

* To clarify the basis on which non-salaried employment income at the date of application is calculated. This will be done by calculating that income on the annualised basis of the gross monthly average in the period of 6 months prior to application.
(Non-employment income such as rent is worked out as monthly average of past 6 months prior to application, converted to annual amount, i.e. monthly average x 12.)

* To clarify that those working in the UK at the date of application can include earnings from employment in the UK and overseas, where they are required to show the amount of their earnings from employment in the 12 months prior to application.
(This mainly refers to Cat B. If they are working in UK and have to show income during the past 12 months, overseas as well as UK income can be counted.)

* To clarify that, where the applicant’s partner is self-employed overseas at the date of application, that partner may also rely on a confirmed offer of employment in the UK for the purposes of meeting the financial requirements.
(When the couple are moving to UK together, the UK partner who is self-employed abroad can also rely on a job offer in UK.)

* To clarify the evidence of self-employment to be provided.
(Details in the statement of changes.)

* To clarify the company-based evidence to be provided by directors and/or shareholders in companies in sole or limited family ownership.

* To provide greater flexibility in meeting the financial requirements for those who are, or have in the previous 6 months been, in receipt of maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay. To provide flexibility also for those who are or have been on parental leave.

* To provide that relevant cash savings held at the date of application by the applicant, their partner or the couple jointly can have been held by them as investment funds within the previous 6 months.
(I'm not too clear on this. It seems to imply that money kept in investment funds (such as unit trusts) for 6 months is eligible as savings, or only after it's been converted to cash prior to application but not necessarily 6 months ago.)

* To add Personal Independence Payment to the list of benefits and allowances received by the applicant’s partner which mean that the applicant has to meet an ‘adequate’ maintenance requirement. A joint review by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office of the treatment of disabled people and carers as sponsors under the financial requirements under Appendix FM is ongoing and will be concluded shortly. An applicant who relies on this provision for ‘adequate’ maintenance cannot expect that they will necessarily be able to do so in any future application for leave to remain under Appendix FM.
(This follows the change in benefit rules from April. Exact details are still being worked out. The last proviso is that rules may change and applicants may not in future be able to rely on maintenance requirement.)

* To clarify that, where the applicant and their partner are resident in the UK at the date of application, rental income from a property in the UK cannot be counted as income if that property will become their main residence if the application is granted.
(For a couple that are in UK, if they hope to move into a property they own that is currently rented out, the rental income doesn't count towards financial requirement.)

 * To confirm that cash income on which the correct tax has been paid may be counted as income.
(This may do away with the requirement that such income must be banked.)

 * To confirm that, where an academic stipend or maintenance grant is or will be paid on a tax-free basis, the gross equivalent amount may be counted as income.
(So if such incomes are tax-free, they can work out the notional gross equivalent (grossed up) to put towards the financial requirement.)

 •To confirm that the UK Border Agency has discretion to contact the applicant to request further information or documents before making a decision on the application.
(Self-explanatory, which they have sometimes used instead of outright rejection.)

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