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Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Old Oct 26th 2020, 9:55 am
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Default Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

The House of Lords has just quashed a proposed amendment to the immigration bill, meaning anyone with an EU spouse/partner wishing to return to the UK after March 2022, will be means tested before being allowed back in.

Seems to be a rather cruel retraction of rights, for those affected. Thankfully I'm settled here, and we have no plans to move to the UK in the future, but I can imagine this could be a hard blow for others.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 10:20 am
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by G-J-B View Post
The House of Lords has just quashed a proposed amendment to the immigration bill, meaning anyone with an EU spouse/partner wishing to return to the UK after March 2022, will be means tested before being allowed back in.

Seems to be a rather cruel retraction of rights, for those affected. Thankfully I'm settled here, and we have no plans to move to the UK in the future, but I can imagine this could be a hard blow for others.
I find your post rather confusing. Should I, as an Englishman wish to return to Britain to live There would be no obstacle to that. If, I were to return with an E.U. spouse then your post confuses me even more. The House of Lords doesn't make laws or repudiate them. Its power lies in referring back to the House of Commons any legislation it thinks needs amending. So I wonder what 'rights' are actually retracted?
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 10:43 am
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by KJMW View Post
I find your post rather confusing. Should I, as an Englishman wish to return to Britain to live There would be no obstacle to that. If, I were to return with an E.U. spouse then your post confuses me even more. The House of Lords doesn't make laws or repudiate them. Its power lies in referring back to the House of Commons any legislation it thinks needs amending. So I wonder what 'rights' are actually retracted?
The House of Lords failed to support an amendment to existing immigration law, which requires foreign spouses of UK citizens to meet a financial requirement before being granted a spouse visa to live in the UK. The amendment proposed exempting EU spouses of UK citizens from this financial requirement until 2040.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 10:54 am
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

At the same time HMG has reduced the salary threshold for immigrants from over 35k to around 20k.
Its whole immigration just policy seems a mess, chopping and changing all the time. Do they have any idea what they are hoping to achieve? Does it ever occur to them that every one of these figures on a piece of paper, are actually human beings trying to make decent lives for themselves and find some kind of happiness?
Sorry for the rant. This doesn't affect me personally but it makes me so angry.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 11:08 am
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
At the same time HMG has reduced the salary threshold for immigrants from over 35k to around 20k.
Its whole immigration just policy seems a mess, chopping and changing all the time. Do they have any idea what they are hoping to achieve? Does it ever occur to them that every one of these figures on a piece of paper, are actually human beings trying to make decent lives for themselves and find some kind of happiness?
Sorry for the rant. This doesn't affect me personally but it makes me so angry.
Rant away, you're in good company. We non-EU spouses of British citizens have been doing it ever since the financial requirement was brought in in 2012 by that lovely person Theresa May.

Current law is British citizens wishing to sponsor their foreign spouse for a visa must earn a minimum of 18,600 pounds per year, or have a minimum of 62,500 pounds in the bank, plus there's a 400 pounds immigration surcharge per year for 5 years. There's a bit more to it but that's the main part.

Last edited by spouse of scouse; Oct 26th 2020 at 11:11 am.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 11:22 am
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
The House of Lords failed to support an amendment to existing immigration law, which requires foreign spouses of UK citizens to meet a financial requirement before being granted a spouse visa to live in the UK. The amendment proposed exempting EU spouses of UK citizens from this financial requirement until 2040.
That's much clearer, thanks. As I said though, the HoL can only refer back legislation not make it. Ultimately if the HoL doesn't endorse it there is a mechanism to ignore them. The legislation will probably pass next time around after a little tweaking by the HoC.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 11:57 am
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
Rant away, you're in good company. We non-EU spouses of British citizens have been doing it ever since the financial requirement was brought in in 2012 by that lovely person Theresa May.
Spouse of Scouse has it on the nail.

Brexit was always about losing rights. Those lobbying for EU spouses of British citizens to have a right to move to the UK (with their British spouses) therefore seem, to me, to be using the wrong argument, namely that Brexit shouldn't apply to them.

The real argument should be whether it is reasonable for the government to put obstacles in the way of people wishing to live in the UK with their British husbands, wives and children. With her hostile, anti-migrant policy, Theresa May made it clear that reducing inward migration at all costs included at the cost of a family life. This has caused tragic situations for numerous families over the past two decades; it didn't suddenly become tragic when Brexit extended the tragedy to a new group of British citizens and their families.

In case it sounds as though I'm being heartless, I'm in exactly the same category as G-J-B.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 12:12 pm
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by KJMW View Post
I find your post rather confusing. Should I, as an Englishman wish to return to Britain to live There would be no obstacle to that. If, I were to return with an E.U. spouse then your post confuses me even more. The House of Lords doesn't make laws or repudiate them. Its power lies in referring back to the House of Commons any legislation it thinks needs amending. So I wonder what 'rights' are actually retracted?
I'm sorry if I caused any confusion, but I did say that Brits returning to the UK with an EU spouse/partner, not Brits by themselves. I also said it was a quashed amendment to the proposed bill. Perhaps I should have better phrased 'retraction of rights', because I meant it in a more general sense, as in all the rights we have lost due to Brexit.

At the start of this year it was my understanding that those with an EU spouse/partner who were settled before Brexit would retain their rights to return to the UK indefinitely. I didn't know that there was a finite date attached to it (i.e. March 2022), so this is the first I've heard about it.

As spouse of scouse notes, there are quite a few more implications and charges involved than just earning the minimum requirements. For the self-employed I suspect it's harder still.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by Watchpost View Post

The real argument should be whether it is reasonable for the government to put obstacles in the way of people wishing to live in the UK with their British husbands, wives and children. With her hostile, anti-migrant policy, Theresa May made it clear that reducing inward migration at all costs included at the cost of a family life. This has caused tragic situations for numerous families over the past two decades
This is bang on Watchpost. There are so many British citizens who can't return home with their foreign spouse because they don't meet the financial requirement. Those who have been living in countries that have comparatively low wages can't meet the 18,600 pound minimum, those who can meet this have to also secure a similar paying job in the UK before their spouse can apply, which is extremely difficult from overseas.

If the British member of the couple hasn't been in paid employment for any reason, such as parenting their children, then they're stuffed on the income front.

If the British citizen can't meet the requirement from job income or another source of income, eg pensions or rental income from property, their only choices are to have 62,500 pounds in the bank or return to the UK alone, find a job paying at least the minimum required, and hold that job for at least 6 months before their foreign spouse can apply. As well as the family being separated, this also means that the couple will be maintaining two homes.

Currently the cost of the three visas needed over five years to attain indefinite leave to remain in the UK as the foreign spouse of a British citizen is 4,945 pounds, plus the immigration health surcharge (IHS).

I mentioned before that the IHS was 400 pounds per year - from tomorrow 27 October that increases to 624 pounds per year. So in addition to the 4,945 pounds in visa fees there's an additional 3,120 pounds over the five years for the IHS - a total cost of 8,065 pounds. If the foreign spouse then wishes to naturalise as a British citizen, the fee for that is 1,330 pounds. So currently not much below 10,000 pounds from go to whoa. The costs are the same for each dependent (child) that is not a British citizen. Visa, IHS and naturalisation fees are reviewed annually, not surprisingly they never go down.

Sorry about that, I got a bit carried away! Still, the info may be of interest to someone.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by Watchpost View Post
Spouse of Scouse has it on the nail.

The real argument should be whether it is reasonable for the government to put obstacles in the way of people wishing to live in the UK with their British husbands, wives and children. With her hostile, anti-migrant policy, Theresa May made it clear that reducing inward migration at all costs included at the cost of a family life. This has caused tragic situations for numerous families over the past two decades; it didn't suddenly become tragic when Brexit extended the tragedy to a new group of British citizens and their families.
.
I remember my partner's unmarried partner visa and the indefinite leave to remain visa application, we literally give 3 kilos of documents to the Home Office.

My understanding is after the 31st December or later at some point, EU country citizens and non-EU country citizens would be treated the same in the eyes of UK home office, going through the application process. I remember the policy on the £18,600 financial requirement was challenged in court when it first introduced but unfortunately it is still there today.

Additionally, for employees who wants to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years working legally in the UK, they will need to have £35,800 annual salary to be eligible.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Hypothetically I wonder what would happen if you came to the UK with an EU spouse, and children (British by descent). You live there a while, perhaps buy a property, but then get made unemployed, or you're self-employed and can't reach the minimum margin after the first year or two. Obviously you can't be deported to your own country, and presumably the children (if they are British by descent) should have every right to be there. Would they really deport the EU spouse and split up families?
If the shoe were on the other foot, I believe the EU has laws to prevent that from happening over here?
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by G-J-B View Post
Hypothetically I wonder what would happen if you came to the UK with an EU spouse, and children (British by descent). You live there a while, perhaps buy a property, but then get made unemployed, or you're self-employed and can't reach the minimum margin after the first year or two. Obviously you can't be deported to your own country, and presumably the children (if they are British by descent) should have every right to be there. Would they really deport the EU spouse and split up families?
If the shoe were on the other foot, I believe the EU has laws to prevent that from happening over here?
If the child is british by descent, the parent can apply for residency visa on Family visa route, but if the child becomes independent and over 18 years old, this would not apply. But they still need to be means tested like non-EU spouse. In the eyes of home office, there won't be any distinction of EU or non-EU, UK will be a country like the US, Canada or Australia when it comes to immigration - I think this is one of the areas about "taking back control".
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by zoys View Post
If the child is british by descent, the parent can apply for residency visa on Family visa route, but if the child becomes independent and over 18 years old, this would not apply. But they still need to be means tested like non-EU spouse. In the eyes of home office, there won't be any distinction of EU or non-EU, UK will be a country like the US, Canada or Australia when it comes to immigration - I think this is one of the areas about "taking back control".
Thanks Zoys. I'm just reading a case where an American wife who had been married to a British man for 9 years, was being deported because the husband wasn't earning enough in the UK (this was in 2016). I'm not sure what the outcome was - if she was deported, I presume he would have gone back to the States with her and their child. I wonder what would happen if the husband having spent time in the UK no longer qualified to go his spouse's home country. Again I don't think that could happen within the EU itself because there are laws to prevent families being split up.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

But what can and can't happen within the EU itself, has no bearing on what the UK will do after 31st December. Tthe UK is no longer within the EU and it is no longer bound by EU laws. It is a sovereign nation now and it can ride roughshod over human rights as much as it pleases.
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Old Oct 26th 2020, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Brits returning to UK with EU spouse/partner will be means tested

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
But what can and can't happen within the EU itself, has no bearing on what the UK will do after 31st December. Tthe UK is no longer within the EU and it is no longer bound by EU laws. It is a sovereign nation now and it can ride roughshod over human rights as much as it pleases.
I agree, but at least if a EU spouse was deported, the family could move back to the spouse's country without fear the family would be pulled apart again.

Thankfully I really feel like I'm on the right side of the channel here; the grass actually is a bit greener.
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