Family Migration Rule changes

Family Migration Rule changes – are you eligible to apply now?

The past weeks brought hope to many families, as the Home Office announced changes to the UK Family Migration rules.

Family Migration Rule changes

These rule changes come into effect on 10 August 2017. Hopefully, the Family Migration rule changes will enable many couples and families that were split up by the previous stringent rules, to re-unite again.

As there is still a lot of confusion on exactly how rule changes will be applied, we have compiled some answers to the most frequently asked questions on the matter. Note, however, that the UK Home Office is still in the process of drafting guidance for their decision-makers on these cases. Hopefully, when the guidance is published there will be more clarity on how the rules will be applied.

New Family Migration Rules – Frequently Asked Questions

I am currently on a spouse visa. Do the new family migration rules affect the time period I have to wait to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, or will it still be 5 years?

It does not affect the time period to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). It is still 5 years, but do bear in mind if you are married to a British Citizen you can apply for British citizenship straight after receiving ILR, without the need to wait the 12 months before you can apply, as applies to other individuals.

If I do qualify under the new rules, will I be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years?

Grants based on the new relaxed rules, where alternative incomes are considered, will put persons on the ten-year route to settlement. Should a person however at a later stage be able to meet the financial requirements, they can apply again for the five-year route to settlement.

When will the new rules be implemented? Can I apply immediately?

The new rules will take effect on 10 August 2017. It is however expected that it will take the Home Office some time to work through the backlog, of about 5,000 plus family migration applications that were put on hold, following the Supreme Court ruling.

We have not previously applied for a spouse visa, as we were not able to meet the rules. My wife and son are currently still in South Africa. Should we submit the application now, despite not being able to meet the financial requirement?

Families who have previously not met the stringent family migration rules, are very welcome to get in touch with Breytenbachs Immigration. We will highlight the impact on your family and son in the application. We are confident that with the relaxation in the decision making, we will be able to assist most clients and ensure a successful outcome.
Persons who have applications on hold may also want to submit further evidence to meet the new rules for alternative sources of income.

What other sources of income will the Home Office consider henceforth?

In specified circumstances, the Home Office will consider other sources of income to determine whether the financial requirement can be met in this way. The decision maker at the Home Office will, however, have to consider the genuineness, credibility, and reliability of other sources of income.

• A credible guarantee of sustainable financial support from a third party.
• Credible prospective earnings from the sustainable employment or self-employment of the applicant or partner.
• Any other credible and reliable source of income available to the couple.

The changes to the Family Migration rules will effectively mean that more people will be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa than in the past. Readers are welcome to contact us to check their eligibility. Please visit us at or fill out the form below.