New UK spouse visa guidance issued

08 Nov 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The immigration authorities have issued new regulations regarding UK spouse visas following a recent case involving a young couple.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court looked at the case of Quila and Bibi v Secretary of State for the Home Department, in which a couple were effectively forced to leave the UK if they wished to remain together as in its former state the law did not recognise the right for an individual under the age of 21 to access a UK spouse visa.

Now, the Supreme Court has ruled that the 2008 increase of the minimum UK spouse visa age from 18 to 21 disproportionately interfered with the Article 8 rights of those who were in genuine marriages, although its intent to address forced marriage was acknowledged as legitimate and rational.

Parliament this week (November 7th) reinstated the minimum age of 18 for a spouse, civil partner, fiance, proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner and their sponsor to qualify for entry clearance. The changes will come into effect on November 28th this year.

Meanwhile, those applicants whose applications were entered between November 27th 2008 and October 2011 and whose application was refused solely because they or their spouse was aged between 18 and 20, could now apply for a review in light of the changes to the UK spouse visa guidance.