UK spouse visa changes revealed in leaked letter

29 Mar 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A leaked letter from the home secretary Theresa May has revealed a number of new proposals regarding requirements for UK spouse visas.

Seen by the Sunday Telegraph, the letter proposes an increase in the minimum income requirements for anyone seeking to bring a spouse, partner or dependant into the country from outside of the European Union.

At the moment, the threshold stands at £13,700 but from June, the letter suggests, this will be raised to £25,7000. Those looking to bring children into the country will see their minimum income requirement raised to up to £62,600.

However, this would be staggered with a partner with one child required to earn at least £37,00, two children requiring £49,300 and the £62,600 requirement not coming into force until three children were to be brought into the country.

In addition to these changes, Ms May has put forward proposals for a longer probationary period for those on UK spouse visas. On top of the higher level of English she suggests enforcing, the home secretary is calling for a probationary period of five years before spouses and partners are given the chance to apply for permanent residency in the UK.

The letter also looks to crackdown on abuse of the UK immigration system, detailing a need to “differentiate between genuine and non-genuine relationships” when it comes to spouse visa applications.

The move forms part of the prime minister David Cameron's bid to cut down the number of immigrants to the tens of thousands year. However, the Liberal Democrats are contesting many of the issues and are generally taking a much softer line to UK immigration issues than that of their coalition partners.