Law change sees rush in UK spouse visa applications

16 Jul 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The changes to the immigration laws which came into force earlier this month have resulted in a rush in UK spouse visa applications.

Pakistanis in particular appeared to be keen to beat the new rules, which will set a minimum income level of £18,600 for UK spouse visa applicants from outside of European Economic Area - an increase of around £5,000.

Mirpur, a Kashmiri town, supplied hundreds of thousands of migrants to work in the UK during the 1960s. People still in Pakistan, such as Zahra (whose name has been changed), are now finding partners among this community and looking to make a move to Britain.

Arshad Hussein Shah has reportedly seen a 75 per cent increase in activity in the month to July 9th at his eight wedding halls. He told the Telegraph: "These were mostly couples who said they wanted to get married in time to be able to to UK."

Speaking to the Telegraph, Zahra explained that she is part of one such couple and her family have been forced to bring the wedding plans forward from the autumn in order to beat the changes in the law. She remarked: "My parents wanted me to marry a good man in Manchester with a good job but even he doesn't earn enough.

"We knew these rules were coming so we had to get organised. It meant getting married in the heat of summer but it will be worth it if it means I can move to England."

Further changes are due to come into place for UK spouse visa applicants, including a 'Life in the UK' test and a demonstrable understanding of the English language.