Michael’s StoryPosted: 31/07/2012
This is a post taken from a comment left on Chez’s story and highlights some of the nonsense sponsors are forced through, not to mention the apparent confusion around these new rules. More information about use of savings in meeting the income threshold can be found in the UKBA’s statement of intent.
I, too, am a UK citizen (born here) who returned to the UK from 10 years in Australia in June to work. My son is also a UK citizen but my partner has Australian and US citizenship. I have a full-time permanent job with a salary well in excess of the financial requirement, plus sterling in bank accounts here and even more to be transferred from the sale of our house and cashing-in superannuation in Australia – hundreds of thousands of pounds, all up.
But my wife was told that she could not apply to enter the UK, except as a temporary visitor, until I had been in employment for six months. Given that it takes another two months to issue a visa, that means eight months living in Australia alone and where we have sold up, or coming here temporarily and returning to Australia for two months. This is a direct consequence of the July changes.
The situation is, frankly, bonkers. We have been married for nearly 40 years . My partner lived and worked in the UK between 1973 and 2002. I lived here from birth to 2002 (I am 64) and worked from 1965 to 2002. We both graduated from English universities. We paid tax, have National Insurance numbers, and neither of us has any history of claiming benefits, except for one six-week period in the 1980s when I was unemployed and received less than £200. Even more bizarre is how the six-month rule would work if we had private means and did not want to work, which could be the case as my pensions have kicked in if I wish to access them.
As with Chez, our situation is totally irrelevant to the government’s supposed rationale for bringing in these changes. Indeed, quite the opposite. I was deliberately recruited internationally for my ‘expertise’ (such as it is).
I know that those most affected negatively by these new crazy rules will be those who are worse off financially and in other ways – but perhaps it will do something to change the government’s mind when it realises that ‘nice’ middle-class people are being trapped by them, too, and the damage this will do to the international movement of labour. I work in higher education which is a global activity highly dependent on international recruitment.
Edit: The ‘6 month’ advice mentioned above appears to have been given incorrectly with respect to the savings Michael has, which should be sufficient to sponsor a spouse under the new rules. This testifies at least to the sponsors now have in establishing whether they are eligible to live in the UK with their spouses and inadequacy of consular services in explaining the changes to British citizens overseas.
Edit: the 6 month advice actually derives from the application form! See 5th comment below