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Tis the season to be married

As many will be aware in the current climate immigration is a hot topic with a general perception that there is a need to drive down the number of people immigrating to the UK.

The Government has been thinking about putting a cap on the numbers of those allowed to come into the UK for quite some time now and with this in mind, the Immigration Rules have seen many changes. But the one that has affected many migrants is the stringent rules that British citizens have to meet should they decide to marry from outside the UK.

The major changes in the Immigration rules took place on 9 July 2012 which saw the introduction of the financial threshold being stipulated on .

The rules, in summary, stated that a British sponsor could only apply for his overseas spouse if they were earning the following:

  • £18,600 for a period of 6 months
  • Cash savings of £62,500
  • Pension
  • Self employment for a financial year earing a gross income no less than £18,600

As a result of the minimum income rule, British citizens were unable to bring foreign spouses to UK.

We have seen many refusals in cases where the sponsor does not earn the requisite £18,600. In many cases the British partner has been separated from his/her partner and child until they have been able to meet the financial threshold.  The British partners have been forced to undertake two sets of employment to meet the financial threshold, regrettably no matter how wealthy the family is the British partner was not able to rely on 3rd party funding.

Optimus Law welcomes the outcome of the Supreme Court Judgement which was reached after years of the Rule being challenged the Supreme Court has now decided that whilst the overall rules are compliant with human rights legislation therefore the £18,600 threshold will remain.

However, the court decided that the “rules and instructions” required amending in relation to the duty towards children, and other funding sources available to the couple such as 3rd party funding

What this means is that if you are working and are unable to meet the financial threshold you can now rely on 3rd party funding and/or a job offer for your overseas partner. With all legislation changes its important to keep in mind they are never as easy as they appear, remember:

The perception of a problem remains with immigration in eyes of the Government and the Public hence the Government instructions have been tightened up.

To qualify for the 3rd party element of the income threshold British sponsors will be subjected to thorough examination of the 3rd party level of support so before you make the application consult an Immigration lawyer to assist you with the application as many readers will be aware that should an application be refused there is no refund of the Home Office fees so our advice would be seeking assistance as dealing with the application may be false economy if you have to resubmit the application!

We would advise that when making an application where you are aware that you do not meet the financial threshold Sponsors must provide the following evidence:

  1. A credible guarantee of sustainable financial support to the applicant or their partner from a third party.
  2. Credible prospective earnings from the sustainable employment or self-employment of the applicant or their partner
  3. or any other credible and reliable source of income or funds available to the couple

So now you have made the application and the Home Office have accepted the 3rd party evidence as credible. Congratulations your visa has been granted.

Hold on what visa will you be granted? Will you have to do 5 years or 10 years before you are granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK?

Answer: In your case as you have relied on 3rd party funding and the source of income has been recognised by the Home Office and you have been granted entry clearance you will be punished so instead of 5 years you will need to wait twice as long for settlement by entering the 10-year route to settlement.

All is not lost

If the sponsor is able to secure further employment and able to meet the financial threshold you can make an in-country application to switch from the 10 years route to settlement to the 5 years

Who are Optimus Law

Optimus Law is a niche Law practice we are a dedicated and knowledgeable legal firm with offices in both Birmingham and Bristol, primarily specialising in the practice area of Immigration Law.

Our firm is based in Birmingham & Bristol but is also able to assist clients in other areas including BusinessCorporate and Crime.

The company is highly experienced and efficient in regard to legal expertise and understanding. Robina Shah stands at the forefront of the firm, as an individual with over 20 years of sector experience dealing with all aspects of Immigration Law, ranging from straightforward visa applications to complex Judicial Review proceedings.

Our global portfolio of past work encompasses numerous nations beyond the UK including Canada, Nigeria, the Middle East and even the USA.

If you were to instruct Optimus Law to deal with your legal matter, you can expect a high standard of professionalism in the form of care and integrity.

Optimus Law will treat every case as one of utmost importance and will always attempt to reach a conclusion you are wholly satisfied with.

What make Optimus Law Unique in the Market

  • Our primary goal is to exceed client’s expectations in all services provided.
  • We serve the communities with specialised legal representation by keeping up to date and abreast of the evolving laws within the sphere of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality law.
  • To grow and increase the firm’s ability to serve its communities with each passing year, with continuous and competent legal services
  • Our specialist immigration lawyers and advisors have decades of experience in all areas of immigration law. Although each client is given a single point of contact, staff members work as a team to help achieve the client’s objectives.
  • We are large enough to be able to offer a full range of immigration, asylum and citizenship services and yet small enough to ensure that the client still enjoys the personal touch to their service.
  • We have offices in Birmingham and Bristol so we can reach our clients we are able to get to one of our offices. However, we also offer telephone appointments or skype appointments for the convenience of clients or for where clients are based overseas.

Although we are currently a private practice we are in the process of applying for a Legal Aid contract which will allow us to provide services to not only who can afford to pay for our services but also to those who qualify for representation under the Legal Aid system.

Optimus Law Additional Services.

Staff at Optimus Law have been providing advice on all aspects of immigration, asylum and nationality law.  With the wealth of experience, we have now introduced this new service where we use our experience, knowledge and skills to assist those who wish to become an Immigration caseworker and for those who wish to progress and develop their skills.

We anticipate that the training sessions will be identified by those who require training. The training sessions are pertinent to practitioners, designed with their needs and interests in mind.

If you are interested in attending a training course please our team on 0121 516 0288 or directly by email at


Should you require any advice in respect of an Immigration application whether it is advice, representation or business immigration then please contact Optimus Law on Tel; 0121 516 0288


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