“What married couple wants to spend twelve months – maybe more – living in separate countries?”
Katie is a British citizen directly affected by the new immigration rules.
Katie moved to Cape Town, South Africa, in February 2010 to be with her partner, Cliff, a South African citizen. He visited England on three separate occasions but has never lived in the UK. They got married in October 2010 in Cape Town after a 3-year relationship.
Katie’s father passed away in April 2012 after a long hard battle against cancer. Katie and Cliff feel that now is the right time to move permanently to the UK to be with her mother, who is living alone in Norfolk and needs the support of her family.
Katie is a qualified primary school teacher with three years full-time experience. She is also a qualified Health and Social Care worker, having gained an NVQ Level 3. Cliff has many years’ experience in the finance sector and has just gained his degree in Business Administration. They both have skills and experience to offer the UK.
In the course of their in-depth research plus guidance from immigration consultants, they were shocked and saddened by the implications of the new rules. They meet all of the criteria for a settlement visa; however, they believe the financial requirements to be totally absurd and incredibly harsh.
Katie already has an offer of employment in the UK and, as it is their intention is to live with her mother for the interim, there is no need to rely on any public funding. Katie has been working in Cape Town as an au pair for the past two and a half years, earning a reasonable salary. However, taking the fluctuating exchange rate into account and the fact that salaries are considerably lower in South Africa, it has not been possible for her to command an £18,600 gross annual alary. She is aware of the need for savings to cover the shortfall in salary but the amounts of money are otally absurd – how many people have tens of thousands of pounds lying around in cash that they don’t need to rely on for five years!
Katie has been told by an immigration consultant that she, as her husband's British sponsor, must take full financial responsibility, a situation which seems totally hopeless at the moment. She has also been told that, under the current rules, she will have to work for six or more months in the UK in order to earn the required salary while her husband remains in South Africa.
What married couple wants to spend six to twelve months living in separate countries? Where is the logic in these new changes?!
Katie is livid that virtually overnight people are expected to have thousands and thousands of pounds in savings if they do not meet the annual gross salary requirement.
These requirements are quite frankly ridiculous and will no doubt cause some partners and families to
break up if they are forced to live separately!