Kathryn & Colin
“The policymakers neglected to allow for salary levels in developing countries not being on par with those in the UK.”
Kathryn is a British citizen, born and raised in Wales. She went to teach in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where she met her now husband, Colin, from South Africa.
After two years in the UAE, the couple decided to move to Cape Town, Colin’s home city and where they have been living for the last three years.
They recently decided to move back to the UK and came across the requirements of the immigration rules.
Kathryn is a teacher with seven years experience and as a head of department when she returns back to the UK she can expect a salary in excess of £32,000 – well over the £18,600 threshold.
However the rules require that Kathryn meet this threshold even whilst living in South Africa, which given the weakness of the rand means she falls short by a long way. Despite the fact that her salary in South Africa has increased currency fluctuations work against her.
Kathryn doesn’t understand why she has to meet the minimum requirements before even leaving their country of residence, given she would exceed the requirements whilst actually in the UK.
She notes that the policy documentation includes case studies of people living in only developed countries like Japan and Australia. The policymakers clearly neglected to take into account those living in less developed countries where even as a professional, salaries don’t meet UK levels.
So Kathryn is faced with the choice of never being able to return home, or spending six to twelve months apart from her husband – while she collates six months of payslips and goes through the application process.