The new family migration rules, as we anticipated. are already causing difficulties for many people in the UK. In particular, we have been hearing from people who have found that, since the 9th July, they are unable to bring their non-EEA spouses or partners into the UK because of the introduction of a new £18,600 income threshold for the UK-based sponsor. Most of those who have contacted us are British citizens and are based outside London and the South East where earnings are higher than the national average - showing how discriminatory this policy is turning out to be.
We have also heard from people who are concerned about the prolonged period for spouses and partners before applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and who have been affected by the new restrictions on bringing elderly dependants to the UK. Download our briefing paper on the new family migration rules here .
So if you are affected, what can you do?
In the short-term - get the right information!
Make sure you get the right information about the new rules. Make sure you have as much information as possible about the family migration rules and how they might affect you and your family. In particular:
Read through the June 2012 Home Office statement of intent on the family migration rules - This includes detailed information on the rules, including the various transitional arrangements that have been put in place regarding their application.
Consider seeking legal advice from a specialist immigration solicitor or OISC-registered advisor. You can find out how to find an advisor near you by clicking here .
In the longer-term - start campaigning for a change!
Unfortunately, we should be prepared for a wait of months or even years until there is some opportunity for the rules to be changed. This will be a vital time for campaigning - and it is critical that people who are
directly affected by the rules get involved!
You can start contribute today towards raising awareness about the need for these rules to be revisited by doing one or more of the following:
Write to your MP and let them know your situation. Many politicians do not understand these rules or how they impact the lives of people in their constituency, but it is critical that they start to hear from people who are affected. You can find out who your MP is and write to them directly by clicking here.
Get in touch with other people who are affected by the changes - there are useful online forums such as the Family Immigration Alliance where you can find support and/or advice from others who are going through the same thing.
Contact your local newspaper or TV station - local media are often interested in covering human interest stories and may help by covering your story - this will help to put pressure on local politicians and could encourage other people who are experiencing the same thing in your area to speak out about their difficulties.
Help MRN to build evidence about the effects of the rules on families across the UK . Over the coming months we will be campaigning against the family migration rules, including launching a parliamentary inquiry into the new rules alongside other charities. We know the most powerful evidence will come from people who have themselves been affected by the rule changes.
If you would like to be involved in future campaigning on this issue, please take 5 minutes to click here and give us some basic details about your situation. We will contact you again for more information in the autumn.
In the me antime, we wish all affected the very best of luck in resolving your situation - and hope that you will join us in fighting for a longer-term change to these unfair and discriminatory rules.