Home Office Minister James Brokenshire has admitted UK-born citizens who want to bring their non EU spouses into the UK from outside the EU are treated less fairly than EU nationals living in the UK.
Currently spouses of UK nationals wishing to join their spouse in the UK must make an application for entry clearance under UK domestic Immigration Law. This means meeting a number of stringent requirements which includes a controversial financial requirement which many argue is too onerous.
In contrast spouses of EU nationals living in the UK can rely on the far more generous provisions allowed under European free movement law where no specific financial requirement is applied.
Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz pointed out the disparity highlighting that the wife of a British national trying to come to the UK must show an income of £18600.00 whereas the wife of a Slovakian national settled in the UK, in similar circumstances, would not have to meet the same requirements.
Mr Brokenshire said he would make an effort to close the ‘loophole’. However, it is unclear how he would propose to do this. Freedom of movement is a fundamental pillar of the EU and EU leaders have made very clear that they would be opposed to restricting or limiting these principles. Unless the UK leaves the EU one cannot see how the two systems can be aligned unless Mr Brokenshire is proposing to relax the UK domestic Immigration Rues which would be at odds with the government’s current approach.
The current debate over this highlights the complexity of Immigration Law where different systems can apply to different people depending on their circumstances and nationality.
Here at David Gray Solicitors our experienced Immigration team will advise and guide you through the legal complexities of making an application for family members to enter the UK. We provide advice by email, Skype and telephone to clients throughout the UK and worldwide.u.