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Applicants: Immigration Rule changes - Armed Forces

08 November 2013

Today, Friday 8 November 2013, revised immigration rules affecting members of HM Forces and their families have been laid in Parliament.

The new rules come into effect on 1 December 2013. They were announced in a written ministerial statement on 4 July 2013, and will bring Armed Forces family rules in line with the family Immigration Rules in Appendix FM.

This will mean that:

  • members of HM Forces wishing to sponsor a non-EEA dependant to come to or remain in the UK will have to meet a minimum income thresh... old;
  • a basic English language requirement, at A1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), will apply to all non-EEA partners seeking leave to enter or remain in the UK as a dependant of a member of HM Forces;
  • to qualify for settlement, all non-EEA partners and children between the ages of 18 and 65 will be required to pass the Life in the UK test and hold an intermediate speaking and listening qualification, at B1 level on the CEFR;
  • all non-EEA partners of HM Forces personnel granted leave under the Immigration Rules will serve a 5 year probationary period before being eligible to apply for settlement.

On 5 July 2013 the Home Office appealed against a High Court judgment in a legal challenge to the minimum income threshold for spouses/partners and children applying under the family route. The Home Office will continue to put on hold cases which are being refused solely due to not meeting the minimum income threshold until the case is finally determined by the Courts.

For full details of the changes see the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 803) on the right side of this page. The written ministerial statement can be found on Gov.uk.