New immigration laws hinder some married expats returning to UK

Gillian Hudson and her family

TOKYO —

British nationals living outside the European Union are up in arms over new immigration rules for foreign spouses that, they say, make it difficult — and, in some cases, impossible — to return to the UK to live.

And given the minimum-earning requirements, the hurdles are even higher for women who are married to foreign men.

The new regulations went into force in July 2012, with the Home Office claiming the rules were designed to ease the burden of migration on the British taxpayer.

Under the tightened rules, a British citizen must show that they will be able to earn at least £18,600 per year to sponsor their non-European spouse’s visa. This figure is raised to £22,400 for families with one child and an additional £2,400 for every extra child.

The regulations mean that couples have been forced to live apart, while children — including those with British passports — have been separated from parents.

Many of the thousands of people affected by the Home Office decision are in Japan.

Gillian Hudson first came to Japan with the Japanese government’s Japan Exchange Teaching Program and worked in Kyushu. After returning to the UK, she met Tsuyoshi Okuma. They married in 2004 and lived in London. Two years later, they returned to Japan after Hudson had been awarded a scholarship by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for post-graduate studies at The University of Tokyo.

The couple has a three-year-old daughter and a newborn baby, and 36-year-old Hudson has a number of part-time jobs, including one at a Japanese university.

“With two kids I will need to secure more like £25,000 per year, after a break from the UK job market for eight years, possibly longer”, Hudson told BCCJ ACUMEN. “And of those eight years, two were spent studying and two as a full-time mum and housewife.

“I don’t think I can return to the UK job market straight into a much higher paying position”, she explained.

In addition, with two young children, Hudson doesn’t want to be the full-time wage earner in the family—although the British government’s rules require that she be the breadwinner.

An added problem is that the regulations require the applicant to hold the job for six months before even applying for a spouse visa, which can then take a further six months to process, meaning that the family is effectively separated for one year.

“This is totally unacceptable”, she said, and added that she feels angry, sad, stressed, rejected and bitter.

“I feel exiled from my own country. It’s crazy”, she said. “We have always planned on moving back to the UK. It’s important for our children to experience life in both Japan and the UK in order to fully understand who they are, form relationships with both extended families, and have enough language competence in both Japanese and English”.

Hudson said she has no choice but to remain in Japan for the foreseeable future, but hopes that rules might change.

“It’s very depressing not to have the choice to return to my own country when I need to”, she said. “When I married my husband, I never imagined the consequences would be to lose my right to a family life in the UK”, she added.

The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration is calling for an independent review of the minimum income provision in the regulations, but a spokesman for the Home Office told BCCJ ACUMEN that the changes were only implemented last year and there are no plans to rewrite them.

“British citizens can enter into a relationship with whoever they choose”, Daniel Lyons said. “But we believe that those wanting to establish their family life in the UK should be able to support themselves financially and not be a burden to the taxpayer”.

An unnamed source said her fiancee, who has a PhD and works as a researcher at a university in Japan, would not be a burden on British taxpayers, but the rules on income make it impossible for her to act as his sponsor.

“I would love to go back to the UK”, she said. “My brothers and sisters are having children and I am missing [out on] them growing up. But to [return to the UK] I have to have a job earning over £18,000.”

When the 35-year-old returned to the UK in 2010 she spent a year applying for jobs, but the economic situation meant that opportunities were severely limited—and there was nothing similar to the good teaching position she held in Japan.

The pressures of this predicament have affected her health and she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“The stress I feel about not being able to return home affects me nearly every day”, she said. “I am sad to say that the whole thing makes me feel rather unpatriotic. It seems as though other people are welcomed into the UK while I have been exiled”.

Pressure is building among women who are affected by the regulations, with thousands of people signing an online petition started by Marianne Bailey — whose Japanese husband will have to leave the UK just days before their first child is due to be born—and addressed to Home Secretary Theresa May.

There is, however, a loophole in the British government’s rules.

In what has become known as the Surinder Singh route, after a historic court case, a British national who works elsewhere in Europe for three months has the right to bring a non-EU spouse into the UK without having to meet the minimum-earnings requirement.

This is because their status as a European citizen takes priority over their status as a UK citizen.

  • 17

    TheInterstat

    This is genuinely an issue for me as well. Very much not happy about the changes.

  • 10

    kimuzukashiiiii

    I massively agree that the UK should be doing things like this. They are overrun.

    But why not start with all the Europeans, and Africans who come in, use our medical services as health tourists and then bring all their families with them?

    It seems genuinely unfair to exclude British citizens and their spouses from their own country.

  • 23

    zichi

    This is outrageously harsh and even for couples who have been married for decades. For some, there's another way around the restrictions. If you have an Irish parent or grandparent, you can apply for Irish nationality and then an Irish passport. You can then enter the UK with any spouse without facing any restrictions or conditions.

    People can go to the UK from Eastern Europe countries, claim welfare benefits, get local gov't housing but a British person with a foreign spouse how must overcome the restrictions.

  • 13

    Yubaru

    British citizens can enter into a relationship with whoever they choose”, Daniel Lyons said. “But we believe that those wanting to establish their family life in the UK should be able to support themselves financially and not be a burden to the taxpayer”.

    Which is a polite way of saying don't marry a foreigner unless you are wealthy! This sucks big time for the folks who come from the UK.

    I take it this affects those from Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland too?

  • 15

    Open Minded

    Barbaric middle age law elaborated by narrow-minded people who have never been out of their island, except in vacation resorts where they reproduce british life with pub, soccer and fish n' chips!

  • 17

    zichi

    The new restrictions should not have applied to those UK citizens married to a foreign spouse, regardless of which country they live in, if they were married before the law came into force.

    Any EU citizen, other than a UK one, can enter the UK with a foreign spouse without facing those restrictions.

    This is another reason for Independence for Scotland, which would mean a passport for some of the people affected by this story.

  • 2

    ebisen

    All you you, UK citizens, complaining about the Eastern Europe immigration, look at Germany, and their very efficient way to deal with this: "Have a good economy, and jobs for all". How about UK emulating this?

  • -6

    BertieWooster

    Yubaru,

    I take it this affects those from Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland too?

    Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are part of the U.K.

    That's sort of what U.K. means.

    However Scotland is up for a referendum. They may separate from the Union. A good move I think. One that Okinawa could do well by emulating.

    And if they do so, as Zichi points out, this could be another way in.

  • -5

    Osaka_Doug

    Yes, it is unfortunate that people in the past have abused the system, and caused the government to take this drastic reaction. It really annoys me when I hear of a "bogus marriage" scheme where the spouse gets sponsored and upon arrival in the country, disappears, gets divorced and the state ends up supporting them. This is totally unfair to everyone but we need to think of ways that discourages abuse.

    I am not familiar with all the "requirements" but if sponsor has lots of "cash" that should be taken into consideration. If only a single spouse is involved couldn't they enter on a tourist visa for a while--for the family, it is probably best for them to follow when everything is settled financially......

  • 8

    Alphaape

    Somethimes it just doesn't pay to do things "by the book." My case, I am a US citizen and spouse is Japanese. USA has similar requirements when we were obtaining a green card for the spouse. I had to sign documents that state I had a job an income, and that the wife would not come to America and then we apply for public assistance. All done by the book.

    Yet, we see massive demonstrations in the USA calling for allowing the supposed 11 million illegal aliens amnesty. Many of whom who are on public assistance roles, and the main selling point for the amnesty crowd is that if they are legal, they can come "out of the shadows" and get legit jobs and come off public assistance. I don't believe that for a second.

    Poor people come to the USA, and to EU countries and immediately get assistance. Yet those who do it the right way, and pay their taxes, just get further hassles by doing the right thing. Time to rein in governments and start making rules that make sense and not just ensure government workers keep their jobs pushing papers.

  • 10

    irishosaru

    Horrible horrible rule from a horribly xenophobic government.

    As an Irish person married to a Japanese woman, I'm worried if the Irish government will start to think about making similar immigration rules.

  • 3

    Yubaru

    USA has similar requirements when we were obtaining a green card for the spouse. I had to sign documents that state I had a job an income,

    There is a HUGE difference between a spouse visa and a green card, which is used for granting permanent residence!

    Apples and oranges.

  • 4

    cleo

    their status as a European citizen takes priority over their status as a UK citizen.

    And they wonder why UKIP attracts supporters. I'm speechless.

  • 7

    zichi

    I guess for many, the Surinder Singh route will be the only option for many. Go to another EU country, France, Italy, Ireland, Holland and get any job you can find for three months and then enter the UK.

  • 2

    Steven C. Schulz

    It's simple, all you need to do is have your spouse buy a £5M flat in Westminster. I think that's the going rate for residency, yes?

  • 5

    Citizen2012

    “British citizens can enter into a relationship with whoever they choose”, Daniel Lyons said. “But we believe that those wanting to establish their family life in the UK should be able to support themselves financially and not be a burden to the taxpayer”.

    Wow, a selection by the money so the elite will decide if a citizen is allowed to be able to live in their own country ? I just can't believe this is was possible..., isn't it against the UK constitution ? Calling their own citizen a burden is speaking volume, you guys need to stand-up and fight this.

  • 7

    tkoind2

    Absurd laws. Why do we empower idiots to rule over us. All over the world governments are passing laws that are out of touch with the times. They started this whole globalization thing, now that we ordinary people have embraced it, they want to punish us for it.

    The UK and other countries need to change this thinking and make it possible for people to freely migrate with their spouses. If governments do not, then we have to fight back! This is not only a UK problem. It is increasingly a global one.

  • 8

    lucabrasi

    And what about someone who wants to go back to the UK after retirement?

  • 5

    Probie

    But why not start with all the Europeans, and Africans who come in, use our medical services as health tourists and then bring all their families with them? It seems genuinely unfair to exclude British citizens and their spouses from their own country.

    Exactly. The government in the UK seems fine with throwing money at "asylum-seekers" who go there for a free ride and contribute nothing to the country; but won't get rid of stupid laws like this one, which is ridiculous.

    I massively agree that the UK should be doing things like this. They are overrun.

    They don't seem to realize, that it isn't the spouses and families of British citizens that is the problem. It is the droves of people from Iraq etc that need something done to deal with them.

    If they put the same regulations on them, they would be called xenophobic or racist.

  • 9

    zichi

    According to the new laws, a UK citizen must have a job earning £18,600 pa if they want to bring in a foreign spouse. I'm not sure what happens when a say a UK citizen marries a foreign spouse inside the UK. Does that mean, the spouse can't have a UK spouse visa?

    Around 47% of British people earn less than £18,600, affecting those in the health care and service industry the most.

    In practice, a couple will have to satisfy the criteria for entry into the UK on three separate occasions: on entry, after 30 months and at the end of the foreign spouse’s ‘probationary period’ of 60 months.

    Without a job paying the minimum £18,600 you would have to show you have savings of £62,500, (¥9,568,090). For retired people they would have to be able to show savings and private pensions.

    What's that Beatles song, "You can't buy me love"

  • 8

    Gobshite

    Another badly thought out rule implemented by idiots. I would need to satisfy the above rules to return to the UK with my Japanese wife, but if I divorce, then remarry with a European citizen with 10 kids all being supported by welfare, that would be OK?

    I know why the rule has been made, but this makes a mockery of genuine UK citizens who do not intend to abuse the system. Complete nonsense

  • 8

    StormR

    Discrimination first class, but who would want to go back to the UK anyway when most people are wanting to get out of the place.

  • 3

    InControl

    My take on this is that the british government wants to drastically reduce immigration but their hands are tied when it comes to the EU countries so they decided to take a draconian approach to non-EU countries. Come 2015 they will be able to appeal to potential UKIP voters by saying how much they have cut immigration. People like me and others in this story/thread are simply collateral damage. This will not change until EU membership terms are renegotiated or Britain exits the EU, i do not think there are sufficient numbers of people (voters) affected to create a lobby group with any impact.

    The previous labour government's lax welfare and immigration policies, on top of the EU membership constraints have turned the UK into what it is today. Conservatives are trying to sort out the welfare system but are somewhat held back my the LibDems. Immigration will take decades to sort out, even with tough, reformist policies because so many people that should not be in the country (taking but not contributing) have made it through.

    This is just my personal view based on watching UK news from overseas during the past 20 years.

  • 0

    Athletes

    In what has become known as the Surinder Singh route, after a historic court case, a British national who works elsewhere in Europe for three months has the right to bring a non-EU spouse into the UK without having to meet the minimum-earnings requirement

    Mr Singh is a South Asian(Punjabi) desdendent of UK citizen. He worked elsewhere in EU for 3 months only. However His spouse is non EU citizen or UK citizen. He and his spouse income may be less than minimum standard. If he was allowed to bring his spouse without term and condition,why not others? Does Mr Singh has a privlliage as monarch of UK?

  • 4

    InControl

    Just to add to my earlier comment, I think the visa being referred to in the story is a Settlement Visa. I guess this is similar to a permanent visa in Japan. Is this different to a Green Card for USA?

    And when I recently enquired about a settlement visa for my foreign wife, I was told that even though I own a property in England (our intended residence), this would not result any discount to the required £18,600 wages noted in the article.

  • 9

    Onniyama

    What a bunch of BS. If they couple have been married for a number of years, there should really be no questions asked.

  • 4

    wipeout

    And they wonder why UKIP attracts supporters. I'm speechless.

    The rules that leave you speechless are those under which a British citizen can live and work anywhere in the EU with a minimum of bureaucratic hurdles, something that hundreds of thousands are already doing. In Spain alone, the number of British residents was said to be over 750,000 in 2006.

    On the wider scale, 5.5 million British citizens are resident abroad.

    The UKIP is uninterested in such things, but specializes in dog-whistle politics.

    "The latest census revealed that immigrants account for 25 per cent of the population of our largest cities. Nearly a third of residents of these cities are members of a non-white ethnic minority and almost one in 10 homes has not a single person speaking English as a first language."

    http://www.ukip.org/newsroom/news/703-immigration-needs-to-be-controlled-we-have-run-out-of-room

  • 21

    ChibaChick

    I have done a lot of work on this issue. Last Summer, I spent around 500 GBP of my own money going to and from Parliament, meeting with MPs, the Immigration Reform Committe, and Damian Green himself. I was representing a group of 300 people with various, often very sad, stories to tell.

    It was a total waste of time. They had already made up their minds, and that was that.

    Some more facts (all figures in GBP):

    You need to be working in a position with a minimum salary of 18,600 per year, PLUS HAVE ALSO BEEN WORKING IN A POSITION EARNING THAT AMOUNT AS A MINIMUM IN LOCAL CURRENCY FOR THE YEAR PRECEDING YOUR ENTRY TO THE UK - impossible for British stay at home Mothers, or British wives where their husbands country restricts their ability to work or where wages are exceptionally low.

    That 18,600 applies countrywide, be you in London (where salaries are generally the highest in the UK) or the Highlamds of Scotland (where 18,600 is a much higher and harder-to-come-by salary).

    You can enter the UK if you hold 62,500 in your bank account in savings for the preceding 6 months before you apply.

    As In Control noted - ownership of property does not count as contributing to the required minimum amount. however, income from property (for example, rent) DOES count.

    If your children are British citizens (which they generally would be with a British parent) the additional stiuplation per child is waived. So the information contained in the article is not correct when refering to a British and non-EU spouse with children.

    The rules do NOT stipulate that the British spouse has to be the "breadwinner" as such - the non-EU spouse is allowed to work. Just that the British spouse secures a position on the salary minimum or has the savings in the bank.

    In summary - this rule leaves many British men and women stranded, especially women who are raising children. I had letters and emails from all over the world - a guy in the Phillipines, another in Cambodia, both unable to return with their families (one was working for a charity, the other a consultant but self-employed - separate rules apply). A woman married to a Moroccan was facing his deportation under these rules because she is disabled and cannot work (he was a doctor) and another woman couldnt see her grandchild who was born in the US to a US mother because when her son went to meet them at the airport, they were turned away and deported back to the US - his salary in Sheffield is 16,000 per year. It was heartbreaking and I did my best to represent the, but it was impossible. When I played my trump card - how unfair this is for women raising children, the response was "We have to draw the line somewhere". Fine. So why not draw it in front of all the Europeans who have never set foot in the UK let alone paid taxes there who are coming in in droves. Answer - because they cant. These elite-educated individuals signed us away and it never seemed to occur to them that people from a bunch of poorer countries would be attracted by our benefits system and "free" healthcare.

    Our British children, as they were born in Japan, cannot attend a British university without paying international fees (unless they live in the UK for 3 years first and NOT for educational purposes, i.e. the whole family has to move - which now due to the above they cant). However - a Greek, Turkish, or Romanian child can come right in and pay university fees a third of what our children would have to pay. No issue with Greeks, Turks or Romanians - fair play to them, I would do the same. But the system is absolutely rotten to the core and Brits who have fallen in love with non-Brits are the ones copping it. And the UK is keeping out a tiny portion of the benefits scroungers, if any, but losing valuable skills as a result.

  • 1

    InControl

    Wipeout, I have a feeling that a large percentage of Brits abroad would be net contributors to where they go. For Spain perhaps many are retirees buying property, spending savings and shifting UK pension payouts to the Spanish economy. Others might open pubs or fish & chip shops etc. I'm sure there are also criminal or yob-types but generally speaking a poorer, unskilled, low wage earning Brit is probably better off staying in the UK with its welfare entitlements than they are going to another EU location? But Britain has attracted too many people who are not net contributors from poorer EU countries.

    I'm not sure if this view is accurate, but it's the impression I have.

  • 3

    davestrousers

    The UK public has become alarmed about immigration and the game being played here by the government is simple, reduce numbers. This incredibly badly thought-out idea is aimed at hitting one demographic of the population for which a very high percentage of marriages are arranged marriages and involve a visa. It never should have been about hitting expats returning home with their spouses.

    And what about the issue of reciprocity? Many countries engage in tit for tat rule changes when it comes to visas and immigration.

  • 7

    oldboy

    The governments do not think when passing these stupid regulations. I have money in the bank and am retired but my income is under the amount stated. SO I was told I had to return to the US and work and file taxes for two years before I could apply to bring my wife. And yet the illegal people will be given status. I am a citizen and I pay taxes but can not bring my wife there

  • 4

    wipeout

    Wipeout, I have a feeling that a large percentage of Brits abroad would be net contributors to where they go.

    Yes of course we are. We're British, after all.

  • 2

    Alphaape

    There is a HUGE difference between a spouse visa and a green card, which is used for granting permanent residence!

    For gaining just a spouse visa to the USA, the American citizen must fill out an Affidavit of Support (I-864), The purpose of the Affidavit is to assist consular officers in determining whether a visa applicant will have adequate means of financial support in the U.S. and will not become a public charge. By executing this form, the petitioner agrees to reimburse any government agency or private entity that provides the sponsored alien with any means-tested public benefits. The sponsor/joint sponsor's obligation continues until the sponsored immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, can be credited with 40 qualifying quarters of work, departs the United States permanently, or dies. Divorce does not terminate the obligation.

    So having the requirement to make sure that the spouse (in this case for GBR citizen) is able to provide for their mate is not unreasonable. What I find interesting is that they are creating two classes. You can be native and poor and the government will take care of you. But if you come there on your own, you are going to be "on your own." Unless you come under some type of refugee status, and then the public treasury is at your disposal.

    I think GBR along with USA needs to rethink this policy.

  • 6

    BurakuminDes

    This is bureaucracy gone mad. Maybe they should ditch their passports and claim asylum-seeker status. They'd be almost guaranteed to stay and receive benefits then.

  • 6

    PeaceWarrior

    @ChibaChick

    Good on you for trying to help. And I thought that Canada was a little tough on immigration...

  • 0

    Maria

    Maybe they should ditch their passports and claim asylum-seeker status.

    While this system is unfair to legitimate families, it doesn't do for critics of it to resort to ignorant racist remarks. Asylum seekers are often fleeing their countries to save their lives and those of their families. It doesn't do to make light of those who have been imprisoned, tortured and threatened with death.

  • 3

    cleo

    Eugh. It's people like you who are causing things like this to happen.

    You've got the wrong end of the stick. No way am I a UKIP supporter. I was trying to point out that this stupid law was put together by congenitally stupid people with no idea, and will appeal to the same. It is indeed bureaucracy gone mad.

  • -3

    wipeout

    You've got the wrong end of the stick. No way am I a UKIP supporter. I was trying to point out that this stupid law was put together by congenitally stupid people with no idea.

    Maybe so, but you were actually commenting on a different set of rules by replying to this (which you quoted and replied to immediately below it): "their status as a European citizen takes priority over their status as a UK citizen". As UKIP makes a point of its anti-Europe stance (hence the name) it was inevitable that your comment would appear to be based on that and not on the British law.

  • -5

    kidojapan

    Well, her husband can also look for a high paying job in UK for example in a Japanese Company.

  • 3

    some07791

    ChibaChick:

    However - a Greek, Turkish, or Romanian child can come right in and pay university fees a third of what our children would have to pay

    Thats not rotten. British citizens can go to Greece, Romainia, etc and get reduced (ie EU level not international) fees for education. This is a reciprocal and fair system.

    However, this law does seem complicated and unnecessary. Sounds like Dave and his pals are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

    As Zichi said - if you have Irish parents/grandparents get a Paddy passport. Thats my get-out-of-jail card should I return to the UK with my Japanese wife.

    The UK passes some progressive laws (Gay Marriage etc) then decides to make what our yankee friends call 'doozy' and pander to the right wing fringe.

  • 3

    LFRAgain

    "Poor people come to the USA, and to EU countries and immediately get assistance. Yet those who do it the right way, and pay their taxes, just get further hassles by doing the right thing. Time to rein in governments and start making rules that make sense and not just ensure government workers keep their jobs pushing papers."

    Utter pap, start to finish.

  • 1

    ambrosia

    alphaape: USA has similar requirements when we were obtaining a green card for the spouse. I had to sign documents that state I had a job an income, and that the wife would not come to America and then we apply for public assistance. All done by the book.

    There's a big difference that wasn't mentioned here which is that you can have someone in the U.S. sponsor your spouse if you do not meet the income requirements. My father makes the requisite salary and so sponsored my brother's wife for a Green Card when they wanted to move to the States from where they'd been living. My brother didn't have a job in the U.S. at the time and they wanted to move together. It required him (my father) filling out some forms and submitting tax papers as proof of his income and that was about it. It really wasn't that much of a hassle at all.

    As for people immigrating to the States and getting assistance right away, sorry but they can receive a basic education and emergency medical care but they cannot receive welfare or food stamps so you're speaking in half truths.

  • 3

    buchailldana

    a deeply worrying development and Im irish not British..

  • -2

    dokachin

    The only way round it is if this woman gets a "divorce" and moves to the UK as a single mother. She would also be able to claim sick benefit, get housing, and probably go back to university to retrain for a career in the UK market. Her husband could apply for work in a Japanese company or lecture in a university in the UK. They can then reunite in the UK, get married again and go through the immigration process. Just an idea.

  • -2

    Gaijinjland

    These couples should just bite the bullet and go the Surinder Singh route:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23029195

  • 1

    SwissToni

    The whole immigration issue in the UK is a smoke screen. Millions of UK citizens pay decades of taxes and national insurance and yet face a looming pensions crisis due to the profligacy of successive governments. With a shrinking native population and businesses and the rich doing everything they can to avoid contributing to the country, if the UK doesn't admit migrant families with kids, there'll be no one to pay the living costs of the xenophobic idiots voting themselves into the poorhouse.

  • -4

    tmarie

    ** Asylum seekers are often fleeing their countries to save their lives and those of their families. It doesn't do to make light of those who have been imprisoned, tortured and threatened with death.**

    Any many other claims all of this but in reality just want to make a better life for themselves and their families so use the loopholes while hard working Brits are punished and treated poorly by their own government.

    This all stems from the EU and allowing anyone into the UK from the EU. Come, sponge off the welfare program, the education system, the health care system, bring your family over and live off the taxes of the hard working. Why Britons allow this to continue is beyond me.

  • 0

    MumbaiRocks!

    Question to the Brits, can your folks in the UK act as guarantor?

    Anyways, in the US I doubt this will get traction for a few reasons. We are already overrun and have basically totally given up on the issue, and public assistance is not a big problem for new immigrants because it is pitifully low so noone wants to be on the "dole" anyways. I got laid off from a good job back in the day in the US and the unemployment benefit was about 10% of my lost salary.

  • 1

    Harshana Sj

    @ebisen:All you you, UK citizens, complaining about the Eastern Europe immigration, look at Germany, and their very efficient way to deal with this:

    Here in Germany it is pretty much the same,except that spouses from the "buddy countries(including Japan,Korea)" are exempted.looks like the Brit government is playing it equally on all nationalities.

  • 0

    davestrousers

    With a shrinking native population and businesses and the rich doing everything they can to avoid contributing to the country, if the UK doesn't admit migrant families with kids, there'll be no one to pay the living costs of the xenophobic idiots voting themselves into the poorhouse.

    Did you just wake up from a 10 year nap? Its already a done deal, the migrant families are there and they're having plenty of kids don't worry. There was a 7.1% population increase between 2001 and 2011, so I don't see how it can be an effective way of boosting the economy, as economic growth has barely been anything at all.

  • 6

    Jaymann

    How utterly typical of the British Home Office. In all my years of dealing with bureaucracies and their own peculiar pathologies - none even came close to the gut-wrenching stupidity and blood-boiling irrationality of the home office. Max Weber could have added tomes to his already significant work on bureaucracy on these buffoons. How typically British to shoot oneself in the foot like this.

    One thing that always impressed me living in Japan was the efficiency and fairness one receives at their administrative offices. In such stark contrast to the experience I had in Britain when I lived their.

  • 9

    Thunderbird2

    Firstly the 'native' population of the UK, as in white people, is 81% average (London is 44%)... so hardly a shrinking population. Also factor into that people from other nationalities who are in their 3rd and 4th generations as British citizens and the number of new immigrants aren't having that big an impact. UKIP and people of their ilk like to over egg the pudding so to speak.

    As for these new rules aimed at curbing non-EU immigration is disgusts me. It means that if I and my ex ever get back together then I can't bring her home. Had she been a Rumanian without a penny to her name she'd be welcome with open arms, but no.

    It's a disgusting set of rules, and also means that Aussies, Canadian, Kiwi and American spouses face the same problems. Short-sighted and pandering to the Rottweilers on the right.

  • -2

    gogogo

    Total BC on the UK governments part.

    But why couldn't just you turn up on a tourist visa then overstay it, they can't just kick you all out of your own country?

  • 2

    wipeout

    This all stems from the EU and allowing anyone into the UK from the EU. Come, sponge off the welfare program, the education system, the health care system, bring your family over and live off the taxes of the hard working. Why Britons allow this to continue is beyond me.

    "Britons", as you call them, are allowed to work and settle elsewhere within the EU. And they do so. It isn't "anyone into the UK from the EU". It's people from EU member countries being allowed into other EU member countries.

  • 5

    Piotr Gierszewski

    Large part of the European Union has growing problems with immigrants. But no one thought about immigration problems when many immigrants from all over the world were hired to work for peanuts (compared to the local salary) to boost the economy. The differences between currencies and equal prices for many products in both wealthy and poor regions of the world boost this process. And now France, GB, Germany and other countries have a problem with immigrants who create ghettos and generally make trouble. Immigrants who don't have the money to return home and who are rejected by foreign culture often have to enter the low-life. Of course the local judiciary also boosts this process, because foreigners are easier to sentence than citizens of their own state (foreigners have often no means to properly defend themselves).

    And this process of declining immigrants in Europe is getting stronger and stronger. People are scared by the process of "Islamization of Europe" (the birth rate for Muslims is greater than European standards). But as the article shows, even local people are backfired by the new laws. My colleague from University and earlier his friend were participating in the Erasmus student exchange programme. They did all the formalities but were rejected by the Dutch University for no reason. I did a little research in the web and found out that the Dutch governments puts pressure on Dutch universities to reject students who want to visit Denmark through the Erasmus programme. This is unbelievable. I don't understand why do the Dutch universities signs international agreements if they completely ignore them.

  • 2

    nandakandamanda

    Sounds like moving the goalposts. Is it legal to do this? As zichi said above, in light of the new law you can choose whether or not to marry, but is the law able to backdate and break up previously legal marriages like this?

    Besides, this is more than my total pension... and we have never ever sponged on the welfare system in the UK. Too much pride, maybe, but all of us in my family would rather work for fewer wages than ever go on the dole.

  • 4

    cracaphat

    I'm getting too old to go back to the U.K. and command the kind of salary required by the govt for the missus and kid. Thankfully I can always go back to Australia unless they want to go the draconian route as well.

  • -5

    tmarie

    "Britons", as you call them, are allowed to work and settle elsewhere within the EU. And they do so. It isn't "anyone into the UK from the EU". It's people from EU member countries being allowed into other EU member countries.

    Indeed they are but how many are actually doing that? Very few. Those living in Spain are there temporarily and for the holiday seasons. Very few Brits are running to Romania, Poland... to work. The reserve can't be said.

    As someone noted, many countries in the EU have huge issues with immigration so it really just passing the buck onto larger and wealthier countries in the EU while those poorer and unstable are more than happy to see a lot of their problem population pick up and move. Those in poor countries with stable jobs aren't the ones relocating now are they? You can call it whatever you like but immigration is a growing issue in many developed nations around the world. The UK has serious issues with it because of the EU agreements. There is no way it is fair that a hard working Briton living in Japan is unable to get a visa for their spouse but an out of working, living off the dole newly arrived Roma, is allowed in. It is this type of issue that is causing the backlash and these new laws. The locals don't care because it doesn't affect them and they are so fed up with supporting non-Britons that they don't see how unfair it is those who are abroad who would like to return home with their spouse and children.

  • 4

    zichi

    In 2009, 1,792,000, people from the EU had been living in the UK for longer than one year. 748,010 Brits were living in other EU states, excluding Estonia, France, Greece and Cyprus, as countries provided the data on a voluntary basis. 133,678 ex-pats are living in France but the figure could be as high as 250,000.

    These figures don't include the many people who move between the UK and Ireland.

  • 5

    docswife

    Nandakandamanda: Yes, unfortunately, it's legal. They aren't taking spouse visas away from people who received them under the old rules, just not issuing them to people who've applied since the new criteria came into force last year.

    It's all about numbers. The government is actively trying to create a hostile environment for migrants in any way it can, purely to get the numbers down far enough to stop right-wing votes switching to UKIP, and this measure is just a small part. Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather gave a very revealing interview in the Guardian last week, in which she said that the Tories had initially tried to make the minimum income for a spouse visa GBP 40,000 rather than 18,600, and that the internal government committee on immigration was originally called the Hostile Environment Working Group (it was renamed the Inter Ministerial Group on Migrants' Access to Benefits and Public Services after Lib Dems objected).

  • 3

    SwissToni

    Davestrousers, "Did you just wake up from a 10 year nap? Its already a done deal"

    The lack of growth in the UK economy comes from the financial crisis and the country's failure to invest in itself not immigrants. The UK needs immigration just to stand still let alone pay for pensions for future retirees. Stopping migrants, and especially stopping returnees from bringing their energy, experience, ideas and of course the next generation will just hasten the UKs isolation. The idea that the migrant population is a drain on resources is populist nonsense. The contributors far outweigh the spongers. Now if only the same could be said for the generations of locals who've had their lives nicely subsidised by state benefits.

  • 4

    zichi

    A large number of Brit expats live in Canada, Australia, New Zealand.

    If you are younger and qualified you could think about moving to one of those countries with your Japanese spouse. I know quite a few Japanese who have moved to Australia and just love it.

  • 2

    kurisupisu

    It seems that the UK is only interested in the money and not the birthright-all that could go wrong there has!!!!!

  • -1

    Francis Urquhart

    Simple. Just label the action as 'racism' and the UK government will cave immediately. The lefties have been using this ploy for years, Why do you think the country is overrun with immigrants? Oh and it's a free-for-all for Romanians and Bulgarians at the end of the year too. But 'they won't all want to come to the UK' - yeah right!

  • 3

    Thunderbird2

    Why do you think the country is overrun with immigrants?

    It isn't.

  • 0

    Zenpun

    zichiJul. 24, 2013 - 07:00PM JST

    I know quite a few Japanese who have moved to Australia and just love it.

    As you posted, very few Japanese are doing well in Australia. Au may be not the right choice for J spouse. Australia has no common market like EU. The whole population is only 23 millions and a few cities are strategic trading and maritime hub. Career opportunities are very limited for none English speaking background. For the new Japanese spouse, the potential employment is taxi driver for male. Waitress for female.

    There are some Duty free outlet and store will employ Japanese speakers. However it is very limited. As a land UK is smaller than Au. However many Australia celebrities went to UK for market expansion such as Kylie Minouge. Japanese Chef Tetsura has become international celebrity chef in Oz. He is one in millions of successful Australian Japanese.

  • 2

    zichi

    zenpun

    like I said I know several Japanese females with foreign spouses who have moved to Australia. One is a doctor, another a dentist. Of course they all speak English. I disagree with your view of Australia but I haven't been there personally so I hope an Aussie can jump in and update us all.

  • 8

    Open Minded

    A UK citizen going back home with his/her wife from different nationality is called abusive immigration?

    I am just wondering if this is not against the Human Rights Conventions. If not, there is something wrong.

  • 4

    wipeout

    There is no way it is fair that a hard working Briton living in Japan is unable to get a visa for their spouse but an out of working, living off the dole newly arrived Roma, is allowed in.

    Roma is merely an ethnic designation. Those in Europe can be citizens of just about any country European country. Under EU rules (agreed to by the UK), citizens of EU member countries can move to other EU member countries. Nationality, not ethnicity, is what confers the legitimacy of this arrangement. This is how British citizens (also of any colour or ethnicity), are able to move around Europe, a system that is of great benefit to a great many British people.

  • 4

    Gobshite

    Under EU rules (agreed to by the UK)

    Forced on the UK due to membership of the EU you mean. This is not what the UK population agreed to (the only time they were asked), and this is why the UK will quite rightly get a referendum on EU membership.

    EU membership can be a good thing, immigration is certainly a good thing. Uncontrolled immigration is definitely NOT a good thing, sadly the previous government failed miserably.
    The fact that UK natives, just like myself, are being discriminated against by the UK government, just because we chose to marry a non EU citizen is shocking.

  • 2

    Viclovesdrama

    Wow while a truly unfair law, I fail to see how this is somehow the EU's or Eastern European's fault.

  • -6

    tmarie

    **Roma is merely an ethnic designation. ** Indeed and I used it as an example because they don't really identity with one particular country. Would you prefer I said Polish? the thing with that is that the Polish, generally, aren't claiming benefits and are doing the jobs that work shy Brits won't do. No one here is saying immigration should be stopped, people are suggesting more control over immigration from the EU because this free for all is not working out. If it was working out, new laws like this one wouldn't be created.

  • 1

    wipeout

    Indeed and I used it as an example because they don't really identity with one particular country.

    Well that just makes no sense at all. You seem to be completely lost about what you're even trying to say.

  • -8

    tmarie

    Not at all. I am discussing folks in the EU heading to the UK to work, take advantage of the health care system and the benefits system. I have clearly pointed out that while yes, Brits are free to move around, they don't nearly as much as many others. I gave you an example of an group from the EU that are coming to the UK in large numbers. I also gave you the Roma as an example because of EU nations are also trying to limit movement of certain groups/folks from certain countries and they are one one such group. You can think it is wrong, you can call it whatever you want but clearly there are immigration issues and the public is upset because if they were and there weren't issue, laws like this one, which is wrong on so many levels, wouldn't be made and passed. http://rt.com/news/eu-visas-roma-asylum-496/

  • 4

    BurakuminDes

    @ Zenpun - I've never heard of Japanese moving to Australia and driving taxis. Some working holiday students wait tables etc as they do in Canada, the UK, US, etc. (As an aside - they get paid two-and-a-half times more than the hourly rate in Japan to do so).

    I know of many Japanese who have migrated to Australia either independently or with spouse. Here are a selection of their full-time jobs: High School teacher; investment broker; scientist; chef; banker; travel agent; homemaker. Yes - they all have good business english - and worked hard to attain it. As Zichi theorised - there are many opportunities for skilled Japanese migrants to Australia. I think it could be the UKs loss to miss out on quality skilled spousal migrants.

  • 6

    Open Minded

    tmarie: ostracizing a group (Roma, or any others, but this one is easy because a minority) to justify an unfair law from a country that mostly built its wealth thanks to colonization is pretty obscene.

    And I am still looking for the link between the "Roma's assault" and a Joe UK citizen trying to go back home with his/her non-EU partner.

  • 5

    ChibaChick

    I take it this affects those from Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland too?

    Yes, it does, including the minimum salary which is not regional.

    The new restrictions should not have applied to those UK citizens married to a foreign spouse, regardless of which country they live in, if they were married before the law came into force.

    Absolutely - they applied the law based on when the visa application was received, not when the marriage was registered, ergo it was "backdated" (in stark contrast I might add to certain other laws that may involve payouts which are NEVER backdated).

    I would need to satisfy the above rules to return to the UK with my Japanese wife, but if I divorce, then remarry with a European citizen with 10 kids all being supported by welfare, that would be OK?

    Yes, exactly. That would be fine.

    And what about someone who wants to go back to the UK after retirement?

    Same income minimums apply

    Well, her husband can also look for a high paying job in UK for example in a Japanese Company

    This is very hard to do in practice as there are also rules governing awarding jobs within the UK to non-UK/EU people. The company would also then be the ones sponsoring the visa process for him which can be costly and difficult and many firms are reluctant to do that, so he would be brought in at best under a temporary visa.

    Sorry - someone posted a question about parental sponsorship and I cant now find it. But the answer is no - they are not allowed to sponsor you and if they give you that 62,500 there are rules around that too, one for example, that it has to be in your account for the preceding 6 months before you apply, and needs to sit there (sort of - there are rules around this too) for the 5 year process it takes to gain permanent leave to remain.

    But why couldn't just you turn up on a tourist visa then overstay it, they can't just kick you all out of your own country?

    They wouldnt kick the Brit out, they would kick the spouse out. Pretty brutally too, if you look at the case of Marianne Bailey for example.

    Just label the action as 'racism' and the UK government will cave immediately

    I already played that card. It didnt work.

    There are a lot of lazy Brits sponging off the system - no doubt about that. There are also a lot of immigrants coming in (from the EU) to take advantage of the system. No doubt about that either. The whole point of this law is to prevent people becoming a drain on the system. So why not simply prevent anyone returning to the UK with their non-EU spouse from claiming any benefits for 5 years until their visa is permanent? Allow them school and healthcare only and pay for private healthcare for the one non-EU member of the family. Then no one is a drain on the system. Yes, private healthcare would be expensive and unfair, but still a lot fairer than not being able to return home at all!

    This was one of the proposals I put forward in one of the endless committee meetings. You are going to love the response: "That is not fair on the poorer returnees who couldnt afford private healthcare". What - as opposed to not being able to return at all?!!!

    One year I went home for 3 months and tried to sign up my British-birth certificate British-passport-holding children at the local GP surgery, just in case something happened with them. I wasnt allowed to because I had been honest enough to say we were staying temporarily, even though it was 3 months. The woman at the desk was really upset when she told me that had I been from the EU she could have signed me on immediately. Budt my own British children couldnt because they had come from outside the EU! Something is VERY wrong. I was a 40% taxpayer before I left. If they would allow my husband and I to return, we would have willingly paid taxes, had good jobs (because of our skillset) and never been a "burden" on society. But they wouldnt let us in. The US on the other hand, have welcomed us with open arms and we are happily living here now and paying our not inconsiderable taxes to them. But one day I would like to return home. Seems I cant unless I get a divorce!

  • 4

    zichi

    I think this is just a rightwing conspiracy. The numbers of immigrants entering the UK is lower, or at least not in the sort of numbers suggested by the gov't.

    There are less than 2 million people from the EU living in Britain. Not a single one are immigrants. Compared that number with the total number of the entire EU population. I don't know the number without checking, but 2 million would be extremely low. The majority of EU people don't want to live in the UK.

    Others like those from Canada, Australia and New Zealand are free to enter and work.

    The number of asylum seekers has dropped from about 18,000 pa in 2000 to about 6,000 last year.

    But if we are to believe some of the media, they say something like 400,000 people a year are entering Britain?

    In the year ending 2012, 166,000 people arrived in Britain from the EU but 90,000 left making a net increase of 70,000. For the same year. The number arriving from non EU countries were 296,000 but 112,000 left making a net increase of 184,000. 232,000 entered for study.

    I was unable to find the figures for the number of people arriving with a spouse visa.

    The largest section of all people in Britain claiming unemployment and social benefits are the unemployed, low paid and poor British people. The largest section of people using the national health service and those receiving a pension are the Brits themselves.

  • -3

    tmarie

    Open, I'm not the one ostracizing anyone. I merely gave an example of how these laws are easily created. The link? The link is that many Britons IN Briton are tired of reading about all the benefit schemes and the like from poorer EU countries/citizens who have a free pass into the UK. They are more than happy to let a law like this come in without understanding that it hurts Britons abroad, not the immigrants they want to stop from coming to the UK. This law isn't rational, it isn't stopping the influx of "undesirables" and is supported because by many people just want something, anything done about the immigration "problem" that the media goes on and on about.

  • 5

    nandakandamanda

    Strangely enough my Japanese wife usually gets preferential treatment by the staff at places like the local council offices. She generally gets a much better deal than I do, even over the phone.

    Luckily she has kept her residence visa valid, but I feel so sorry and embarrassed for others getting caught on this new scheme.

  • 5

    kokosama

    This is terrible news. We have been saving like crazy o buy a business and home in the UK for a number of years now.

    Any hope for change. My daughter who was born in Japan is severely disabled so will go straight on to the NHS when she returns and requires regular checks and a lot of medicine.

    Haven't told my wife about this yet. We used to live in the UK and always planned to return. I don't recommend an international marriage to any one if it is so difficult to thrive.

    What a total lack of respect for the modern global citizens of Britain. I had hoped to buy an existing business in the travel industry where I have qualifications and experience and expand in to a ground handler catering to independent Japanese( not only) tourists wishing to enjoy the UK thereby directly benefitting the economy as a result of my experiences of living in Japan and my wife will assist me while we care for our dependent daughter.

    What can we do?

    Really appreciate some on this thread who are actively trying to get proper answers to this insulting law. There must be a small army of indignant Brits around the world who are facing the sane dilemma.

    Absolutely devastated

  • 5

    zichi

    People who have applied for a spouse visa are also experiencing long delays which in itself is causing its own set of hardships. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/08/immigration-marriage

    Tens of thousands of British born people with a foreign spouse will be forced into exile by their own country.

  • -17

    eriktellier

    Every british Citizen should be sent back to England, they are worse than Romanians for Japan.

  • 2

    ChibaChick

    kokosama - my advice to you is if you ahve been saving like crazy to use those funds to support your visa application (you will need 62,500). Then, once you are in the UK, find a job and build up to (if you dont start on) a salary of 18,600. Then you can us those funds to continue supporting the 5 year process for your wifes visa.

    Your daughter, assuming you are British, is a British citizen, and therefore entitled to NHS care (generally the NHS are pretty good about giving care to ANY child, even an illegal, who turns up at ER anyway). That is the best path for you as I see it.

    If anyone wants more info, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (www.jcwi.org.uk) has a lot more info. They are the main group I was working with and they organised a lot of the meetings/protests etc last June/July when this law came into effect.

    I would also advise writing to your local MP for your hometown. Mine was excellent, but they are a bit hit and miss from what I have heard. You may get a good one who will support you.

  • 2

    wipeout

    I also gave you the Roma as an example because of EU nations are also trying to limit movement of certain groups/folks from certain countries and they are one one such group.

    The link you provide mentions only countries that are not full EU members.

    First point: new visa rules are proposed for those countries, not for what you call "groups/folks". There will be no rule that specifically refers to Roma, but there would be rules applied to certain countries. Mostly, these are countries of piffling size.

    Second point. Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Greece and Poland are already members of the Schengen area and all those countries plus Romania and Bulgaria are full members of the EU. They have significant Roma populations, as do other countries all across Europe.

    Other than through prejudice, there's no way to single out Roma as eligible/not eligible to live and work in Britain, France, or wherever else they choose to move. A Hungarian can move to Britain. Whether that person is Roma, half-Roma, or has Roma ancestry that they are unaware of is irrelevant, and so it should be. What is relevant is their citizenship.

  • 5

    kokosama

    Thanks Chibachick.

    I am British. From the Home Counties and wish to return home with my family. We have the money in question but we intend to use it to start a business, not to put in trust as a safeguard for the British government.

    Thanks so much for responding with advice.

  • 4

    billyshears

    I guess someone is going to have to try a test case at the European Court of Human Rights. From what I've read, they love to infuriate the British government.

  • 4

    zichi

    @kokosama

    from what I've read on these laws I don't think you'll have the option of starting a business in order to secure a spouse visa? I understand you want to start a business but people who are self employed, even when earning two or three times the required salary have not been able to support a spouse visa application because according to the gov't, the earnings of the self employed can fluctuate.

    In addition, there's a 60 month cycle before the full residence visa is finally given. First on application, again after 30 months and again after 60 months. At each stage the means financial support needs to be shown.

    Even if working, you must first be working for 6 months within the UK before making the application.

    I don't know what happens with the spouse visa if someone loses their job during the 60 month cycle.

    For many, it all very depressing.

    If I'm wrong on any of these points then hopefully I'll be corrected?

  • 6

    Thunderbird2

    I hope there IS a test case at the European Court of Human Rights. If they can keep a terrorist from being deported I'm sure they can allow couples where one half is a British national to live with their non-EU spouse/partner in their own bloody country.

    British people on this site, here is a petition I found: http://www.change.org/petitions/theresa-may-new-uk-immigration-laws-are-tearing-families-apart-change-them-now

  • 3

    zichi

    Not only do you have to show financial support for a spouse visa, but you must also provide "suitable accommodation" but I'm not sure what means but it does involve an inspection before that box is clicked off.

    Application for the spouse visa also requires the spouse to an English test.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/09/uk-australia-spouse-visa

  • 4

    ka_chan

    This is what you get with a "Conservative" government. But if what people are saying are true, you can divorce and go back to the UK and get on the "dole"?
    Here is something from the Guardian.....

    A dossier drawn from submissions by 175 individual families affected by the rule includes the case of an Australian who works as a £250,000-a-year chief financial officer of a multinational company in Dubai and has a £3.5m property in Britain. He is not eligible to live with his British wife and children in the UK under the new rule, because she is not employed and his overseas earnings do not count.

    The inquiry report by the all-party parliamentary group on migration, published on Monday, says the requirement that only the earnings of the UK sponsor can usually be counted has meant that high-earning individuals and families with significant resources have been prevented from living in Britain.

    Liberal Democrat home affairs spokeswoman, Baroness Sally Hamwee, who chaired the inquiry, said it had also shown that a previous route under which elderly relatives, including grandparents, were cared for in Britain by their families had now all but closed.

    Seems like the UK is "cutting it's nose to spite it's face".

  • 8

    Ah_so

    The real motive , I believe, behind this legislation was to limit the influx of poorly educated men and women via arranged marriages from the Indian sub-continent. For example, the first generation Bangladeshi family marries off their 2nd generation teenage daughter to a family friend from back home who now gets permanent residence and a working permit in the UK. Soon after, his family can follow with a visa for dependents.

    Of course, the government cannot say its true motive, or target the law to specific countries, so everyone gets caught in the net of an awful law.

  • 5

    Gobshite

    The real motive , I believe, behind this legislation was to limit the influx of poorly educated men and women via arranged marriages from the Indian sub-continent.

    Of course it is, but it's not "politically correct" to make such rules, therefore the UK government blindly excludes everyone equally. Cases like those mentioned above will be just collateral damage.

    Its payback for the many years that JP allowed JPs to keep children of foreign fathers without a fair hearing.

    Wtf are you talking about? This isn't about Japan, it is about all non EU citizens.

  • 2

    ChibaChick

    kokosama - you only need the 62,500 to make the initial application. It doesnt get taken away or put in trust. Then you have to reapply (I think 1 year or 2 years later, but I may be wrong - I forget the exact time period). So I meant, use that 62,500 initially, then use it to buy the business, and have the business pay you a "salary" of 18,600 until your spouse visa comes through. It doesnt matter if the business runs at a loss as a result - just your salary level. Hope this helps!

    Ah-so - yes, you are basically right. That has been a huge problem in the UK over the years.

  • 2

    Citizen2012

    I suggest some "shocking" active action like mothers and children enchaining themselves at the door of every UK embassy asking for the right to join their husband and father because this is so wrong at every level and is not something out of a civilized country... the world must know about this and shocking picture can make sometimes things to move.

  • -1

    koiwaicoffee

    kimuzukashiiiiiJUL. 24, 2013 - 08:05AM JST I massively agree that the UK should be doing things like this. They are overrun.

    But why not start with all the Europeans, and Africans who come in, use our medical services as health tourists and then bring all their families with them?

    Do you understand that "Europeans" do have the same rights as British citizens? Do you know you are into the European Union don't you? Or are you a better human being than "Europeans and Africans"?

  • 0

    koiwaicoffee

    kimuzukashiiiiiJUL. 24, 2013 - 08:05AM JST But why not start with all the Europeans, and Africans who come in, use our medical services as health tourists and then bring all their families with them?

    Do you understand that "Europeans" do have the same rights as British citizens? Do you know you are into the European Union don't you? Or are you a better human being than "Europeans and Africans"?

  • 1

    spiddygy

    I wonder how many people travel to the UK just for the welfare benefits, whether Citizens or non-citizens. When I was traveling there as a tourist, first thing they mentioned was welfare. It was really awkward. I did some research on their economy, they have a public debt of around 512% of their GDP. Normally a country would start coming up with these kind of reforms when it is going bankrupt. The government and experts of propaganda are very good on putting the blame on foreign nationals, yet if you look at the truth, most foreign nationals including illegal immigrants earn their own living through handwork. They are putting all these conditions probably because they can't even pay their own pension. It is a very ridiculous thing to say. I did lose my interest in ever traveling to that country again.

  • -2

    toshiko

    USA people who marry foreigners just live in USA. There is no income requirement. I guess because people do mot marry income.

  • 3

    FightingViking

    @Piotr Gierszewski

    Dutch universities to reject students who want to visit Denmark

    I think you may mean "Holland" - or the "Netherlands" ? ("Dutch" is not the same as "Danish").

  • 6

    pumpkin31526

    I`m in the same boat, been in JP nine years with JP wife and two children. Was about to return home after ten years here but now its all but impossible. Find a job at 23k or have 68k savings what the heck. Would mean being separated from my family for a whole year, we have never been apart for more than a day. I would like to put the idiot politicians in my shoes and see how they would enjoy being locked out of their own country....Im beginning to remember why I left the UK in the first place.

  • 3

    zichi

    @KOKOSAMA

    For those British citizens who want to return to the UK with a non British spouse, children, and don't want to go the route of having a job paying £18,000 pa or savings of £62,000 then this video shows how to do it.

    In the UK you would have to have worked for 6 months, but this way you only have to work for 3 months.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imsGJlXEGNk&sns=em

  • 0

    Sue Jones

    @toshiko

    USA people who marry foreigners just live in USA. There is no income requirement. I guess because people do mot marry income.

    This is not true. The income requirement for a US citizen sponsoring their foreign spouse with 2 kids is almost $30,000

  • 1

    edmundintokyo

    What's happened here is that David Cameron wanted to look like they were doing something about immigration, so he made a target based on net immigration, ie the difference between the number of people coming in and the number going out. The hitch is that he hardly has control of any of the things he'd made a target about, because the main drivers are British people retiring to warmer, cheaper countries and EU people coming into Britain to work, which can't be restricted because the UK is in the Single Market. People were probably imagining that he'd be stopping low-wage people from poor, non-EU countries moving to Britain to work, but Gordon Brown had already done that back in 2008 when he realized the immigration issue was killing him with working class voters, so there wasn't much low-hanging fruit left for Cameron to pick.

    That meant the new rules had to fall on the very limited number of people he could control, people coming in from outside the EU with their families. Cases like the one described here are a big win for David Cameron, because his net immigration numbers include the British person and both the kids, so he's keeping four people out of the numbers he'll fight the election on.

  • 0

    OldHawk

    toshiko:

    USA people who marry foreigners just live in USA.

    A friend of mine here in the U.S. is having a very difficult time getting his wife's visa approved. Meanwhile, amnesty is being considered for people who have come here illegally or overstayed their visas.

  • -3

    toshiko

    @Sue Jones: I just called local office of US Senator HR's office and then Rep JH's office to know which year such income requirement law was enacted. Because I see many casino workers who have foreign spouses and children but do not make $30,000 a year. all over in Las Vegas/ Too many Disabled Veteran whose income is only DVA pensions and they bring Vietnamese, etc spouses. One of my daughters organization help to get their foreign tongue spouses to get some jobs in casinos. Well, HR' and JH;s office did research and no such law you mentioned reacted. Where you got your info? $30,000 is very heavy income.

  • 1

    Steven C. Schulz

    Create a shell corporation in Bermuda or some other locality with no extraterritorial tax, have it open a satellite "office" in the UK and the spouse can take the "job" it offers on a standard work visa.

    There are legalistic hoops, but I think it would be much cheaper.

    Ref. Home Office - Representative of an Overseas Business

  • -1

    kurisupisu

    The meaning of citizenship and the de facto relationship with the state just boils down to one thing.........

  • -3

    toshiko

    @Oldhawk: Sorry if your friend has difficulty. but I'd bet that is not for income requirement in USA. IIs your friend's spouse is in jail or have some serious criminal history? Which state your friend lives? Each state has different laws. Are they married? In USA or in some other country? I wrote about USA. I don't know about other countries/

  • 1

    sushilover

    chibachick, edmund, wipeout, zichi, et al... you seem to know what you're talking about. Do you know any websites, organisations, advice phone lines etc where you can get information/advice on specific individual scenarios?

  • 6

    zichi

    PaulJ

    I didn't think the BBC were sinister in the video by showing a muslim woman......

  • 0

    Star-viking

    PaulJ

    Horrible, horrible, horrible law. My wife has been on the wrong end of the stick from the nasty UK immigration before we were married. I am a British passport holder but born in Ireland and both my parents are Irish passport holders, I hope this is enough to be able to go back home with my wife. We are thinking about going back to N.I. to live in a couple of years.

    You should be careful of taking the Irish Passport route if you come from Northern Ireland and want to return to live there. You would probably be considered a dual national, so the rules of the Southern government would mean nothing. Applying for an Irish passport could also mean you could not take the Surinder Singh route in the Republic, as you wouldn't be a foreign national there.

  • -3

    sushilover

    Surely, as soon as the uk govt wakes up to the Surinder Singh loophole, they'll just close it!

  • 4

    zichi

    Star-viking

    No, an Irish passport is a good way if you are entitled to one. You just leave the UK on your British passport, which in Northern Ireland is just a trip across the border. When you reenter the UK you do so with the Irish passport and thus an EU person which means you don't require a spouse visa.

    I'm in the process of applying for an Irish passport myself.

    It not about the rules of Ireland, its about entering the UK has an EU national. You can take the "Surinder Singh route" in any of the EU countries.

  • 0

    Star-viking

    I'm not sure the Surinder Singh route works like that.

    You have to get an EEA Family Permit to take advantage of the Surinder Singh route, and work for 3 months in an EEA country of which you are not a citizen. Therefore if a British Citizen gets an Irish passport they will be closing off the Surinder Singh route, as far as the Republic of Ireland is concerned.

    Northern Irish born people are automatically British Citizens from birth. So before they apply for an Irish passport to take the Surinder Singh route they should take professional advice.

    Also, if you take the action you suggest, Immigration will note the different use of passports and I'd guess you would still be classified as a British Citizen (unless you give that up) and you would be back to square one.

    Also note Surinder Singh only works if you get the EEA Family Permit and have an above-the-board job in the EEA country you choose for at least 3 months with your family in tow.

  • -6

    Cos

    However - a Greek, Turkish, or Romanian child can come right in and pay university fees a third of what our children would have to pay.

    "Oh, yeah : let's find a scapegoat... not me, I have my privilege...". You know what ? In a way, I'm really sorry for many nice people that get trapped by a stupid administrative system. I know what that's like. But reading you, Chiba, I can't help thinking it's not totally bad that supremacist, hypocritical Brits get to drink a sip of their own potion. Because the politicians are doing what short-sighted persons like you have been asking for a long time : "Hey, close the gates...". . British humor : they've decided to serve the askers in first.

    One year I went home for 3 months and tried to sign up at the local GP surgery, just in case something happened with them. I wasnt allowed

    Normal. You were just trying to prove something.

    to because I had been honest enough to say we were staying temporarily, even though it was 3 months.

    You had no need, being covered by Japanese Social Security for the routine stuff, and you normally had some travel insurance and assistance covering in case anything happened on your holiday. Anyway, they would have taken them for emergency. You'd have said you were Turkish as you seem to think they get freebies in all shops in UK, just showing a card of Profiting European Citizens...

    Brits are free to move around, they don't nearly as much as many others.

    Brits are the people that move the most, in the world. They are the majority of those that profited of the EU to go and get benefits from other EU countries where they don't work nor contribute to society or anything. In the EU 1,4 million Brit expats are getting pensions, receiving free health care and elderly care In those lower European countries... They went to buy cheaper houses, to be served at cheaper rates by these people that are.poor , and to use these poorer country's health care without waiting lists. OK, that's the deal of E.U. You'd think they could be a minimum grateful for the system. Not at all. Up tp 60% would favor UK leaving E.U.

    So why not draw it in front of all the Europeans who have never set foot in the UK let alone paid taxes there who are coming in in droves. Answer - because they cant.

    Yes, you can, You can leave and close the door. That's the current project. If you could vote, you'd support it.

    These elite-educated individuals signed us away and it never seemed to occur to them that people from a bunch of poorer countries would be attracted by our benefits system and "free" healthcare.

    If UK gets out of the EU, Spain, for instance, will not retain the 900 000 to 1 million of Brit residents that are using their Social Security card more than their credit cards to contribute to local economy. And that another hint showing that UK could let the unfortunate expats stranded wherever they happened to fall. Like : you left, we no longer know you. Maybe they can cancel your passports at distance, like the US did for Snowden.

  • 2

    ChibaChick

    sushilover - I would recommend the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants for starters. They were VERY vocal at the meetings I attended, and have a lot of good info on their website.

    Beyond that if you do a search on the Home Office website, you should be able to locate the document they produced when it came into law last year (sorry, dont have a link to that).

    I would also recommend your family writing to their MP on your behalf, and, if all else fails, contacting an immigration lawyer - but that is bound to be expensive so I would use that as a last resort.

    Sorry - wish I could help more. But the JCWI are a good place to start.

  • 0

    Zenpun

    zichi JUL. 24, 2013 - 09:04PM JST

    According your second post, you have never been to Australia. You known a few female spouses enjoying their new live in Oz. Let me tell you one more thing. Someone who was a doctor or dentist from Japan will not become immediately practice their carrer in Australia. Neither UK. Many Japanese professional can speak good command of English. It does not mean they can beat the native speakers in very touch labor market. Life in Australia is not everything is wine and rose for new comers.

    I have seen with my eyes for former Japanese professor worked as kitchen hand in restaurant. J spouse have to think twice before risking their careers for going there. It is not the land of opportunity as US or UK.

  • -1

    Nathaw

    BurakuminDes JUL. 24, 2013 - 11:42PM JSTI

    I know of many Japanese who have migrated to Australia either independently or with spouse. Here are a selection of their full-time jobs: High School teacher; investment broker; scientist; chef; banker; travel agent; homemaker. Yes - they all have good business english - and worked hard to attain it. As Zichi theorised - there are many opportunities for skilled Japanese migrants to Australia. I think it could be the UKs loss to miss out on quality skilled spousal migrants.

    Australia is struggling to foot the bill for non stop flowing asylum seekers let alone providing opportunities for new J spouses. As I posted before someone who was a doctor or dentist in japan will not become doctor or dentist in Oz overnight. There are some barriers. Japanese male have engineering talent such as Electronic, Mechatronic and Nano technology. However they are not useful for mining and agriculture base Australian economy. Australia is not the manufacturing nation like Japan. Japanese professional command of English is limited comparing with native speakers from Ireland, US, UK, NZ and South Africa. Even Indian and Chinese are better than Japanese in English.

    Some Japanese are doing well in Oz.. However if you calculate with the whole settlers population, those success stories are very few. How many renowned world wide famed Tetsura in Australia. There is only one. He was not trained fusion chef however he has a talent for mixing french style and Japanese presentation of food. Not all J chef will become like him.

    Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe and Oliver Newton Jones are Australian born actors and artist. For them Oz market and opportunities are limited. They have to establish their career in US for fame and fortune. It is true for Kylie Minouge who has settled in UK for advancement. There is no other way around celebrities are moving into Oz.

  • 3

    edmundintokyo

    @sushilover, it may not be possible for the UK to close the Surinder Singh route. The ability to move around within the EU with your family is a core part of the single market. The UK can't do anything like that unless it leaves the EU, and probably the EEA too.

    As I mentioned up-thread, one of the main reasons the UK government are hitting families from outside the EU so hard is that it's one of the only migration categories that they can actually do anything about.

  • 2

    wipeout

    One more thing that is relevant to British abroad, though of probably of less immediate significance as far as most are concerned: beyond a certain number of years of continuous non-residence in Britain (currently 15, I think), you are not eligible to vote in British general elections.

    So for some of you, if this law bothers you, your voice won't be heard in the general (or local) elections, and it seems highly unlikely that you will be taking part in any in-out referendum either (if that day ever comes).

    Does anyone know what this means when it comes to writing to "your" MP? I assume that if you are not eligible to elect the MP, then you are not considered a constituent.

  • 4

    zichi

    Star-viking

    we need to clear up the confusion for our own sakes and for those reading the comments.

    A British born person currently living outside of the UK with a foreign spouse wants to relocation back to the UK.

    (1)They can apply for a foreign spouse visa but must meet all the conditions to obtain one, and it will take 60 months.

    The British citizen must have worked in the UK for 6 months prior to the application. They must be earning £18,600 pa to sponsor the visa, and more if non British children are part of the family. Otherwise they must show they have savings of £62,500. For some people not a problem but for many it will be. http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Spouse_Immigration-UK

    (2)What are the alternatives to the above? The one which all British born citizens can use is the "Surinder Singh route". This means going with your family to another EU country, find accommodation and a job for 3 months. The type of job does not matter. Keep all the rent receipts, pay slips etc. Then return to the UK with your family has an EU national. http://eumovement.wordpress.com/2007/04/15/requirements-for-a-short-stay-visa-family-of-eu-citizen/

    (3)Another alternative available to some is to obtain a passport of another EU country, like Ireland but people may be able to obtain one from other countries like France, Germany, Poland, Italy. Return with your family to the UK on your British passport. Leave the UK with your family, even a short trip to France or whatever, using your new country passport. Return to the UK with that passport and now your are an EU citizen living in the UK. If you really want to you can also surrender your British citizenship but I don't think you need too.

    http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Frequently%20asked%20Questions%20about%20Irish%20Citizenship%20and%20Naturalisation

    You only have to decide which one of (1) (2) and (3) are best for your family situation. http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/blog/2012/08/new-family-migration-rules-what-you-can-do-if-you-are-affected

  • 3

    edmundintokyo

    @wipeout, You probably have a constituency where you were last registered, or where your family lives. You could write to either of them - they won't know how long you've been outside the UK, and I doubt they'd check the electoral register either, as they have better things to do and people come on and off it between elections in any case. There's no rule about who's allowed to write to what MP, and even if they don't want your vote they'll want your family's votes.

  • 2

    sushilover

    the UK government are hitting families from outside the EU so hard is that it's one of the only migration categories that they can actually do anything about.

    Edmund,

    I've thought this all along; the irony of targetting people from a "rich" country like Japan to keep out, married to BRITISH citizens, while having to let in everyone/anyone from poorer countries with no connection to the country other than being in an artificial entity called the EU. Sooo British. Thanks, EU.

    Come on Mr Cameron. Think of something morally defensible, please.

    And, Chibachick, many thanks. I'll buy you a pint in the Dog 'n Duck if/when...

  • 3

    zichi

    Star-viking

    the situation with an Irish passport is a good one because of what could be called a special relationship between Britain and Ireland there are far less restrictions which existed even before the EU.

    Its very easy for Irish citizens to obtain British citizenship. Both Irish and British citizens travelling between the countries do not need a passport, just some sort of ID. Even an electricity bill will do. http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/moving_abroad/freedom_of_movement_within_the_eu/common_travel_area_between_ireland_and_the_uk.html

  • 5

    edmundintokyo

    I've thought this all along; the irony of targetting people from a "rich" country like Japan to keep out, married to BRITISH citizen...

    Actually that doesn't quite capture the full irony of it, which is that the policy is keeping out the British citizens too, and the British citizens it keeps out will be counted in the numbers Cameron uses to "prove" the success of his policy...

  • 1

    wipeout

    Edmund, thanks. I figured something similar - that they could check the electoral register, but would be hardly likely to for every letter they receive from constituents. Perhaps a little more likely for communications they receive from people obviously living abroad. It may also depend quite a bit on the individual MP - some are a bit more devoted to public service than others, to put it mildly.

  • 3

    edmundintokyo

    @wipeout, if you're directly affected by this you might want to talk to your local paper as well. Every local paper in the UK would probably be quite happy to run a story on the lines of this one, but with the names and pictures changed to those of a local person who went to local school X etc etc etc.

  • 6

    Skeeter27

    I am an American living in Japan, however I was just talking to a British friend of mine yesterday about this same problem. He is engaged right now to an American citizen but they both live here in Japan. Because of that they cannot return to Great Britain or United States because he and his fiancée have no desire to live in United States. However they would like to live in the UK. But because of the new laws he would have to have a substantial amount of savings or have a good job paying approximately 4 million yen a year to start with... I honestly thought that moving to the United States was a pain in the butt. However, I think that moving to Great Britain is also a pain in the butt and it doesn't take nearly as long to get a spouse visa for the United States and it takes even less time for people to move here to Japan!

    Country should make it easier for its own citizens to return home with a spouse not make it more difficult!

  • 1

    sushilover

    The strength of feeling on this, by British people married to Japanese people, seems obviously to be very strong. Is there anyone out there who is savvy with organising pressure campaigns - online petition to UK govt., petition to the British Embassy in Tokyo, letter to the British PM, even a peaceful family-friendly march to the British Embassy in Tokyo..??

    Should I go back to MY country, with my BRITISH children, and my Japanese wife, who has a Masters degree from London University, TOEIC 990, Eiken level 1, GCSE in English, and just passed the (racist) LIFE in the UK test with a 100% score (she knows more about UK than I do! I couldn't pass it!)?

    Or should we get on a boat and head for Australia...? (I have visions of the UK govt putting all non-EU or non-Commonwealth immigrants on an abandoned oil rig in the North Sea (the closest we can get to Christmas Island))

  • 2

    zichi

    sushilover

    just passed the (racist) LIFE in the UK test with a 100% score (she knows more about UK than I do! I couldn't pass it!)?

    Told my wife about the Life in UK test, but I'm sure she would pass with flying colors but if I had to take it probably a whole different outcome?

  • 0

    cracaphat

    The wife and I came back from Sydney in May from a one week holiday.Her Japanese friend married a Japanese guy 10 years ago in Sydney and are both permanent residents.They run a restaurant and are doing fine.But they said most Japanese have left because the travel industry collapsed.I mean when did you hear Japanese going to Oz? So the big Japanese travel companies bailed,leaving little work for Japanese there. The bubble has well and truly burst for Japanese who want to live in Sydney.

  • 1

    Star-viking

    Zichi,

    True on the special relationship - Irish Citizens living in the UK have virtually all the rights of British Citizens. Very handy, a pal of mine is in the British Civil Service, despite being an Irish Citizen.

    Another alternative available to some is to obtain a passport of another EU country, like Ireland but people may be able to obtain one from other countries like France, Germany, Poland, Italy. Return with your family to the UK on your British passport. Leave the UK with your family, even a short trip to France or whatever, using your new country passport. Return to the UK with that passport and now your are an EU citizen living in the UK. If you really want to you can also surrender your British citizenship but I don't think you need too.

    This could be dodgy - as you could be seen as a foreign EU national, but a British National with dual citizenship. Could make a difference. I think this is really one for the Immigration Lawyers.

  • -1

    Cos

    Otherwise they must show they have savings of £62,500.

    So put 10 million yen on an account and wait 6 months to move ? That sucks, but that's very far from the impossibility the article suggests. You can all do it. The SS route is good for young couples, not for families.

    For some people not a problem

    In some countries, surely. But Japanese-Brit couples that can't find to borrow that sum ? The blocked caution is classic for exchange students in Europe. I helped many to do paperwork. Often they need 3 million yen, in addition of the hardly saved money for their fees and stay. I've seen thousands of baito freeters finding it. Apparently, in cases like that, Japanese relatives and acquaintances can be very supportive.

    And what about the issue of reciprocity?

    Japan has that type of rules. Always had them.

  • 2

    zichi

    On 5 July 2013 the High Court delivered its judgment on a legal challenge to the minimum income threshold for spouses/partners and children applying in the family route.

    The Home Office has paused decision-making on some spouse/partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications to enable us to consider the implications of the judgment.

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsfragments/87-min-income-threshold

    US-born immigration expert Dr Thom Brooks, of Durham University, said the new Life in the UK test concentrates too heavily on history and not enough on practical knowledge. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/17/british-citizenship-test-unfit_n_2896938.html

  • 0

    Jonathan Harston

    And what happens if you're happily settled in the UK, but get divorced? Does the non-UK ex-partner get thrown out of the country?

  • 0

    Ah_so

    And what happens if you're happily settled in the UK, but get divorced? Does the non-UK ex-partner get thrown out of the country?

    If they have been married for 2 years you get permanent leave to remain, even if the marriage fails.

  • 1

    zichi

    PaulJ You can apply for Irish nationality, and in fact everyone born in NI before 2005, are Irish citizens.

  • 2

    Star-viking

    Cos,

    So put 10 million yen on an account and wait 6 months to move ? That sucks, but that's very far from the impossibility the article suggests. You can all do it. The SS route is good for young couples, not for families.

    Before I had my kid my wife and I could not put down 10 million yen for anything - we didn't have the cash. Now we have a kid we definitely couldn't put up that kind of cash.

  • -1

    Sue Jones

    @ toshiko. Remember we are talking about bringing foreign spouses to the US. If they are already living in the US it's no problem. Also the number I cited was in 48 states for sponsoring 3 people (spouse & 2 kids). I think the number for just a spouse is around 19,000.

    It's also possible to have a co-sponsor which seems not to be possible in the UK

    Regarding US.

    http://www.1-800-usa-immigration.com/blog/2012/03/income-requirements-for-fiance-and-marriage-visa-processing/

  • 2

    zichi

    PaulJ Most of us are shocked by these new laws. You can enter the UK has an Irish citizen without a passport but getting one is probably the best to do.

  • 0

    Star-viking

    Zichi,

    PaulJ You can apply for Irish nationality, and in fact everyone born in NI before 2005, are Irish citizens.

    It might seem like a quibble, but anyone born on the island of Ireland before 2005 is "entitled to be an Irish Citizen", not "is an Irish Citizen".

    PaulJ

    I am an Irish citizen, I don't have to apply for citizenship, just a passport. I really don't care what colour my passport is, but I am considering taking my family back to the UK permanently in a couple of years and it is crazy that I couldn't live in say England with my wife if I have a British passport. I think a lot of us can't get our heads around this nonsense law.

    Well get some legal advice before getting your Irish passport. It would be great if it worked easily, but you wouldn't want to be in a situation where you and your family have to stay in the South. It would be do-able if your family lived near the Norn Iron border, but if you want to live in GB it would be tough.

  • 3

    oikawa

    Adding to what Zichi mentioned, I found this

    https://www.ein.org.uk/news/high-court-finds-family-immigration-rules-are-not-unlawful-earnings-threshold-could-amount-disp

    "Although the court did not strike down the rules as such, its declaratory judgment is a green light to foreign spouses who previously thought they had no prospect of being allowed to live together with their spouses in the UK to apply for permission to enter. After this judgment, many are likely to succeed in being allowed to enter under Art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights even though they cannot satisfy the harsh requirements of the rules especially if, for example, the UK sponsoring spouse earns above the national minimum wage, there is reliable ‘third party support’, there is reliable evidence that the foreign spouse or partner will be working in the UK, or where children are likely to be affected so that is not in their best interests for the foreign spouse to be refused entry. "

    So it seems there is hope as it's basically against human rights. When these laws were first introduced last year an immigration lawyer I spoke to said she expected the financial requirements would eventually be challenge in court and rescinded, it was just a question of when., Let's hope the time is now.

  • 3

    Robnao

    As a Brit married to a Japanese who has been back in the UK since 1998 I can fully sympathise with the indignation that many feel about being caught up in a law which has been designed primarily (as pointed out by posters above) to attempt to limit the practice of extended families coming to the UK from the sub-continent, and a lesser extent Africa, following marriage to a UK passport holder.

    Given that immigration is such a genuine concern here at the moment though, the government has to be seen to be doing something and as it has it's hands tied by the EU on European immigration, it does mean that citizens of other G8 countries will be caught up in the net.

    The alternative would be to have some countries somehow ringfenced from the law - but I have a feeling that it would be many of the posters who are venting their frustration at the governemnt introducing the law who would be most vocal in claiming it was racist if the countries which are the real targets of the law were so openly identified.

    Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

    However, one thing I would point out to all those who say that the sums involved are preventing them coming back to the UK, is that the salaries quoted are the kind of sums you are going to have to earn (backed up by savings) in order to live here now. £18,600 won't even cover your rent in London, and whilst £62,000 in savings is indeed a large sum, it will only make for a roughly 25% deposit on an average house which you won't be able to get a mortgage on if your are earning at the circa £19K level.

    From the financial perspective therefore the figures make sense - you do need to have this kind of income (at least) to support your family in the UK. Where it is wrong is that the requirement for the job to be held for a year rather than a verifiable job offer - as this is what will potentially split families up. For what it's worth I would suggest that any lobbying of MPs focusses on this aspect rather than the money.

    I do wish all those hoping to return to the UK with their Japanese spouses the very best of luck - but wanted to let you know how it is on the ground here.

  • 0

    Star-viking

    Paul,

    I hope I am wrong, but since 2005 the "entitled to be an Irish Citizen" has been part of the Irish Nationality Laws pertaining to Northern Ireland. I think it came from the GFA repeal of Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution.

    You also have to consider the fact that for the purposes of UK Law, the Republic of Ireland is not a foreign country. that comes from the Ireland Act of 1949. You might be treated the same as someone from England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland as an Irish passport holder.

    I hope I'm wrong, as I'm in a very similar situation to yourself - but there has been no word of this "Irish passport route" on the web, and given the number of UK nationals who are eligible for an Irish Passport I find that strange.

  • 1

    zichi

    Star-viking

    Under Irish law, all people born in Northern Ireland before 2005 are Irish citizens and don't need to apply for nationality. They can just apply for an Irish passport. From 2005, people have to go the way of descent. Mother/father, grandmother/grandfather to be able first to obtain nationality and then for an Irish passport.

    If PaulJ decided he wanted an Irish passport he wouldn't have to remain in the south like you have claimed. He and his spouse and children would be free to travel to, live in and work in any part of the EU including the whole of Britain. In fact, Irish people don't even need a passport to enter the UK, any kind of ID will do. Irish people in the UK are also entitled to claim all the benefits which a British citizen can claim, without exception.

    EU laws trump all British laws.

  • -2

    toshiko

    @Sue Jones: married people are not treated like people who want to work in USA. Income requirement? Not to married people. American citizen Veterans are free to bring their foreign born family even he has only pension from DVA and does not have jobs. I already checked this. USA is decreasing oversea troops. American citizens are still free to bring their foreign born family to USA. Green cards differ from work permit green cards.

  • 1

    zichi

    Star-viking

    Ireland is a fully independent country, at least since what 1921, with its own laws. You seem to fail on that point and you also seem to fail to understand that EU laws trump the laws of any single EU country.

    I have read several stories in the media about people who have failed to obtain a spouse visa going the way of an Irish passport instead. If it applies to an Irish passport then it equally applies to any EU passport.

  • 0

    ChibaChick

    And what happens if you're happily settled in the UK, but get divorced? Does the non-UK ex-partner get thrown out of the country?

    This was another issue that came up in the endless meetings, specifically that a non-EU spouse may be forced to stay with a violent or abusive UK spouse because of the visa. They said that once the individual has permanent leave to remain it is a non issue, and meanwhile they will look into the situation on a "case by case" basis....

  • -2

    OldHawk

    toshiko:

    Sorry if your friend has difficulty. but I'd bet that is not for income requirement in USA. IIs your friend's spouse is in jail or have some serious criminal history? Which state your friend lives? Each state has different laws. Are they married? In USA or in some other country? I wrote about USA. I don't know about other countries/

    I doubt that it is income related as well.

    No criminal history.

    Tennessee.

    Yes, married. In Japan. They did all the paperwork as required at the time.

  • 1

    zichi

    Star-viking

    Many in my family have more than one nationality, some even have three. Myself, I'm British and Irish, has are my three brothers and my mother. But my youngest brother is also Italian, and both my next brother and my mother are also American. My son is British and French, but could claim Irish too. Other family members are British, Irish and Australian or New Zealander.

    If Scotland goes independent and issues a passport, we'll be able to add that one too.

    People who might have a problem obtaining a spouse visa should check out their family roots.

  • 2

    glidingneedles

    I'm really starting to despise the phrase "to protect the tax-payers." It's a politically driven yet senseless term that politicians throw around these days to make xenophobic statements sound noble. So are they implying that foreigners don't have to pay income, consumption or any of the hundreds of taxes that nationals do?

    In a way, foreigners pay MORE tax because we do not derive as much benefit from it. For instance, for every dollar of US taxes I pay, about 60 cents will go to the military (which has no interest in protecting me, a foreigner) or Medicare/Medicaid, which is something that I will never see. So only 40 cents goes to services that I benefit from. In a sense, I'm the one who's subsidizing US citizens who can't pull their weight.

    But I can't VOTE so that's why I'm their target and not the nationals who, in reality, may or may not pay taxes.

  • -1

    toshiko

    @Oldhawk: Married in Japan? He probably went local (city or village?) office where no one read Japanese documents and ignored. That is not unusual. I live a second large city south of Las Vegas. When city receives Japanese written documents, officials beg my daughters to get my help. Well. if resumes or some kind of essays, I just tell them to ignore. I haven;t seen marriage license which will go to State office where translaters are there. Our city just disrupt me watching Angels or Dodgers games, I complain. Tell him to goto State office or nearby state that has Japanese factories. I am sure they have skilled Japanese language translators.

  • -2

    OldHawk

    toshiko, Tennessee has many Japanese businesses and factories (Bridgestone, Brother, Denso, Komatsu, Mitsui, Nissan, Sharp, and Toshiba, just to name a few), and a consulate. Nashville, where my friend lives, is the state capital. He is now seeking help from the consulate and Senator Corker.

  • -2

    toshiko

    @Oldhawk: Congratulate him. Now, his family will receive US Justice Dept issued Green cards. 5 years later, she can take naturalization test (very easy). In Nevada, there is no state income tax and no sales tax. State depend pm casino tax. We don;t have big Japanese industries here. Congratulation again,

  • -2

    whiskeysour

    Thank the influx of Russians and less Africans coming in everyday. Even Ireland is full of Russians.

    It's wild...

  • -2

    OldHawk

    toshiko:

    Now, his family will receive US Justice Dept issued Green cards. 5 years later, she can take naturalization test (very easy).

    That's the problem. The government isn't issuing her anything, and she has had to return to Japan and is being told to start the process all over again.

  • -2

    toshiko

    @Oldhawk; Make him tamper city office and marry in the city he lives. He is American so no problem. Did he applied her for proper Green Card procedure? There is marriage office and many cities have on-line marriage procedures, too.

  • 0

    zichi

    Toshiko/Old Hawk

    This post isn't about what happens in America, its about the problems faced by British expats when married to a foreign spouse who wish to return to live in their own country.

  • -2

    OldHawk

    zichi, so? You think only the UK has immigration problems?

  • 7

    TigersTokyoDome

    This is a very sore and embarrassing topic for me as a British person. I work for a law firm in the UK specialising in immigration, family, and housing law and I used to live in Japan with my Japanese wife. The British government is a disgrace and should be ashamed over this issue.

    I know a British teacher who has been living and working in Tokyo, with no issues whatsoever to do with his right to live and work in Japan, and he wishes to return home to the UK with his Japanese wife and their baby. They cannot do so because of these racist laws implemented by Theresa May the home secretary for the British government. And the reason why his wife cannot get a visa? Not because her husband is unemployed, not because their marriage is dubious (they have a young baby and are married) but because the husbands salary is not high enough.

    The Japanese government, and rightly so in some cases, is often accused of being xenophobic and anti-foreigner. Yet if you are married with a Japanese spouse then there are none of these issues in being allowed to live in Japan and the Japanese are very welcoming, especially the local ward offices. Have you any idea how badly the British visa offices treat foreigners in the UK?

    This is revenge politics by the British government. Thanks to (the very irresponsible) decision to sign up to a free Europe, there has been a huge influx of immigration into London and the UK of Eastern Europeans who do not even have to speak English. And because the present conservative government cannot do anything about the free EU policy then they are taking out their immigration frustrations on the likes of Japanese spouses of Brits.

    Whilst the British government have (and quite rightly so) given the Japanese government criticism for not signing up to the Hague convention on child abduction, maybe it is now time for the Japanese government to give the British criticism for restricting free movement for Japanese spouses.

  • 5

    zichi

    OldHawk

    zichi, so? You think only the UK has immigration problems?

    No its not, but the post is about the UK, not America.

  • -1

    ChibaChick

    TigersTokyoDome - you nailed it. And I think it will only be a matter of time before someone takes this to the European Court of Human Rights and wins and overturns it all. If an immigrant who drove without a licence and insurance and knocked down and killed a young child can find against his deportation following his prison sentence because of his "right to a family life" in the UK, then surely - surely - a BRIT who has done nothing wrong bar fall in love with a non-European can do the same??!

  • 3

    Gobshite

    @TigersTokyoDome

    This is revenge politics by the British government. Thanks to (the very irresponsible) decision to sign up to a free Europe, there has been a huge influx of immigration into London and the UK of Eastern Europeans who do not even have to speak English.

    Exactly. Although I have no immediate plans to return home to the UK, I intend to contact my hometown media and highlight this issue. Possibly my member of parliament too.

    Can't remember the last time I was so angered by a news story...no, hold on, maybe it was when the government announced the open borders policy: "Come one and all, free health care, welfare, bring your kids, extended family, camels....."

    I hope other Brits raise this issue with suitable people/organisations back home. I for one am extremely pissed off about it. And I won't criticize Japan immigration so much from now on...

  • -1

    Star-viking

    Zichi,

    Star-viking

    Ireland is a fully independent country, at least since what 1921, with its own laws. You seem to fail on that point and you also seem to fail to understand that EU laws trump the laws of any single EU country.

    Zichi, being from Ulster, I know a lot about Irish history. The South was a Dominion from 1922, as the Irish Free State, a de facto republic from 1936, as Eire, and a de jure republic from 1949. It was only in 1949 that it became completely independent, as prior to that all diplomats had to be accredited by the British King, and international agreements had to be concluded by the King.

    Becoming a republic, all Irish Citizens in the UK became foreign nationals, and so the Ireland Act was made to allow them virtually all rights of British Subjects. The Act still stands. Even if EU laws are paramount, that does not mean that the cannot be long drawn out legal cases pertaining to the application of EU laws. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IrelandAct1949

    I have read several stories in the media about people who have failed to obtain a spouse visa going the way of an Irish passport instead. If it applies to an Irish passport then it equally applies to any EU passport.

    Well can you link to some of those stories?

    Under Irish law, all people born in Northern Ireland before 2005 are Irish citizens and don't need to apply for nationality. They can just apply for an Irish passport. From 2005, people have to go the way of descent. Mother/father, grandmother/grandfather to be able first to obtain nationality and then for an Irish passport.

    I'm well aware of that.

    If PaulJ decided he wanted an Irish passport he wouldn't have to remain in the south like you have claimed. He and his spouse and children would be free to travel to, live in and work in any part of the EU including the whole of Britain.

    That is your expert legal opinion? Are you fine sending someone and their family down that path?

    In fact, Irish people don't even need a passport to enter the UK, any kind of ID will do.

    Yes, that's because of the Common Travel Area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CommonTravelArea It also means that the use of an Irish passport on return to The UK will not be noted, which makes the "travel out on a UK passport, travel back on an Irish one" plan more complicated. Also note from the Common Travel Area link that the South has imposed rigorous identity checks on air passengers from the UK since 1997: so traveling in on one passport and travelling out on another might require two one-way flights.

  • 0

    wipeout

    @wipeout, if you're directly affected by this you might want to talk to your local paper as well. Every local paper in the UK would probably be quite happy to run a story on the lines of this one, but with the names and pictures changed to those of a local person who went to local school X etc etc etc.

    I'm not directly affected, at least in the sense that I have no plans to return to Britain or to leave Japan. This thread has been informative in terms of some of the views expressed: some people are unduly keen to kick the EU in the nuts, yet it's a British law, and it's the EU that may offer both a way around it and a way to fight it. There's also clearly a lot of resentment against other people who do come to Britain, which I don't share.

  • 4

    y3chome

    Is it not possible to claim human rights in that not being able to bring your non-UK spouse over that you are being denied the right to a family life or something like that ?

  • 5

    zichi

    I think these laws are a violation of human rights, and other laws because they require a section of the British born society to live under conditions which others don't have too.

    @Star-viking

    I think if you enter the UK with an Irish passport, then you are an EU national entering an EU country.

  • 4

    zichi

    PM David Cameron says these kind of laws are necessary to prevent a drain on the British taxpayer, and that even some EU people should be prevented from entering the Uk because they are basically "benefit tourists"

    But Cameron and his gov't are just trying to hide the real figures. In Jan. 2012, 371,000 people claiming working-age benefits were non-UK nationals, and from that figure 258,000 were non-EU nationals, so only 113,000 were EU nationals.

    In Nov. 2012, 5.6 million people were claiming working-age benefits. The 113,000 EU people claiming were just 2% of that total. The total 371,000 non-UK people were just 6.6%.

    So 93.4% of claimants are British born nationals.

    The population of the UK is about 63 million, from which 5.6 million or 8.8% are claiming work-age benefits. 371,000 or 0.58% claimants are non-UK persons. 113,000 or 0.17% are persons from other EU countries.

    113,000 or 0.17% are persons from other EU countries. not what you would call "benefit tourists?"

    There are 2.3 million people from the EU living in the UK and 113,000 (4.9%) are claiming work-age benefits.

    2.4 million people living in the UK are from outside the EU and 258,000 (10.75%) are claiming work-age benefits.

    4.7 million people or 7.4% of the population are from outside of the EU and the EU.

  • -4

    Cos

    I have no idea what world you are living in

    Real world, unlike you. 10 millions is a lot for me. I just see there is no free lunch. I do find the law stupid.... no, not stupid, arrogant and scandalous, reflecting a disgusting mentality. So that's not my idea. But they calculated, they know who they block out and who they don't. There is no need for you to cry like that's the end of the world. That makes 5 million yen to borrow per partner, and you're back home.

    the average British citizen

    I've known many and they are not that poor either. London area, with its 2000 pound/month housing rates, is not deserted. Most buy cars, houses ("UK House Prices. Average house price £238,976") and second houses in my country, throw wedding parties ("The average UK wedding in 2012 cost in excess of £20,000")...so when they want, they find ways to borrow money. The couple could delay the wedding extravaganza till they get the caution back.

    if you think the average young person just has 10 million yen at hand.

    At hand surely not, but they have to fork 5 M for their studies in Japan. Is that not the reality of your world ? And double if they want a ryugaku. Nobody makes them a discount because they are young and not born trust fund babies. Then most couples are past their baito years. The examples given here, uni researchers, financial directors.

    But I am sure that the idiot elites at the British home office who make ridiculous laws like this that punish the average British citizen for not being born rich live in that same world as you.

    It's not my world, it's your England. The law in question is made by MPs voted in, again and again, by your average compatriot.

    PM David Cameron says these kind of laws are necessary to prevent a drain on the British taxpayer,

    Thatcher is dead, Thatcherism is well alive. People don't see to ever understand.

    Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world with no borders and equality of opportunity for all.

    The average Brit, average Brit expat, average Brit expat on this board... already hates the concept of no borders in E.U. and equal opportunity for the Greeks and themselves. So for the world, don't hold your breath.

  • -2

    Star-viking

    Zichi,

    @Star-viking

    I think if you enter the UK with an Irish passport, then you are an EU national entering an EU country.

    I take that to mean that you are 100% confident in the option you presented earlier? No problems with recommending it fully to one and all?

    Here's one thing to consider - how does the immigration status of your non-EEA family members in Ireland affect their status in the UK?

  • 2

    zichi

    star-viking

    Here's one thing to consider - how does the immigration status of your non-EEA family members in Ireland affect their status in the UK?

    It don't, since EU people can bring their spouse, children and other family members under EU laws.

    I take that to mean that you are 100% confident in the option you presented earlier? No problems with recommending it fully to one and all?

    Whatever course of action anyone decides, they also need to check if its the best one for them. Personally, if my Japanese wife and I decide to return to the UK, because of our old age, I will go the way of using my Irish passport.

  • 0

    SwissToni

    Personally, I wouldn't be looking to take any immigration advice from JT. ChibaChick has given the best advice so far, go and look up the available information. And then take legal advice, it may be that the minimum salary requirement is a step too far.

  • -5

    Mike O'Brien

    113,000 or 0.17% are persons from other EU countries. not what you would call "benefit tourists?"

    So how many of them do there have to be before you would call them "benefit tourists"? I would think there could be just 2 and they could be called benefit tourists.

    In Nov. 2012, 5.6 million people were claiming working-age benefits. The 113,000 EU people claiming were just 2% of that total. The total 371,000 non-UK people were just 6.6%

    And if there is just 1 isn't it still a drain on the British taxpayers? And if those 371,000 weren't receiving benefits wouldn't that ease the burden on the British taxpayer?

  • 2

    zichi

    Mike O'Brien

    So how many of them do there have to be before you would call them "benefit tourists"? I would think there could be just 2 and they could be called benefit tourists.

    You forget to mention there are British nationals living in other EU countries who are also claiming benefits in those countries too. Its not just a one way street. But my point was, if you just listen to the gov't there are hundreds of thousands of EU and non-EU people claiming benefits.

    We don't know the history of those people. Were they working paying taxes and now are unemployed but seeking new jobs?

    I think it would be better if the gov't spend the time and money to reduce the 5+ million British people who need to claim work-age benefits.

    There are 400,000 British people living in Spain which puts a strain on its health care. Only about 71,000 Spanish people live in the UK.

    I think you are American, not British so your country needs to clean up its own illegal immigration before you criticise what happens in the UK?

  • 2

    SwissToni

    Mike O'Brien, my understanding is that people can't just pitch up in the UK from another EU country and claim benefits. Unemployment benefit has to come from their home country if the migrant is looking for work. Unless the migrant worker has been working and paying UK tax and national insurance, in which case they've contributed. As far as I can tell, asylum seekers (from outside the EU) may claim benefits while their case is being looked at. That's because they're not allowed to work.

    The migrant benefits issue is a red herring. The biggest drain on UK funds are pensions and the NHS and increasingly a problem as the UK population ages. Baby boomers are retiring and fairly soon theyll be requiring their pensions. As theyve paid their taxes, NI and private pensions over their working lives they will feel fully justified in taking their entitlements. Having played their part in the country and paid up, its not their fault that successive governments and failing pension funds have frittered their money away. The country only stands to gain by an increase in the tax paying workforce. Migrants and returnees could very well get the UK government out of a spot of bother.

  • 5

    TigersTokyoDome

    The reasoning that this right wing British government give for refusing visas to Japanese spouses is that they are considered high risk to claiming benefits if their British spouse is earning under the salary threshold. But this is outright discrimination. And why the hell are they not able to issue visas that give no right to unemployment or housing benefit?

    I think that the real reason is because the British spouse would be entitled to unemployment and housing benefit and British-Japanese children would be entitled to all of their rights as British citizens. So by finding an excuse to stop the Japanese spouse entering the UK then that also prevents the British spouse and any children from returning home (and the benefit entitlement that they are permitted to).

    It is discrimination and Japanese spouses of British nationals should be entitled to live and work in the UK regardless of salary levels. I find it ludicrous that anyone who is an EU national with no marital links to the UK and with no requirement for English language fluency is entitled to work and claim benefits in the UK, whilst legal spouses of British citizens cannot even get in the country.

  • 2

    zichi

    SwissToni

    my understanding is that people can't just pitch up in the UK from another EU country and claim benefits. Unemployment benefit has to come from their home country if the migrant is looking for work. Unless the migrant worker has been working and paying UK tax and national insurance, in which case they've contributed.

    That is correct for unemployment benefit but not for social welfare benefits such as cost of living payments and housing benefit payments which make up a larger amount of expenditure than just unemployment benefits.

    These benefits can be claimed by EU nationals entering the UK, but judging from the figures, the majority of the EU people don't make claims. The majority also arrive with employment already obtained and are coming to start work.

    I agree with your comment that the biggest issue are pensions and the cost of the NHS.

    I also agree with the comment by TigersTokyoDome

  • -4

    Cos

    And if there is just 1 isn't it still a drain on the British taxpayers?

    Being a foreigner receiving benefits does not make one a "benefit tourist". Foreign residents are taxpayers too. For many benefits (like unemployment), you become eligible only if you have paid previously. For some no, like those for children. That doesn't mean that people moved to UK in order to get child birth benefits. The mothers have the baby there because they live and work there, and a number of them live there because they are married to a Brit. Contrarily to popular belief, the Roms that camp in the street are rarely if ever getting benefits, as they never fill the conditions of having a fixed address, being employed, etc. The foreigner that you define as "a drain on the British taxpayer", it's someone like your full-time working Japanese spouse taking her maternity leave. So ask your MPs to vote a law excluding non-nationals from receiving benefits, go ahead, the Tories are totally ready for it. You wife will still have to pay taxes, then she will receive nada. She will have to pay a private health insurance to give birth to your British brats, and take unpaid leave for it.

    And if those 371,000 weren't receiving benefits wouldn't that ease the burden on the British taxpayer?

    I let you do the maths :

    113,000 or 0.17% are persons from other EU countries.

    While about 1 million EU nationals live in UK. 2 to 2.5 millions Brits live in E.U. And they are not the same type of persons, foreigners in UK are nearly all tax-paying healthy young employed persons, while Brits in the rest of EU are a few workers and a huge majority of inactive, much older in average, that moved to spend their inactivity under the sun. Take yours back, send back the foreigners. So your calculation ?

  • 1

    sushilover

    European Court of Human Rights, here we come. This ain't gonna go away, Mr. Cameron. This is totally wrong. Punishng your own citizens, just because there's nothing you can do about the playground bully, the EU?

  • -4

    Mike O'Brien

    You forget to mention there are British nationals living in other EU countries who are also claiming benefits in those countries too.

    I didn't forget to mention anything. That is not the issue that was being discussed and has nothing to do with the questions I asked.

    And you forgot to answer those questions.

    But my point was, if you just listen to the gov't there are hundreds of thousands of EU and non-EU people claiming benefits.

    371,000 people claiming working-age benefits were non-UK nationals, and from that figure 258,000 were non-EU nationals, so only 113,000 were EU nationals.

    371,000 IS hundreds of thousands.

    I think you are American, not British so your country needs to clean up its own illegal immigration before you criticise what happens in the UK?

    You can think whatever you want, it won't make it true. Also I didn't realize the discussion was about illegal immigration, I thought it was about the UK's restrictions on legal immigration of spouses.

    And if a commentor's country of origin must take care of all it's problems before the commentor can criticise other countries then 99% of your comments are inappropriate by your own standards.

    @Cos

    Take yours back, send back the foreigners. So your calculation ?

    Firstly thet aren't MINE. Second the calculation is easy.

    371,000 X 0 < 371,000 X 1 pound

    So yes it would ease the burden on the British taxpayer.

    Also there is nothing preventing otehr EU countries from changing their laws just like the UK is. But that is not what this article is about.

  • 4

    zichi

    Mike O'Brien

    So how many of them do there have to be before you would call them "benefit tourists"? I would think there could be just 2 and they could be called benefit tourists. And if there is just 1 isn't it still a drain on the British taxpayers? And if those 371,000 weren't receiving benefits wouldn't that ease the burden on the British taxpayer?

    You seem to have a lack of understanding about the UK, EEA and EU and how the benefit system operates within the UK.

    From my original comment, 371,000 people claiming working-age benefits were non-UK nationals, and from that figure 258,000 were non-EU nationals, so only 113,000 were EU nationals.

    Under British law, EEA and EU laws all of these 371,000 people are legally in Britain. The 113,000 from the EU are there under the free movement of people within the EU. What happens in the UK with EU people can't be seen in isolation from what happens across the EU including British people living in other EU countries and some of them requiring benefits from those countries.

    The 258,000 non-EU people are mostly people from former commonwealth countries like India and Pakistan, among many others.

    The British benefits system is a complicated one which covers many personal situations. In Nov 2012, 371,000 non-UK nationals were receiving "some level of work-age benefits" but that does not mean all of those people were unemployed. There are benefits for people who are unemployed, but many of those are only available to people who have already worked and paid into the system. Certainly, some of those people will be in that section.

    There are also benefits for those who are working but are in low paid jobs who would be legible for benefits to bring their standard of living up to a minimum set by the gov't. There's child credit, and housing benefits if people have to pay high rents.

    Just from the figure of 371,000 people we don't know what level of benefits they received and which ones. We don't know the overall cost to the taxpayer. Some of the 258,000 non-EU people could include people who have lived all of their lives in the UK, worked and paid taxes and various other contributions and are now entitled to claim some level of work-age benefits.

    Once you obtain the right to live and work in the UK, there's no requirement to take British nationality. That's up to the individual to decide.

    There are 5 million non-EU people living in the UK and 258,000 are receiving some level of work-age benefits, which they might have previously paid into. The are 2.5 million EU people living in Britain and 113,000 are also receiving some level of work-age benefits.

    I would say, compared to the total number of these two sections, 7.5 million, 371,000 who are receiving some level of work-age benefits are small, and certainly less than the benefits claimed by British nationals.

    You overall view is simplistic when compared to the complex topic of benefits.

    There are more than 5 million British expats living outside of the UK, many who may now be faced with various difficulties if they returned to live in the UK with a foreign spouse.

    Its wrong of the gov't to select this section of British people, and now subject them to conditions that other British nationals don't have to meet.

  • 0

    DudeDeuce

    I don't much about the UK's economy but is an 18 thousand pound job hard to get? Do foreign spouses have the right to work?

  • 2

    zichi

    I don't much about the UK's economy but is an 18 thousand pound job hard to get? Do foreign spouses have the right to work?

    40-47% of British working people earn less than £18,000.

  • 4

    wipeout

    I don't much about the UK's economy but is an 18 thousand pound job hard to get? Do foreign spouses have the right to work?

    I'm certainly no expert, but (if I've understood correctly), let's put it this way. There is a minimum wage in the UK, which is (as of Oct. this year) £6.31.

    If you work a 6-day week for 9.5 hours a day for a full year, you will make £18,702.

    This isn't necessarily your per annum income, it is what you make after a year of pulling those hours for the lowest pay permitted by law.

    When it comes to right and wrong, does it seem right to you that a law has been made under which people working for minimum wage may fall below the threshold for bringing their foreign spouse into the country? Are minimum wage workers in some way inferior to the rest of the workforce and the population at large? I don't think they are, and I don't think they should be. Someone might bring his wife and children back to Britain, and work a crap job for crap wages simply because that's the best he can take at that point in his life. I don't think British people and their families should be excluded based on their earning power.

  • 5

    Open Minded

    I have got a friend couple trapped with this discriminatory law. When they explained me their case I did not believe them. I could not believe such thing from a European country. I am very very sad and eventually outraged.

    Expats are acting as ambassadors for free. No recognition and exclusion, this is just unbelievable!

  • 4

    zichi

    To sponsor a foreign spouse they have to be earning £18,600, net, and even more if there are children. 40-47% of working British national earn less than that. Also if the sponsor is female then it will be more difficult.

    Otherwise, they have to have savings of £62,000. In Q4, 2012, the average savings by a British national was £1,700. 15 million (nearly 25% of the population) British nationals have no savings.

    Basically, more than 50% of British nationals can't sponsor a foreign spouse.

    Other EU nationals can live and work in Britain or start a business, be freelance or self employed and bring with them their spouse, foreign or otherwise, their children and even other family members.

    Another major problem is the length of time its taking to process the applications. For many, its taking many months and some even longer than one year, which means travel outside of the UK is impossible because passports are also submitted. This not only means cancelled vacations but also people unable to visit terminally ill parents.

    If the application is being made outside of the UK, like from Japan, the time scale could be very long.

  • 5

    TigersTokyoDome

    I don't think British people and their families should be excluded based on their earning power.

    Remember, the current British prime minister and chancellor of the exchequer both attended Eton school. They are from the rich and privileged. Their laws are based on earning power and privilege.

  • 4

    NeonFraction

    "Poor people come to the USA, and to EU countries and immediately get assistance" HAH. Which country is that? Because if you were to step away from your 3 car garage, born-in-America, Fox-news watching paradise, you would realize illegal immigrants put way more into the economy than they take out. If you're illegal, you get no government handouts, but still pay sales tax and income tax. Not to mention paying for SS you will NEVER receive. And, psh, it's not like we need them. Just because we have hundreds of jobs down here unfilled and vegetables rotting in the fields because no one will pick them when anti-illegal employment rules were put into practice doesn't mean Americans won't do those jobs! Oh wait, yes it does! Because they AREN'T doing them.

  • 5

    zichi

    When many expats moved to Japan after they married a Japanese spouse, or in order to marry one, they critcised the Immigration system of having their fingerprints taken and obtaining an Alien card. When they wanted to leave the country on vacation or business a reentry visa was needed.

    After my first three years in the country I obtained my permanent residence which cost ¥4,000 and I didn't need to submit my passport and it only took a couple of months but I was able to leave the country during that time.

    I still have the old style Alien card which I need to replace by next year with the new Registration card and once I have that no more need to have a reentry visa. Free to come and go as I please.

    Compared with the new system in the UK its all a piece of cake.

    If I visit the UK with my Japanese wife she needs to apply for a spouse visa costing ¥131,000. She must submit their passport, I assume, so can't leave this country while she waits the many many months. And even then she may not get it.

    Britain use to be called the mother of democracy?

  • 4

    wipeout

    When many expats moved to Japan after they married a Japanese spouse, or in order to marry one, they criticised the Immigration system of having their fingerprints taken and obtaining an Alien card. When they wanted to leave the country on vacation or business a reentry visa was needed. After my first three years in the country I obtained my permanent residence which cost ¥4,000 and I didn't need to submit my passport and it only took a couple of months but I was able to leave the country during that time.

    It takes most people 6 months or longer for their PR to come through, but you're right, the spouse visa and PR application system for people who marry Japanese is both easy and cheap. The British law is so far out of whack with how it's done here that it defies belief.

  • 1

    zichi

    Wipeout I think my PR only took about 3 months because I lived in Nagano and not many foreigners there then.

  • 1

    Cos

    Britain use to be called the mother of democracy?

    No, that was Greece.

    • Moderator

      All readers back on topic please.

  • 0

    Star-viking

    Some additional Information on gaining a Right of Abode in the UK, most courtesy of Wikipedia.

    Citizens of the European Economic Area (the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) and Switzerland enjoy the freedom to travel and work in any European Union country without a work permit or visa, although transitory dispositions may restrict the rights of citizens of new member states to work in other countries. This is defined by the Directive 2004/38/EC on the right to move and reside freely.

    However rights to reside in another EU/EEA state are not absolute. In particular, they can be refused to those who depend on social assistance, and those who commit crimes may be deported.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_of_abode

    Directive 2004/38/EC. Whilst some of the formulations remain complex, the basic premise of the directive is simple: EEA citizens have the right of free movement and residence across the European Economic Area, as long as they are not an undue burden on the country of residence and have comprehensive health insurance.[4] This right also extends to close family members that are not EEA citizens.

    After five years, the right of residence becomes permanent, which means it does not depend on any precondition any longer.

    Does a residence card from one state serve as a visa for another? Again the text of the directive implies this, but it is not made explicit. Within the area of the Schengen Agreement this is not an issue, but the UK does not recognise cards issued by other member states. As of December 2008 five Member states have not transposed the Directive Article 5(2) correctly.

    UK. In the UK, the directive is transposed into the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 amended by SI 2009/1117 and amended by SI 2011/1247. The implementation is reasonably complete and accurate although non-EEA family members require an entrance clearance (called EEA Family Permit) to enter the UK even if they are in possession of a 5-year residence card of another EEA member state, in breach of the Directive.

    The non-EEA family members of Irish citizens resident in Ireland are not normally issued EU Family Residency Cards (called Stamp 4 EU FAM) unless the Irish citizen and family members previously lived together in another EU state.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Directive_2004/38/EC_on_the_right_to_move_and_reside_freely

    The key point seems to be: non-EEA family members require an entrance clearance (called EEA Family Permit) to enter the UK.

    There is also a case, The McCarthy case, where a UK Resident joint British-Irish Citizen failed to get EEA Rights as they had never exercised them, having always lived in the UK. This is a good summary, but one which predates the new draconian legislation.:

    Now we turn to Cashel, a British and Irish dual national. Cashel was born in London and has lived in the U.K. all her life. She has Irish citizenship because her parents are Irish. Cashel wants to bring her husband Luca to the U.K. Luca is from Russia. Cashel has hit on some hard times, now lives in a house share, and has a very low income. Luca is fluent in Russian, Chinese and Arabic as well as having a doctorate in particle physics. Unfortunately, no matter how hard he tries, he cannot pass the English test that Yoko also sat.

    Until McCarthy we could, and routinely did, completely by-pass the U.K. Immigration Rules and applied EU Treaty law to the matter. Luca would then be under no obligation to sit or pass an English test and all Cashel would have to prove is that she is working here. They would save the £810 application fee that John and Yoko had to pay because EU applications are free. Moreover, instead of being granted 2 years residence under U.K. immigration law, Luca would be given 5 years residence under EU law! All because Cashel has an Irish passport and even though she has never even visited Ireland.

    The decision in McCarthy seeks to put an end to individuals in Cashel’s position taking advantage of their dual nationality. It will no longer be possible to rely on possessing a second EU nationality if you have never exercised Treaty rights. This is because the ECJ have ruled that by virtue of her British citizenship, she is not ‘genuinely enjoying’ the right of free movement, but rather is residing in one of her home countries.

    This would seem to rule out the "just get an Irish passport" route. Surinder Singh seems to be the only route. And the part about "residing on one of her home countries" would suggest that getting an Irish passport could be a bad thing.

  • 1

    TigersTokyoDome

    Flew home to London via Vienna with my Japanese wife who has one of those very expensive and time-consuming UK visas in her passport. At Vienna passport check the guy checked our passports, smiled, and welcomed us to Vienna, in a matter of seconds. Flew to Heathrow the following day and despite the fact that we were now travelling within the EU from Austria to the UK, the passport idiot proceeded to grill us over where we met, what was the name of our child, when did we get married etc even though my wife had that ridiculously expensive UK visa in her passport.

  • 0

    some07791

    *star-viking

    The answer then for those of us with dual UK/Irish citizenship would be to renounce the UK. As far as i remember this costs about 370 GBP.

  • 1

    Star-viking

    some07791

    It could be a possibility, but in all honesty good professional advice would be needed. The lot I posted up yesterday, which someone doesn't seem to approve of, shows that there is a lot of legalese involved, and individual EU states seem to look at EU directives in different ways. Also, the judges on whether you can enter the UK or not seem to be the Border Officials who process your documents, so whatever you do, try and make sure it is airtight.

  • 0

    zichi

    Star-viking

    I am a British national married to a Japanese national and living in Japan for the last 20 years, with permanent residence. We have no children from the marriage. If we want to return to reside in the UK what are our options?

    We could apply for a UK spouse visa from Japan, which my wife would be required to do anyway. I don't know how they work out the position on having a £18,000 pa job or having savings of £62,000 since we are both in Japan.

    I am also able to claim Irish nationality through descent. I could make an application for Irish nationality and then an Irish passport, but in my case I can't track down the exact family root details needed, so probably it will take a visit to Ireland to find them. But say I have my Irish nationality and passport and now I have dual British Irish nationality. I could apply for an Irish spouse visa for my wife.

    I could then travel to Ireland with my Irish passport/spouse visa.

    Or I could just travel to Ireland with my British passport and no need for a visa for my wife. This way, I'm claiming my EEA treaty rights to live and work in an EU country. I could find a job, any paying job, or any type of freelance or self employment. I would have to do this for 3-4 months and then we can enter the UK under the singh ruling to apply for a Family Permit as a non-EEA spouse of an EEA national to exercising treaty rights in the UK.

    Under the McCarthy Ruling I can't enter the UK having British Irish dual nationality and using my Irish nationality to claim my EEA treaty rights.

    McCarthy Ruling http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:62009CJ0434:EN:HTML Summary of the ruling http://www.freemovement.org.uk/2011/05/05/mccarthy-judgment-available/

    If I have British Irish dual nationality, I could surrender my British nationality and just become an Irish national. This is very quick and very cheap.

    Irish citizens, because of the Common Travel Area provisions between the UK and Ireland, are exempt from restrictions and are normally treated as "settled" in the United Kingdom immediately upon taking up residence. Once in the UK I can apply for an EEA Family Permit to cover my wife.

    Site with good info http://www.lawcentreni.org/EoR/immigration/marriage-and-relationships-eea-regulations.html

    UK visas from Japan http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/partners-families/citizens-settled/

  • 1

    TigersTokyoDome

    Zichi, They would ask for job references and your UK employment contract to confirm your salary. if you have no job yet then that will put a stop to your wifes visa until you find a job. If you are applying through savings then they will ask for a dated copy of your bank statement and will probably contact your bank.

    The alternative is to live in Ireland first. I may be wrong but you may not even have to apply for your Irish passport because British nationals can live and work in Ireland. After the qualifying period you can then enter the UK from Ireland and your wife will be treated as applying to enter the UK from an EU nation and not from Japan.

    Good luck.

  • 2

    zichi

    TigersTokyoDome

    Thanks for the info. The cards are stacked against me regardless of my earrings. For 40 years I've been freelance/self employed and I have no regrets about that. I've been my own boss for that entire time. For the past 30 years I've been an artist, a painter actually.

    We haven't returned to the UK since we left in 1994, mainly because when we have the time and money to travel we mostly need to use it to visit my 86 year old mother in Florida. There's much I hate about the UK, much more than anything in Japan but we are growing old, already more than three score.

    The only thing I miss in the UK is my family and friends, especially my son and my 2 grandchildren who all live in London. We have already reached the age of receiving some private pensions and within a couple of years that should double.

    I'm actually starting to think, "hell to the UK" and maybe we'll just go and live in Ireland instead. A country I've visited about 30 times and I like it very much and a great place for landscape painting.

    I would probably just go the full hog and apply for an Irish nationality and passport and renounce my British citizenship because it would be really nice to die knowing they have no further hold on me. I was born a full bred Celt without any English blood so I would be more than happy to die has a Celt.

  • 1

    Star-viking

    Zichi,

    Or I could just travel to Ireland with my British passport and no need for a visa for my wife. This way, I'm claiming my EEA treaty rights to live and work in an EU country. I could find a job, any paying job, or any type of freelance or self employment. I would have to do this for 3-4 months and then we can enter the UK under the singh ruling to apply for a Family Permit as a non-EEA spouse of an EEA national to exercising treaty rights in the UK.

    I'm not an immigration lawyer, but that seems to be the only option with the McCarthy ruling in mind, though who knows what might change in a year or so.

    Whatever the case, good luck! I could be going down the same route as you in a few years' time.

  • 4

    ChibaChick

    And would you believe - the headline news today in the UK all about the numbers on which these new laws are based:

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/immigration-figures-little-better-guess-045905961.html

    I think most people have no problem with them doing something to control the flood of immigration, but the inconsistencies (as highlighted above by many) in the way these laws are applied are a big frustration, plus the obvious discrimination against women and British people working and with spouses from low-income countries.

    Based on this report above, and various other things happening (article 8 for example) I really think it wont be long before someone fights this in the European Court of Human Rights and wins.

  • 1

    CP15_2

    They must be crazy.

    If they are this poor then life in the UK will be tough. There are plenty of better countries in the world to live for them.

    If they have kids, will they really send them to some godawful British school? If they earn less than 18K then they will probably end up in a terrible catchment area and some school where they simply hold the kids till home time.

    Yeah, it's OK visiting the UK now then but the thought of going to live there with the crappy salaries, high costs of living and taxes, pretty rubbish public services, high crime, general aggressiveness, terrible schools etc - you've got to wonder.

  • 2

    Saxon Salute

    The real joke is that the British government has the right to prevent new arrivals from taking various benefits for as long as it likes, but chooses not to exercies this right. Instead, it tries to change the numbers the only way it can, even though the real issue is unfettered immigration from Eastern Europe, which the government can do nothing about.

    This law is nonsense. No one has thought it through. I was born in Britain, as were my parents and their parents, but I would have to jump thorugh hoops to live in the UK with my 2 British sons because my wife is Japanese. I understand why this law has been passed, and it is because people from the sub-continent and Africa get hold of a UK passport, then move their extended families to the UK at the taxpayers' expense. We are caught up in this law, but honestly the UK government should be welcoming back British-born Brits (who went overseas to find employment rather than live off welfare) and who have kids, ie the future tax payers.

  • 1

    zichi

    Saxon Salute

    the real issue is unfettered immigration from Eastern Europe, which the government can do nothing about.

    But there aren't large numbers of immigrants from Eastern Europe, and as ChibaChick pointed out, the gov't does not actually have any accurate figures and its all guess work.

    Without question, you and your two British sons have the legal right to live in the UK, the problem is for your Japanese wife. I think someone needs to make a test case in the European Court under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, that your sons have a right to be with their mother, and you have the right to be with your wife, and you all have the right to remain a family and a right to privacy. The right for you and your sons should be stronger than the gov't right to prevent your wife from joining you.

    " Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence."

    What the gov't says about Article 8 http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/news/echr-fam-mig.pdf

    The new immigration laws are not about protecting the taxpayer and more to showing the gov't is reducing the number of people moving into the UK. If the only concern was for the taxpayer then people could be banned from claiming benefits until they had the permanent residence or had worked and paid into the system for "x" years.

    I believe that was already in place before these new law.

    http://www.freemovement.org.uk/category/human-rights/article-8/

  • 2

    Saxon Salute

    zichi, I read the very informative posts from you, Chiba Chick and others, and I largely agree. I mean the "perceived" problem as the British government sees things. The reality of welfare in the UK is that most benefits are paid to British people. There are whole generations of British-born Brits who never take any kind of job their whole lives, but get everything free on the tax payer. Then there are people retiring early who have not really paid enough for the 20-30 years of pension payments they will receive and have a free NHS etc. But the government wants to to try to show reduced numbers of arrivals, thus laws like this one.

    If I go to the UK with my kids, I can't really find a job that pays enough for my wife to come over, because I will have to look after my children alone. This is plain stupid, as is the requirement for such a job to be held for 12 months, which means a year of separation from my family. The government could easily have used domestic law to prevent new arrivals from easy access to welfare, or to disallow my non-British spouse from receipt of benefits, but the reality is that new arrivals are usually young and healthy and do not need a lot of welfare assistance. This is just a law made to perceive things a certain way for an electorate that is increasingly anti-immigration. I think there should be exemptions for people born in the UK who married their spouses a decade before this legislation was passed, but the country is so crazy now that it would consider such exemptions racist.

  • 4

    zichi

    Saxon Salute

    I think there should be exemptions for people born in the UK who married their spouses a decade before this legislation was passed, but the country is so crazy now that it would consider such exemptions racist.

    yes, I agree. All the couples who married before this law came into force should not be subject to it. We were married in the UK 20 years before and lived sometime in the UK and still we are subject to meet the new conditions which we probably can't.

    You need to look at what's involved in moving in Ireland for 6 months and then move to the UK has an EU national. Or another EU country if you can speak the language. Certainly cheaper option and probably a nice experience. You wouldn't have to be separated from your family.

  • -1

    buchailldana

    I dont think it is that easy to get a spousal visa under an irish passport.Would take three years living in ireland again with no right to work.seems to be alot of horror stories on the irish side too . I have read about deportation stories ther too.disgusting.I have been in japan 17 years married for the past 10 and it would be very hard to move back with my wife now just because she has a Korean passport.Dont understand it at all

  • 2

    zichi

    @buchailldana

    I don't think it is that easy to get a spousal visa under an irish passport

    For an Irish national returning to live in Ireland with a foreign spouse it will be easier to obtain the spouse visa than what's currently happening with many Brits trying to return to the UK or even remain in the UK if they have married an non-EU spouse.

    For a British national with a foreign spouse who can't meet the new immigrations rules then going to Ireland first will open the door to the UK. They arrive in Ireland has an EU national and don't require a spouse visa. Instead they apply for an EEA Family Permit. After finding some work and doing it for about 3-4 months, the British national and their family can return to the UK has an EU national and since they already have the EEA Family Permit no further paperwork or visa's are needed.

    Like all EU nationals, they would be entitled to claim any benefits they qualify for.

  • 1

    bookowls

    I've had no problems returning to the UK several times since July 2012. I think this ruling is disgusting when you consider that the UK does not turn away illegal immigrants who come unannounced.

  • 3

    zichi

    Even a vicar gets no help from God when it comes to the UK immigration authority.

    Ukrainian wife is denied a UK visa on language grounds despite being an English teacher

    Immigrant chiefs say they do not consider her degree a 'recognised language qualification,' and that she’s not welcome in the UK.

    < http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2380662/Vicar-vows-quit-Britain-new-Ukrainian-wife-denied-UK-visa-language-grounds-despite-English-teacher.html

    The UK gov't and immigration authority are deciding which people we can fall in love with and those we can't?

  • 2

    TigersTokyoDome

    There should be no special exemption for those British who married their Japanese spouse over 10 years ago, as every British citizen should be allowed to have their Japanese spouse live and work in the UK regardless of when they married. It should be human rights and family rights to do so. The only "illegal" immigrants permitted entry to the UK are those who may fall under asylum rules and the UK should be proud of it's record in giving asylum to those suffering political and social abuse. If the immigrants were known as illegal when they arrive then they get sent away.

    People today are suffering from this knee-jerk reaction from the authorities because of previous abuses of the system for generations. The EU free movement agreement was crazy. The Government should have made clear and distinctive caps on European immigration to the UK but instead signed-up to totally open borders. And while this may come across as sounding racist and some kind of EDL speech (it is not and I am the product of an immigrant to the UK) the country had been abused for decades by the Indian and Pakistan families who were given citizenship and then sent their British passport holding children back home to India and Pakistan to marry and bring back their spouses. That should have been controlled and it resulted in huge immigration pressures to British schooling and housing. Because of the poor control of these abuses totally innocent families are now suffering.

  • 2

    sfjp330

    In U.K., nearly everyone is in favor of a more restricted immigration policy, and cutting immigration, but this is not about immigrants, it's about people's families. This is about people in U.K. who have all their lives paid taxes being denied the opportunity to be with their loved ones. The goverment want to cut down on those who abuse the system. In order to reduce the fraud, the goverment could offer no benefits for 5 years of work and putting into the system rule. Few real immigrants will disagree with this. Or you can always move to Spain.

  • 1

    TigersTokyoDome

    PaulJ, I am not white British and I certainly do not believe in a white Britain. Britain should be very proud of it's immigration policy when it gave citizenship to Indian and Pakistani families. But that help was abused for generations. These nationalities ensured that their children (and their childrens children etc) travelled back to India and Pakistan to bring even more Indian and Pakistan spouses back to live in the UK with no care about integration and certainly no thoughts about marrying a British partner. And that is exactly why the UK's social arrangements on schooling and housing are at breaking point now, and that is why Japanese spouses of British partners cannot live in the UK. I am not saying that this government is right, but I am giving a very good reason why the country has no room.

  • 0

    Cos

    but this is not about immigrants, it's about people's families.

    It is about immigrants. Immigrants = people's families. 60 to 70% of immigrants granted visas are people's families, and it's even an higher %age of those that stay longer and obtain UK nationality. In France, a case I studied, among those that stayed longterm, 90% of non-EU migration into France since the mid-70s (when the work migration programs stopped) were spouses and children, granted visas to be reunited to a national or a permanent resident. The other types of migrants massively leave after a few years.

    Prime Minister David Cameron is on a pledge to cut net migration to tens of thousands by 2015.

    Roughly he wants to cut by half. So how he would do it without cutting "people's families" ? Foreign spouses has been the biggest increase since the 1990's. Then international adoption children. With gay marriage, they will logically get a spectacular increase of applicants within a few months. And more foreign spouses, means also more dependent children and more adoptions. So to reach the Cameron quota, the only thing he could find was installing a toll gate. If he can get 1/3 of applicants being delayed 2 years, he may win his bet. What I fail to see is the interest for his country.

    In U.K., nearly everyone is in favor of ....cutting immigration,

    Nearly everyone would be in favor of cutting who ? Not cutting the foreign surgeons, surely. So cutting the number of foreign spouses and of foreign kids of Brits ? They think it's a bad thing that Brits marry and adopt foreigners ?

    travelled back to India and Pakistan to bring even more Indian and Pakistan spouses back to live in the UK

    Yeah, Jemima Goldsmith, Liz Hurley... See who marries Indians and Pakistanis. But the thing is you nailed the racist logic of the £18,600 per year. The 10% of British workers that are under that "low income level" are mostly of non- white ethnicities.

    Japanese spouses of British partners cannot live in the UK.

    Japanese spouses would be superior to Indian spouses ? In real life, the Japanese get in very easily. 50 000 Japanese nationals live in the UK, that's way more than the number of Brits in Japan.

  • 0

    TigersTokyoDome

    Yeah, Jemima Goldsmith, Liz Hurley... See who marries Indians and Pakistanis. But the thing is you nailed the racist logic of the £18,600 per year. The 10% of British workers that are under that "low income level" are mostly of non- white ethnicities.

    You did not get my point. My point is that Japanese spouses of British citizens are struggling to get visas to live in the UK with their spouses and children because of the decades of immigration abuse by others and because of the recent rule on an open Europe. This government do not care what your ethnic background is. If you do not earn enough then you will not be allowed to bring your family back home. There are plenty of Chinese and Arabic millionaires who get a visa without a problem. It is based on wealth.

    Japanese spouses would be superior to Indian spouses ? In real life, the Japanese get in very easily. 50 000 Japanese nationals live in the UK, that's way more than the number of Brits in Japan..

    Japanese spouses have not cheated the UK visa system for years and years. Japanese spouses do not send their children home to Japan to marry and bring Japanese spouses back to the UK. Japanese spouses are absolutely minute in comparison to the immigration figures of Indian and Pakistani families coming in to the UK. And no, the Japanese no longer get in to the UK very easily.

    Every British citizen should have a human right to bring their children and foreign spouse to live in the UK regardless of income. But the government should have put a stop to the flow of immigration abuse from India and Pakistan by British citizens of Indian and Pakistani heritage.

  • 0

    cleo

    Every British citizen should have a human right to bring their children and foreign spouse to live in the UK regardless of income.

    Absolutely.

    But the government should have put a stop to the flow of immigration abuse from India and Pakistan by British citizens of Indian and Pakistani heritage.

    So British citizens of Indian and Pakistani heritage are not numbered among 'every British citizen'? If a British citizen by birth wants to live in the UK with his or her chosen partner in accordance with the law, how is it 'immigration abuse'?

    Japanese spouses do not send their children home to Japan to marry and bring Japanese spouses back to the UK.

    If the non-Japanese spouse is a British citizen, those 'children of Japanese spouses' are British citizens by birth and should have as much right as any other British citizen to live in the UK with their chosen partner.

    This stupid 'you can only be truly British if you have lots of money' law lowers the value of every British passport. It's a disgrace.

  • 3

    zichi

    Every British citizen should have a human right to bring their children and foreign spouse to live in the UK regardless of income.

    Every holder of a British passport, regardless of whatever nationality they were before becoming British, and who marries a non British or non-EU national, neither within the UK or in some other country, or spends time living in another country and marries there should have recognised human rights and the right to a family and privacy to live in the UK with their chosen spouse regardless of income and savings. This should also apply when marrying a spouse who already have children.

  • -1

    TigersTokyoDome

    So British citizens of Indian and Pakistani heritage are not numbered among 'every British citizen'? If a British citizen by birth wants to live in the UK with his or her chosen partner in accordance with the law, how is it 'immigration abuse'?

    cleo, with all due respect, if you do not understand the history of British immigration then it is very difficult for you to argue the point, especially if you do not understand the point.

    Every British citizen should indeed be entitled to marry a spouse of their choice and to reside in the UK without restrictions. And that very fact is not happening in the year 2013 thanks to previous abuses of the immigration policy of the UK including the free Europe zone and the issue regarding Asian family visas.

    A large majority of British citizens with Indian and Pakistani heritage were on a family remit to travel to India and Pakistan and to marry and to bring their spouses to live in the UK. Absolutely no interest in integration with the non-Asian British community and strong family discouragement from marrying outside of this arrangement. This was a huge number of people and automatically gave the right to a whole new family tree to move to the UK.

    Japanese spouses of British citizens do not have a history of sending large numbers of their children to Japan to marry and then return to live in the UK and in turn give UK visa rights to the family of their Japanese spouses. It did not happen.

    The British policy on Asian immigration was a fairly decent one and included rescuing Asians being deported by Idi Amin in Uganda, giving citizenship to Asians who were related to those who fought for the British Army, and assisting the British workforce for manual and low-skilled jobs. But this was abused for the reasons above.

    And so now this current racist government finds it relatively easy to produce statistics to back their racist campaign on stopping foreign spouses from living in the UK. That along with the ridiculous decision to free European immigration to the UK with no caps on numbers.

  • 0

    Mark Bradley

    Sorry to be the messenger of bad news.... but as the population increases the fewer the resources will be for all, which in turn increases the restrictions for visas for immigration. It will only get worse as the population of the world grows. Some day immigration from one country to another will be a very rare privilege. "Currently, for every 5 births there are 2 deaths" and "200,000 people are being born everyday" currently. Japan and Western Europe are the only two countries with stable birth rates unfortunately.

  • 1

    some07791

    Tigers:

    That along with the ridiculous decision to free European immigration to the UK with no caps on numbers.

    You know that is a 2 way street - UKers can emigrate to other EU countries. Its not ridiculous - its part of being in the EU - free movement of people.

    you quote that freedom out of context, like only other Europeans can move to the UK, not vice versa.

  • -1

    TigersTokyoDome

    some, and now we are getting to the truth of the matter. Brits certainly can live and work in Krakow or Bucharest, but I am sure you know the opportunities for employment in Krakow or Bucharest in comparison to opportunities in London. A huge difference. Out of all the EU nations the UK must be the outstanding destination for employment opportunities. So this 2 way street has in fact become a 1 lane expressway into the UK with a quiet old country lane leading out of the UK. And what puts even more emphasis on the huge influx into the UK from Europe? Yes that's right, the British social benefits safety net including unemployment benefit and housing benefit.

    It makes me very angry when the Polish foreign minister or the Romanian foreign minster make media comments complaining when the issue of Polish and Romanian immigration into the UK is raised. Instead of trying to support the huge emigration from their countries into the UK, why don't the Polish and Romanian governments do something about the very reasons why their compatriots are leaving in droves, as in lack of employment and lack of social housing and support in Poland and Romania.

    It is not a 2 way street when the opportunities for employment and housing are not available in the other EU nations.

  • 1

    zichi

    My youngest brother has lived in Italy for more than 25 years, and works at the Rome Opera House. In Italy they have a law about job vacancies. If there's an Italian with a child and qualified for the position, they must be given the job before anyone else.

  • 2

    some07791

    Tigers

    The EU != Poland and Romania.

    Germany (in growth for the last few years whilst the UK has been tanking it), France, parts of Scandinavia, Holland, benelux, Austria and on and on...

    You seriously think London is the 'outstanding destination'? The stats will tell you its Germany, with other centers being comparable to london, eg Paris, Amsterdam...

    Furthermore you seem to think that UK social benefits are the best in the EU. Go check again. There are far better safety nets in other EU countries.

    Opportunities are available in other countries - Just apply for a job that takes your fancy. held back by not speaking the local lingo? Thats a failing of British education but its not proof that the jobs arent there in the EU outside the UK.

    Anyway, here are some stats to add some substance to the debate:

    http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/britains-70-million-debate/5-british-and-other-eu-migration

  • -2

    cleo

    Tiger - I'm well aware of the history of immigration in Britain. I grew up cheek-by-jowl with a large and prosperous Asian community, and saw first-hand how this large group of people, who on paper were as British as I, were treated as second-class citizens by the people around me who considered themselves 'real' Brits. The failure/disinclination to integrate was far from one-sided.

    You haven't explained how, if the law allowed British citizens to bring their non-British spouses to reside in the country, bringing a non-British spouse to reside in the country is in any way an 'abuse' of the law.

  • -4

    tmarie

    Zichi, you're one of the few posters here I respect by this comment has made me rethink that. I'd also suggest you're a lucky case with your experience of perm residency here. Not everyone has a cake walk and many HAVE spent thousands of dollars to get it.

    I think you are American, not British so your country needs to clean up its own illegal immigration before you criticise what happens in the UK?

  • 1

    lucabrasi

    Not everyone has a cake walk and many HAVE spent thousands of dollars to get it.

    You mean yen, right? We're in Japan. How have they spent that money? I'm intrigued....

    zichi (small "z") is Scots. He's mentioned the fact often enough

  • 1

    zichi

    @tmarie

    Not everyone has a cake walk and many HAVE spent thousands of dollars to get it.

    Not if you have a Japanese spouse, which I don't know if that's your case. I don't know the charge level today, but my PR only cost ¥4,000, I think? I think anyone with a Japanese spouse should be able to get their PR within 8 years. At the time of my application, I included many letters from important known people, which certainly helped.

    Not sure if in your last sentence you are saying I'm American which I'm not but my mother is dual nationality British American, but I do also have many American family members.

    @lucabrasi

    zichi (small "z") is Scots. He's mentioned the fact often enough

    No I don't think I said that. I have said I'm a full breed Celt. I'm actually, Scots, Irish and Welsh. 50% Irish, 25% Scot and 25% Welsh.

  • 0

    Himajin

    tmarie, I have never heard of anyone in Japan with a Japanese spouse paying thousands to get permanent residence. Are you talking about a normal PR application, or Japanese citizenship?

  • -3

    tmarie

    You mean yen, right? We're in Japan. How have they spent that money? I'm intrigued....

    No, I don't. I think most of you are missing that fact that we are from wealthy and liked countries. We have a much easier time getting visas, PR than other folks. People having to fork over money for immigration lawyers in Japan isn't new, it isn't shocking and I'm rather surprised that some of you are surprised to hear this.

  • 1

    Himajin

    Of course hiring an immigration lawyer is expensive, I did it myself when I took workers to the US...it was $2,500 per visa. You didn't say that, you said 'spend thousands' for PR, leaving us to wonder what you were talking about.

  • -5

    tmarie

    Hima, how is it not the same? Some people need to hire a lawyer for PR here and that means the total cost of PR is not the 4000 yen for the stamp.

    Also not sure some of you are confused about my comments that I bolded - zichi himself made those comments and I was rather surprised that he's go for such a low blow.

  • 1

    Himajin

    'Some people need to hire a lawyer for PR ' would have been clearer than 'some people spend thousands on PR' which then requires one to guess that you mean a lawyer.

    You bolded more than one comment...was "I think you are American, not British so your country needs to clean up its own illegal immigration before you criticise what happens in the UK?" a statement by you, or a quote? In addition, I fail to see what you find offensive about "You mean yen, right? We're in Japan. How have they spent that money? I'm intrigued...." which is, I assume, the quote by zichi that you're so upset about?

  • -7

    tmarie

    That statement about the UK and the US is a quote that zichi made, not me. I was letting him know that I expect better from him.

    Hima, either way you want to write it, more than 4000 yen is spent by many people to get PR. It is a joke that some on here think that that is the total price folks pay to get PR when many do not have it as easy as we do.

  • 2

    zichi

    When people quote out of context confusion rides the wave.

  • 1

    Himajin

    It is a joke that some on here think that that is the total price folks pay to get PR when many do not have it as easy as we do.

    It may well not be on anyone's mind that some people need a lawyer for PR if they have not, or they do not know anyone who has needed one, it's hardly a character flaw.

    How many people do you know that have needed one, and why did they? The requirements are straightforward, you need proof of employment/income, you can't have any traffic violations, etc...which requirement got them hung up?

  • 2

    zichi

    tmarie

    It is a joke that some on here think that that is the total price folks pay to get PR when many do not have it as easy as we do.

    I just gave my personal experience has did "It"S ME" ad we both had an easy time in obtaining our PR's. I never mentioned that it might be the same for all, but people married to a Japanese spouse shouldn't need an immigration lawyer. Do you have any linked articles of people needing an immigration lawyer?

    Compared to what's happening in the UK, Japanese immigration is a breeze!

  • -1

    TravelingSales

    Divorce your spouse (just a quick trip to the ward office. Go back. Have him/her follow on tourist visa. Remarry in UK. End of story.

  • -2

    miyaguchatabi

    TravelingSales has quite a good idea. Plus you get some "free" time while the process is underway.

    But seriously, it's 18k pounds. Why can't these high-flying British ex-pat titans of international business get jobs paying more than that?

  • 2

    zichi

    @TravelingSales

    Divorce your spouse (just a quick trip to the ward office. Go back. Have him/her follow on tourist visa. Remarry in UK. End of story.

    Don't know how you came up with that most misguided comment. The same immigration rules for applying for a spouse visa and the right to live and work in the UK apply whether you apply inside or outside of the UK.

  • 1

    wipeout

    The PR discussion is a bit of a sideline anyway. The story here is about the difficulty of getting spouse visas for the UK. A spouse visa is the most basic type of visa under which a married person gains the right to join their partner in the partner's country of nationality. This simple process has been yanked out of reach for a lot of UK citizens and their spouses. In Japan it hasn't.

  • 1

    zichi

    visa but then marries will have to return to Japan to apply for their spouse visa.

    If a British Japanese couple are living in Japan and decide to marry I would suggest that they marry in Japan and register the marriage with the British authority. That use to happen at the British Embassy but they don't do that anymore. Everything goes via an agency in Hong Kong and then onto London with enormous charges these days. The couple could visit the UK to have a wedding reception with family and friends.

    The couple should return to live in Japan until the British national can receive their PR. In that time the British national can improve their Japanese while the Japanese national can improve their English because a UK spouse visa also requires an English language test. They could also both work and build up a good amount of savings. While waiting for the Japanese PR they can visit the UK for vacations to see what the Japanese national feels about it.

    If a Japanese national is entering the UK for marriage I think they would have to apply for a fiancé(e) visa.

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/partners-families/citizens-settled/fiancee-proposed-cp/

    When we married decades ago, international life/marriage was easier unfortunately we didn't bother much about my Japanese wife's UK visa because we never thought there would be any problems.

  • -5

    tmarie

    When people quote out of context confusion rides the wave.

    It was not out of context if you look at the post. I called you on your low blow post and your comment about how it only costs 4000 yen to get PR here when others spend much more.

    Women married to Japanese men from Asian countries have a hard time getting PR. I have heard of cases where the spouse has passed away and Japan wants to kick the widow out of Japan and her needing to spend a lot of money to get PR to stay in the country.

    No one is saying that Japan immigration is anything like the UK but my issue is with how casual some of you think getting PR is for everyone. It isn't. We're from respected countries. The majority of the spouses in Japan are not. And yes, PR IS a red herring in this discussion.

  • 1

    Himajin

    my issue is with how casual some of you think getting PR is for everyone.

    Glad to feed your need to feel self-righteous. You are picking circumstances that do not apply to the vast majority of PR applicants and then expressing shock and dismay that those people's cases are not the first to come to mind when someone says 'how much is the PR application?' For most people it's 4,000 or 6,000 yen or however much it is today....or when someone asks me how much getting PR is, should I have a price list at the ready with a fee schedule depending on status complication? 'PR is generally easy to get, and 4,000 yen' 'It's not like that for everyone!!!!! You people are awful for not thinking of those poor people who need a lawyer.' Sheesh.

    zichi saying you must be American is a 'low blow'?

    No PR and the spouse dies? And you have no idea why that might make getting PR difficult? Try it in the UK....try getting a green card in the US with no relatives, spouse, etc. It's difficult anywhere. People who need a lawyer to get PR have some kind of complication that makes it necessary, it's not that 'the man' is sticking it to them...

  • 1

    zichi

    I think you are American, not British so your country needs to clean up its own illegal immigration before you criticise what happens in the UK?

    Let me clear up the confusion on what I say above. The confusion was caused because tmarie quoted it out of context. It was part of a comment I made to Mike O'Brien who have criticised work-age benefits in the UK and the general immigration problems without any understanding of how the benefits system works or even how life in the UK is. The above was my finale line of my comment. It has nothing to do with tmarie, who is Canadian anyway, but was "offended" by it?

    As for the Japanese PR and asians. I personally know several Thai women with Japanese spouses who had no problems with their PR's. I know a Japanese women with a Pakistani husband who had no problem with his PR. Here in Kobe I know many Indians who have their PR's. So while some asians and others may have a problem obtaining their PR's many more are accepted.

    oop's by pervious is missing a part of the comment, so I repeat it here, sorry folks!

    @It"S ME

    But I noticed that foreigners that got married in Japan seem to have a tougher time than foreigners that entered on a spouse-visa.

    I think its more complicated than that. A Japanese national who arrives in the UK on a tourist visa but then marries will have to return to Japan to apply for their spouse visa.

    If a British Japanese couple are living in Japan and decide to marry I would suggest that they marry in Japan and register the marriage with the British authority. That use to happen at the British Embassy but they don't do that anymore. Everything goes via an agency in Hong Kong and then onto London with enormous charges these days. The couple could visit the UK to have a wedding reception with family and friends.

    The couple should return to live in Japan until the British national can receive their PR. In that time the British national can improve their Japanese while the Japanese national can improve their English because a UK spouse visa also requires an English language test. They could also both work and build up a good amount of savings. While waiting for the Japanese PR they can visit the UK for vacations to see what the Japanese national feels about it.

    If a Japanese national is entering the UK for marriage I think they would have to apply for a fiancé(e) visa.

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/partners-families/citizens-settled/fiancee-proposed-cp/

    When we married decades ago, international life/marriage was easier unfortunately we didn't bother much about my Japanese wife's UK visa because we never thought there would be any problems.

  • 0

    Nessie

    When we married decades ago, international life/marriage was easier unfortunately we didn't bother much about my Japanese wife's UK visa because we never thought there would be any problems.

    Because the pension and healthcare systems were solvent back then.

  • 1

    Himajin

    It was part of a comment I made to Mike O'Brien

    I see!

  • 2

    zichi

    @Nessi

    Because the pension and healthcare systems were solvent back then.

    No, I was brought up to believe that under law all British people are equal and all enjoy the same protections but as how changed.

  • -5

    tmarie

    HIma, you got stats to back up your claims that the "vast majority" of people who get PR are only spending money for the stamp? You might also want to go back and reread the thread because zichi did not claim I was American. It was to someone else.

    zichi, it was not quoted out of context. The "offending" part was suggesting someone isn't allowed to comment on anything since their own country doesn't have a perfect system. In that case, you certainly should not be commenting on immigration procedures on any other country except your own - going by your guidelines. See how silly that is to say?

  • 2

    wipeout

    HIma, you got stats to back up your claims that the "vast majority" of people who get PR are only spending money for the stamp?

    Where are your stats?

    You started with a claim that people have to spend thousands of dollars to get PR. When challenged on this, the thousands of dollars turned out to be lawyer's fees that some (unspecified number of PR applicants) have run up. You haven't shown, beyond an unsubstantiated assertion, that this is necessary. There is an application process for people with spouse visas to get PR. Granting of PR is discretionary, and it's time consuming, but there is no need to automatically have it handled by an immigration lawyer, though they will be happy to take the money and submit your forms.

    There is a pattern in your comments here (and not only here) of making a claim and failing to deliver when pressed for details. The links you post tend not show what you say (and apparently think) they show. As people are quite aware of this, they don't take your PR claim at face value. Why would they?

  • 0

    shipbrokers1234@yahoo.co.uk

    appreciate this is an old article .... however is there any updated news on the above?

    i am a brit passport holder as is my daughter, however my hong kong born wife (born under british control) is a bno passport holder. we can put up the savings but wonder if there is an easier way for her to get into uk. we are planning on going back march/april 2014 and any advice on anything - or can someone tell me which form to complete as the immigration site is very confusing. we currently live and i work in japan.

  • 1

    SyedShah69

    United Kingdom economy based on import and immigrants, the people comes from different part of the world in different immigration categories from which the UK government earn exorbitant fee and as well as different Taxes. The people come from different sectors bring the different skill and experience which support in the development of the country. This government hinders the immigrants by making harsh policy and making exorbitant fee for specially spouse visa for only non European citizen. This is the open racist policy of the UK government.

    The current financial requirement at least is £18600 gross annual income for employed with extra £ 3800 for the first child and £2400 for every onward child, if you have cash saving should not have less than £62,500- 16,000 then divide by 30 months i.e. equal to £18,600 which is totally unfair with honest & Geniune families who want to live and give British standard life to their children, it seem look like the government making policy to keep away the next generation from their home country culture. How can a person concentrate in his employment while the spouse and children are living in another country and the person struggling to full fill the so called financial requirement of the world class country, it is known as human rights country feel safe. They don’t change the policy like in Australia no one new comer can apply the benefit for 2 years except the current financial requirement.

    The average non professional income of a single person in the United Kingdom is £ 1000 per month so why have made the policy to maintain £ 1550 and the government knows since the 9/11 all we have been facing the unemployment or maintain the employment as previously provided.

    The financial requirement required only for non European citizen because as my take on this is that the British government wants to drastically reduce immigration but their hands are tied when it comes to the EU countries so they decided to take a draconian approach to non-EU countries. Come 2015 they will be able to appeal to potential UKIP voters by saying how much they have cut immigration. People like me and others in this story/thread are simply collateral damage. This will not change until EU membership terms are renegotiated or Britain exits the EU, I don’t think there are sufficient numbers of people (voters) affected to create a lobby group with any impact.

    The lack of growth in the UK economy comes from the financial crisis and the country's failure to invest in itself not immigrants. The UK needs immigration just to stand still let alone pay for pensions for future retirees. Stopping migrants, and especially stopping returnees from bringing their energy, experience, ideas and of course the next generation will just hasten the UKs isolation. The idea that the migrant population is a drain on resources is populist nonsense. The contributors far outweigh the spongers. Now if only the same could be said for the generations of locals who've had their lives nicely subsidised by state benefits.

    What's happened here is that David Cameron wanted to look like they were doing something about immigration, so he made a target based on net immigration, ie the difference between the number of people coming in and the number going out. The hitch is that he hardly has control of any of the things he'd made a target about, because the main drivers are British people retiring to warmer, cheaper countries and EU people coming into Britain to work, which can't be restricted because the UK is in the Single Market. People were probably imagining that he'd be stopping low-wage people from poor, non-EU countries moving to Britain to work, but Gordon Brown had already done that back in 2008 when he realized the immigration issue was killing him with working class voters, so there wasn't much low-hanging fruit left for Cameron to pick.

    That meant the new rules had to fall on the very limited number of people he could control, people coming in from outside the EU with their families. Cases like the one described here are a big win for David Cameron, because his net immigration numbers include the British person and both the kids, so he's keeping four people out of the numbers he'll fight the election on.

    PM David Cameron says these kind of laws are necessary to prevent a drain on the British taxpayer, and that even some EU people should be prevented from entering the Uk because they are basically "benefit tourists" but Cameron and his gov't are just trying to hide the real figures. In Jan. 2012, 371,000 people claiming working-age benefits were non-UK nationals, and from that figure 258,000 were non-EU nationals, so only 113,000 were EU nationals. In Nov. 2012, 5.6 million people were claiming working-age benefits. The 113,000 EU people claiming were just 2% of that total. The total 371,000 non-UK people were just 6.6%. So 93.4% of claimants are British born nationals.

    The population of the UK is about 63 million, from which 5.6 million or 8.8% are claiming work-age benefits. 371,000 or 0.58% claimants are non-UK persons. 113,000 or 0.17% are persons from other EU countries. 113,000 or 0.17% are persons from other EU countries. not what you would call "benefit tourists?" There are 2.3 million people from the EU living in the UK and 113,000 (4.9%) are claiming work-age benefits. 2.4 million people living in the UK are from outside the EU and 258,000 (10.75%) are claiming work-age benefits. 4.7 million people or 7.4% of the population are from outside of the EU.

  • 0

    Elisa Jed

    That will make things more difficult. I understand that a lot of immigration helping companies like http://www.immigrationsolutions.com.au have starting popping up a lot. I am curious to see how it turns out. This must be frustrating for many people.

  • 0

    Mark Simpson

    hi all,i'm in the same boat ,iv been with my girlfriend for over 2 years,we lived in spain together ,she went to see her ill mother in cuba,she is resident of spain,i come back to uk and she has put in for a tourist visa to meet my mother that has fought cancer for the second time,we put in all the papers all proof and the embassy say the bank statements are not correct and they think she would never return to cuba or spain,?it seems even if you give evidence , they just say they think that you are going to stay in uk and turn down the visa?then they have cheek to say you can put in for it again tomorrow ?yes ok we give you another load of money for you to turn it down again,we have tryed 2 times its taken 8 months for the 2 visa turn downs,its costing me 30 pound a week in skype calls and texts to keep our love alive,its killing us being apart, but will not let this heartless government play god with our lives ,did anyone see how immigration get bonus for turning down visa's this makes a mock of the visa system how can this be done fair when bonuses are offered

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