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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7101
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am British, employed and have returned to the UK, Cornwall

Resolved Question:

I am British, employed and have returned to the UK, Cornwall since March this year form living in Spain for 14 years. I married in Spain in 2000 to my filippina wife. We have 2 children with british passports. I am trying to get my wife here on a settlement visa but do not earn the threshold of 18,600 pa. My son is with me in Spain but my daughter remains in Spain with my wife. Are there any mitigating circumstances that I might use to reunite my family in the UK? I have sufficient accommodation am receiving no benefits and my eldest child is already in school locally.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Do you claim disability benefits?

Has your wife obtained permanent residence in Spain and is she able to nauturalise as a Spanish citizen?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not claim disability. I live with my father of 79 yrs in Cornwall. She would probably not be eligible for spainsh citizenship as she is unemployed. In any case it is a 2 to 3 year process. She lives in our family house mortgage paid.

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your patience.

The salary threshold only recently came part of the eligibility criteria. It will be successfully challenged in time and probably found to be unenforceable, but it will take at least 1-2 years.

The options, which are not great are as follows:-
1) Wait for it to be found unlawfully by other appellants, presumably not to your liking
2) Challenge it yourself, presumably not affordable because it would cost tens of thousands of pounds (most likely) with a very appreciable risk it would not succeed
3) Your wife to naturalise as a Spanish Citizen. She should take advice in this regard from a Spanish attorney to ascertain (definitively) how long it would take. If it’s not that long (ie. Less than 6 months to a year) then this is a real possibility because once she has this she can exercise treaty rights under the Spanish passport
4) Apply under the Surinder Singh Ruling. However, this would require you to uproot to an EEA member state and work there for at least three months with your wife then apply to enter the UK with your wife under this ruling, which effectively means that your wife would only have to meet the criteria of a non-EEA spouse of an EEA national exercising treaty rights in the UK.

It’s a “backdoor” way to get in, but it does work.There’s an an acknowledgement of the position by the UKBA at 2.5.1 here:-

5) Your wife to apply in another category. Either as student ( or as a worker ( or, most likely under the Sponsored Skilled Worker category:

Those are her options in a nutshell. I am very sorry, I don’t agree with the threshold at all.

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Kind regards,

Thomas, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 7101
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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