Last weekend, at the Liberal Democrats Spring conference in York, Nick Clegg discussed the party’s new immigration policy which is intended to ensure that “migration works” and helps deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society.” Among key measures, the Lib Dems acknowledge that international students contribute nearly £13 billion to our economy and instead of deterring them, the UK should aim to increase their numbers. In addition, the Lib Dems spoke of the current immigration rules restricting the ability of some British citizens to live in the UK with their partner and families and recognized that this was causing friction in migrant communities who were affected by family separation, of husbands and wives, and from elderly parents living in their home countries.
New Lib Dems Immigration Policy: Key Measures
The Lib Dems have stated that they are committed to the following measures:
- Increasing number of international students by taking them out of net migration target;
- Allowing foreign graduates in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) take up a skilled job in the UK for up to three years after graduating;
- Re-examine the current financial threshold for family reunification; Lib Dems propose to ask the Migration Advisory Committee to reconsider the minimum income threshold for a spouse to come to the UK;
- Relax current immigration rules so that migrants bringing elderly relatives to the country should be allowed to do so where they are able to maintain and accommodate them without recourse to public funds; and
- Propose introduction of a ‘grandparents’ super visa’ that would allow grandparents to visit for a period of up to two years on condition of an actuarially-calculated health levy.
Relaxing UK Immigration Rules for Elderly Relatives of British Citizens
The current immigration rules state that relatives must demonstrate that they as a result of, “age, illness or disability, require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks e.g washing, dressing and cooking…[and are] ..unable even with the practical and financial help of a sponsor to obtain a required level of care in the country where they are living…”. Since their implementation, the rules have been criticized by those who believe that it is “impossible to succeed in this visa category” and many “fit and healthy grandparents” would not be able to make a successful visa application therefore depriving British citizens (including children) from reuniting with family.
The Lib Dems recognised that this has resulted in the number of migrants entering via this route relatively low. Less than 2,000 entered in 2012, and this number has been falling steadily since 2007. The Lib Dems have now stated their intentions to put simpler entry rules in place so as to relax requirements in this category.
Successful Elderly Dependent Visa Applications & Appeals
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making a visa application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law.
We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had a visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.