Love after Brexit

Now the drawn out divorce between the UK and the EU is over and the new rules are taking shape, we thought a one-off piece on how Brexit has affected visas and immigration wouldn't go amiss as the UK starts to navigate its way back into the world. 

During the pandemic, Berkeley International has seen substantial increases in new global membership members. The basic human need for love and company and trust has never been more highlighted. 

Cross border and global relationships are on the up so we thought a snapshot of the new rules might be useful for those who might know, or want to help, someone faced with this situation. As we can all attest, finding the right person is hard enough without being limited by geographical boundaries. 

The new rules are making cross border relationships harder. Sponsors (for this piece ‘sponsors' are UK nationals or EU nationals residing in the UK) will now need to have a job and meet minimum earnings requirements, or have sufficient savings to meet the requirement. The English language proficiency test is higher too. Not forgetting that ‘retained rights of residence’ (available if you have been married for 3 years or more) are also now a goner - if a relationship breaks down, unless you have access rights or custody of children in the UK or in cases of domestic violence, then if you can’t find another immigration category to switch to, you will have to leave the UK. 

To get in to the UK, it will now take many thousands of pounds plus legal fees to get through the three visa application stages to get a loved one permanent residency after five years. They say you can’t put a price on love but that price is going up. 

A final point of note is that if the UK sponsor is living overseas and wishes to return to the UK with their spouse, only the overseas income of the sponsor will be taken into account. This can cause problems if the sponsor is female and has (for example) been raising a family overseas and has not been working. If the couple can’t show sufficient savings or income from another permitted source, no visa. 

For many then, more obstacles than ever are being raised to finding love, but at least we will from the outset find your perfect person, the rest can be worked out in time. #countingourblessings