Many of British citizens, who want or ever wanted to wed a foreigner felt some sympathy for Prince Harry and his American fiancée Meghan Markle last year. Since 2012 it has become more difficult for the British to marry foreigners. There are various reasons for that. The first and foremost, an expensive test has caused many obstacles for British willing to connect their lives with the foreigners. Prince Harry was not an exception, he had a long interview with the Home Office. Also, Ms. Markle will not be able to avoid the procedure that most other foreign brides have to go through.
We believe that the first step for her is to obtain a fiancée visa, which will unite the couple and let them live together after the wedding. After that, Ms. Markle will be eligible to submit an application for leave to remain. Thereafter, she might be able to apply for a permanent residence after having resided in the UK for 5 years. Of course, this all is possible, if she will successfully pass the British life test. Another difficulty that we should admit, that this is a rather costly procedure and not many people can afford it. Roughly, it would cost nearly GBP 7000 all in.
However, not only foreign fiancée has to suit endless requirements for being able to become the wife of a British citizen. British husband/wife will have to pass a minimum income threshold. According to the new rules, a British national who wants to connect life with the foreign partner must have an income of approximately GBP 18,6000 a year. Saying from the start, 40 % of British citizens would not be able to pass this threshold, as their income is much less. The most interesting fact is that Prince Harry may also fail to succeed in this test, as since leaving the army in 2015 he has not done much work, but charity. Even so, they were able to get married due to having over GBP 62,000 of savings – this is what saved the legal part of their marriage.
Let us provide some statistics – in 2010 almost 41 thousand fiancée visas were granted, but 6 years later when the new rules came in, only 29 thousand of the lucky got a visa. This is a significant difference when more than a quarter of applicants were rejected. Rules on getting fiancée visa are getting tightened, which leave no other choice for British nationals but to give up their dreams to wed a special citizen of nowhere.