The Law Commission Report on the Simplifying the Immigration Rules, published on 14 January 2020, states that the Rules are ‘overly complex and unworkable – a drafting style, often including multiple cross-reference, that can be impenetrable’. We agree.
We have therefore listed – with links – the important pages of the Rules and the associated operational guidance here as a reference to make navigation a little easier. Most of these links can also be found in the relevant parts of the Immigration Rules page on this website.
The current Immigration Rules (the law)
Index of all the UK Immigration Rules (parts 1-15) and appendices – Appx FM / FM-SE took effect with the major changes to the rules in July 2012 and contain the detailed rules for applications based on Family Life.
Part 8 of the Rules – which has contained the core provisions prior to July 2012 – only continues to be relevant (for the purposes of same-sex partnership applications) to the family members of points based migrants and Appx W workers. There may be a very small number of people who were granted leave as a partner prior to 9 July 2012 who will still rely upon part 8 of the Immigration Rules but this will be rare. Do not be misled by many of the headings in Part 8 that appear to be relevant, they are mainly obsolete.
- Part 1: General provisions, including validity of applications, medical certificates.
- Part 7: Other categories – long residence, private life.
- Part 8: Family members – for our purposes, of points based migrants and Appx W workers.
- Part 11: Asylum – including family reunion (for pre-flight family) for refugees or those with humanitarian protection.
- Appx FM: Family members – partners (spouses, civil partners, unmarried same-sex partners * ) including consideration under Article 8 (the right to family life). Rules from July 2012.
- Appx FM-SE: Family members specified evidence – financial requirements, evidence of marriage/CP, English language.
- Appx EU: Family members of EEA citizens – the EU settlement scheme.
* Appx FM refers to unmarried same-sex partners as follows: “a person who has been living together with the applicant in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application”.
Immigration Directorate Instructions (operational guidance)
Family of people settled or coming to settle – Collection (index) of immigration staff ‘modernised’ guidance.
- Family life (as a partner), private life and exceptional circumstances. (This includes consideration of applications under Article 8 of the ECHR – the right to respect for a private and family life). The summary contains numerous links to related Appx FM documents. [Version 5 – Dec 2019]
- Family Migration Appx FM section 1.7 – Financial requirement. Home Office’s strict interpretation of the financial requirements. [Aug 2017]
- English language requirement: family members under Part 8, Appx FM. [Version 4 – Oct 2019]
- Family Policy: Partners, divorce and dissolution. Evidence that decision-makers will consider when assessing whether a relationship is genuine and subsisting, and whether the requirements of the Immigration Rules are met. [Version 1 – May 2019]
- Family reunion: for refugees and those with humanitarian protection. Guidance in respect of applications under Part 11 (ref 349, 352A/B/BA/C) of the Rules. [Version 4 – Jan 2020]
Entry Clearance Guidance
- Unmarried and same-sex partners SET05 – July 2012 – includes definition of a relationship akin to marriage.
[Important note: SET5.15 suggests it is still possible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Enter based on 4 yrs cohabitation with your partner outside the UK. This concession is no longer available.]