Chapter 8 End-of-chapter question guidance

Family life

1. What is the purpose of the probationary period for partners?  Why do you think that the government has not implemented a probationary period for other adult relatives?

The first part of the question can be answered quite briefly. It might lead you to consider what level of state intervention is appropriate in this matter. Consider the kinds of relationship adult relatives have to the sponsor, as compared with a partner. Consider the reasons they are coming. What is achieved by a probationary period? Could this have any application to other adult relatives?

2. What is the effect of the current maintenance requirements for spouses and partners on cross border relationships? Do you think that the current level of £18,600 is appropriate?

Have a look at the following website:

Consider the position prior to the change in the Immigration Rules. Consider the consequences of the current rule on maintenance. What did the courts rule in MM? What consequences of the new rule are suggested by the Kept Apart Project and how could the situation be improved for families who have been adversely affected by the rule?

3. Why are governments resistant to allowing third party support to meet the maintenance requirement?

Read the case law which has considered third party support, and in particular the arguments made for the Secretary of State. What is the effect of the Supreme Court judgment in MM v SSHD [2017] UKSC 10.

You might also want to look at the Family Migration Consultation where the government provided their justifications for removing third party support despite the judgement in the Mahad case.

4. Draft your own immigration rule for the admission of children, taking into account the policy priorities you would consider most important. How does this compare with the existing rules?

An opportunity for creativity, and for you to think about what balance you would make between an ‘immigration law approach’ and a ‘family law approach’ as described in this chapter.