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New UK visa curbs on foreign spouses

world Updated: Jun 11, 2012 02:07 IST

Only those British nationals or residents with an annual income of at least Rs. 16 lakhs will be able to bring spouses from the Indian sub-continent and other countries outside the European Union from July 9, the government announced on Sunday.

The new restrictions are part of the David Cameron government's efforts to reduce migration from outside the EU.

The curbs on non-EU spouses are intended to clamp down on bogus marriages and family visas, with migrants ending up on benefits from the taxpayer.

Home secretary Theresa May on Sunday said: "Like the rest of the immigration system, family visas have not been regulated properly for years."

"People have been allowed to come to Britain without being able to speak English," she said.

"We're changing all of that. Our plans mean the thousands of people who wish to bring their foreign spouses to live with them here in Britain will have to have sufficient financial independence," she added.