HC Deb 22 May 1990 vol 173 c139W
Mr. Channon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what are the criteria adopted under the present immigration rules in deciding whether the non-United Kingdom spouse of a United Kingdom citizen has the right to settle in the United Kingdom;

(2) whether the non-United Kingdom spouses of British citizens have an absolute right to enter the United Kingdom under the immigration rules;

(3) what right the non-United Kingdom spouse of a United Kingdom citizen who has lived in the United Kingdom for a period of three years has to settle in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Under the immigration rules, a person who wishes to settle in the United Kingdom with a spouse who is a British citizen must hold a current entry clearance granted for that purpose. An applicant must satisfy the entry clearance officer:

  1. a. that the marriage was not entered into primarily to obtain permission to the United Kingdom; and
  2. b. that each of the parties has the intention of living permanently with the other as his or her spouse; and
  3. c. that the parties to the marriage have met; and
  4. d. that there will be adequate accommodation for the parties and their dependants without recourse to public funds in accommodation of their own or which they occupy themselves; and
  5. e. that the parties will be able to maintain themselves and their dependants adequately without recourse to public funds.

A person holding an entry clearance issued for this purpose is normally admitted for an initial period of 12 months and granted settlement at the end of that period provided that the conditions are still met.

The spouse of a British citizen may apply for British citizenship by naturalisation after three years' residence in the United Kingdom. Naturalisation is at the discretion of the Secretary of State. Among other requirements set out in schedule 1 to the British Nationality Act 1981, applicants must be of full age and capacity, good character, and meet specified periods of residence in the United Kingdom.

In 1989, 320 spouses and finance(e)s resident in Hong Kong were granted entry clearances to settle in the United Kingdom on the basis of marriage to British citizens and six applications were refused.