The legality of the minimum income threshold rules for spouse and partner cases has today been upheld by the Supreme Court, despite the Home Office losing the individual appeal cases before it.
Under changes to the immigration rules introduced in July 2012, applicants must show that they meet certain minimum income thresholds to qualify for relationship-based visa.
The annual income thresholds are presently:
- £18,600 for a partner; plus potentially
- an additional £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each subsequent child dependent on the application.
The current rules are claimed to have affected the rights of 15,000 dependant children and, because of their nature, impact greatest on low income families.
The Supreme Court has today endorsed the need for a minimum income threshold, confirming that it is a legitimate aim for the government to ensure that couples have sufficient resources such as not to have recourse to public funds. However, the court judgement continues that the rules fall short because they do not treat "the best interests of children as a primary consideration".
The Home Office has been urged to review how implementation of the rules can take more account of alternative sources of income, aside from just benefits and salaries.
In short, the current rules will remain in force whilst the Home Office "carefully [considers] what the court has said in relation to exceptional cases where the income threshold has not been met, particularly where the case involves a child".
If you are looking for representation and assistance with a relationship based application, please contact one of our Law Society, specialist accredited immigration solicitors on +44(0)20 7038 3980, via our online contact form or instant chat, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.