According to a new rule, the minimum income threshold shall be raised to £38,700 a year which is more than double the present minimum income requirement which is £18,600.
This means that if a British national who wants to sponsor his wife from the Philippines earns less than £38,700 annually, he is not qualified to sponsor her UK spouse visa application and therefore the Filipina wife cannot be allowed to live and settle in the UK with her partner.
This new rule applies to all UK settlement visa applications including UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancee Visa and other dependent visa such as the UK Child Dependent Visa.
UK officials disclosed that the increase in the minimum income threshold aims to lower the immigration levels which they say has drastically escalated in recent years. According to statistics, net UK migration steadily rose and reached to 745,000 in 2022
LEGAL ACTION IN THE WORKS
In an article published by The Guardian, however, a support and campaign organization formed by people affected by rules on immigration called Reunite Families have recently asked assistance from a UK law firm to question the impending rule from being enforced.
According to the article, “Grounds for a legal challenge could include the government’s handling of impact assessments of the rule change, questioning how the new £38,700 income minimum has been reached, or whether the change interferes with the right to family life under the 70-year-old European convention of human rights, which the UK helped draft and remains bound by.”
In a statement, Caroline Coombs, co-founder and chief executive of the Reunite Families said that she “… have never seen our community so galvanised and upset” adding the increase in the minimum income threshold was a, “…horrendous shock for tens of thousands of British citizens and their loved ones … To declare it just before Christmas and leave people with no details is just utterly cruel.”
The Guardian article added that, “…new analysis shows the doubling of the threshold means most people in large parts of the UK will no longer earn enough to live with a partner from abroad, creating a new north-south divide. Three-quarters of people can afford to bring a loved one from abroad, but under the new threshold, more than 60% will not be able to afford it, rising to 75% in the north-east of England.
“People in the north-east, Yorkshire and the Humber, the north-west, east Midlands, Wales and Northern Ireland will be worst affected and the south-east will be least affected.”
“We have instructed the law firm, Leigh Day, to advise us on potential legal avenues,” Reunite Families said. “Given the absolute lack of information currently provided on the policy, we want further detail from the home secretary on the policy as a first step.”