UK family visa route – update 2014

28 February 2014

On the 9th July 2012, the UK Home Office introduced new rules under the UK family visa route. Applications for permission to enter/remain in the UK would be subject to meeting the newly introduced financial requirement.

On the 5th July 2013, the High Court handed down its judgment in a Judicial Review of the minimum income threshold for spouses/partners and children applying in the family route. In light of this the Home Office  paused decision-making on some spouse/partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications to enable them to consider the implications of the judgment

Lord Justice Blake in his ruling accepted the need for a minimum income requirement but also identified 5 key areas of the rules there amounted to be  a disproportionate interference with a spousal relationship cases when applied to British Citizens and Refugees. These were:

  • Setting the minimum income level above £13,400
  • The requirement of £16,000 before savings to rectify any shortfall
  • The use of a 30 month period for forward income projection, as opposed to 12 months
  • Not allowing third party support even if credible and reliable evidence of it is provided
  • Not considering the spouses own earning capacity during the 30 month period of initial entry

The Home Office appeal in the Court of Appeal is to be heard between 3 and 5 March 2014. Judgment is likely to come some time after that.