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.