UK spouse visa rules ‘causing anguish’ for families

# 2 min read 13/06/2013

UK spouse visa rules ‘causing anguish’ for families

A group of MPs and their peers have said that the new financial rules for migrants from outside the European Union looking to join their spouse, partner, or fiancé in the UK are ‘causing anguish’ and tearing families apart.

Since July 2012, they said, thousands of Britons and settled migrants have been unable to bring their spouses or partners from outside of the EU as they were unable to meet the minimum earnings threshold. The parliamentary group has also commented on cases where children have been separated from their parents as a direct result of the rules.

The UK Home Office said the rules were put in place to ease the burden of migration on the taxpayer.

Under the rules, British Citizens and settled migrants can only sponsor their non-EU spouse/partner to come to the UK by showing an income of at least £18,600. This figure will increase to £22,400 for families with one child. For any additional children, families will need to show an extra £2,400 of income.

Group on Migration, an all-Parliamentary group has called for an independent review of the rules relating to the minimum income requirement and is looking at more than 175 families who have been affected in the last year. So far 45 out of the 175 cases reviewed have claimed that they are unable to meet the income requirements and this has led to the separation of children from their non-EU parent.

A Home Office spokesperson stated that:

“high-value migrants would not be refused because their British spouse or partner was not employed. They can meet the income threshold by having cash savings of £62,500 or through their own private income, for example from investments.”

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