Immigration rules regarding minimum earnings


There has been lots of discussion recently over immigration and the right to family life.

If you are a British citizen and you wish to bring your non-EU wife, husband or partner to the UK to live here with you, they will need to apply for a partner visa from the Home Office.

In order to be granted a partner visa, your partner will have to meet many criteria. These include proving that you are in a genuine and subsisting relationship, that they have a suitable grasp of the English language, and that they meet the financial requirement.

The financial requirement for partner visas has been in the news recently (June 2013) as a cross-party group of MPs has called for a review of the law. The MPs believe the new requirement for minimum earnings, introduced in July 2012, has resulted in families being split up or being forced to move overseas in order to live together.

In order to meet the financial requirement, you, the sponsor, must have a minimum annual income of £18,600. If your non-EU partner is already in the UK and is applying for permission to stay, their income can be counted towards the financial requirement.

If you have a child with your partner who is not a British citizen and you are sponsoring them as well, the minimum income required rises to £22,400 and increases by £2,400 for every extra child.

The Home Office introduced the new financial rules in order to reduce the level of non-EU immigration to the UK. In addition, it wants people who do move here to not be a burden on the British taxpayer. The Home Office believes that if the financial threshold is met, immigrants will be able to integrate into British society more effectively.

However, the requirement also means some children, including babies, have been separated from their parents, even if the non-EU parent has an income that exceeds the minimum requirement.

If you are sponsoring your non-EU partner and would like some legal advice about their partner visa application and the financial requirement, you can speak to a specialist immigration solicitor. Call us on 0800 177 7162 or fill in the web-form and we will be able to help

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