Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Minimum £18,600 income for foreign spouses lawful "in principle", Supreme Court rules

The Supreme Court has ruled that controversial minimum income rules for non-EEA spouses set by the Home Office, which campaigners say have split thousands of families apart preventing British citizens bringing their foreign spouse to the UK, are lawful "in principle".

Children's welfare, Judges said, must be protected in immigration decisions. In their judgement, the Judges conceded that the UK government's rules had the "legitimate" aim of ensuring "that the couple do not have recourse to benefits and have sufficient resources to play a full part in British life".

However, tossing a legal ‘spanner in the works’, they added the rules fail because they do not treat "the best interests of children as a primary consideration".

Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May

Since 2012, when Theresa May was Home Secretary, British citizens have been required to earn over £18,600 ($23,140) before a husband or wife from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) could be allowed to settle in the UK.

Seven Judges sitting at the highest court in the land rejected an appeal by families who argued that the rules breached their human right to a family life, stating that the minimum income requirement was "acceptable in principle". But said that the rules failed to take "proper account" of the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children when making decisions which affect them.

Judges want an amendment to the law, introduced to prevent foreign souses becoming dependent on taxpayer benefits, allowing alternative sources of funding, other than a salary or benefits, to be considered in a claim.

The minimum income rises to £22,400 ($27,870) where couples have a child who does not have British citizenship - and then by an additional £2,400 ($2,986) for each subsequent child.

Previously, applicants had to demonstrate to the Home Office that the incoming partner would not be a drain on public resources and that the couple or family could adequately support themselves.

The Immigration Rule on income, as well as English tests, has proved controversial throwing up many anomalies, such as a British citizen who marries a non-EEA person while working abroad for a period of time who then cannot take their spouse back to the UK because their work contract has ended and they have no job in Britain, let alone six month pay slips.

The threshold does not apply to spouses from within the EEA and some British citizens have taken advantage of earlier judgements, such as Surinder Singh to bring in souses via the EEA without the need to show the minimum income.

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Wayne Pearsall said...

This case whilst not what everyone wanted still goes a long way to ensuring we will win the war.

We have kids who need both parents.

We have family who can help us financially.

The Home Office refuse to take account of this and the court have told them that this is unlawful.

In principle we lost with mm, but in reality this is still a strong win.

Unknown said...

UK is becoming undemocratic and bully nowadays . How do you expect someone to earn £18,600 per annum whilst you're given a meaGerman rate per hour as low as £7.20. This is like removing your ring through your shoulder.