Appeal Court: Family migration rules lawful

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the minimum income threshold under the new family migration rules is lawful.

The minimum income threshold for British citizens to sponsor a non-EEA spouse or partner or child to come and live in the UK was introduced in July 2012.

Following advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee, the minimum income threshold was set at £18,600 for sponsoring a spouse or partner, rising to £22,400 for also sponsoring a child and an additional £2,400 for each further child.

Welcoming the judgment, Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “I am delighted that the Court of Appeal has comprehensively upheld the lawfulness of this important policy.

“We welcome those who wish to make a life in the UK with their family, work hard and make a contribution, but family life must not be established in the UK at the taxpayer’s expense and family migrants must be able to integrate.”

The latest judgment overturns an earlier High Court judgment from July 2013, which was supportive of the approach but found that the impact of the minimum income threshold on family life could be disproportionate.

The judgment will mean that from 28th July, the 4,000 individuals whose applications are currently on hold, pending this judgment, will now receive a decision. These are cases which met all the requirements apart from the minimum income threshold and now stand to be refused.

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