The immigration landscape in the UK has recently undergone a significant shift, particularly concerning the financial requirements for family visas. The Home Office’s decision to revise the minimum income threshold for spouse, partner, and family visas has led to noteworthy alterations that demand a comprehensive understanding.
REVISED MINIMUM INCOME CRITERIA UNVEILED:
In early December, the Home Secretary announced a series of measures aimed at reducing legal migration numbers, including a substantial increase in the minimum income threshold for spouse and partner visas. Originally set to surge from £18,600 to £38,700 in Spring 2024, this move stirred considerable attention and discussions.
UNEXPECTED TURN OF EVENTS:
However, in a surprising turn of events less than three weeks later, the Home Office revealed a revised plan. The minimum income requirement for partner and family visas will now increase to £29,000 in Spring 2024, a notable change from the previously proposed £38,700. Additionally, the separate child element in the minimum income requirement will no longer apply.
IMPACT ON EXISTING AND FUTURE APPLICATIONS:
While the full details of transitional provisions are yet to be disclosed, certain key aspects have been outlined by an official Home Office Fact Sheet:
- EXISTING FAMILY VISA HOLDERS: Those on the five-year partner route seeking to extend their stay or settle will continue to be assessed against the current £18,600 income requirement.
- NEW FAMILY VISA APPLICATIONS: Applicants applying after the threshold increase in Spring 2024 will be subject to the new £29,000 minimum income requirement.
- FIANCÉ(E) VISA HOLDERS: Those granted a Fiancé(e) Visa before the increase will be assessed against the current income requirement when applying for a Family Visa on the five-year partner route.
- SWITCHING ROUTES: Individuals on a different route wishing to switch to the five-year partner route post-Spring 2024 will be subject to the new minimum income requirement of £29,000.
While the revision from £38,700 to £29,000 may offer relief to some, it still surpasses the average UK working salary, potentially affecting numerous couples aiming to live together in the UK.
For those concerned about meeting the new requirement, considering applying before Spring 2024 could be a strategic option. Farani Taylor Solicitors’ immigration barristers are available to provide guidance on such matters.
Future Financial Requirement: The government’s staged increase plan indicates that the £29,000 threshold is just a step, with future increments planned to reach £34,500 and eventually £38,700. The timeline for these subsequent increases remains uncertain, introducing a level of unpredictability.
As the UK’s immigration policies continue to evolve, it becomes crucial for individuals and families to stay informed and strategically plan their immigration journeys. Farani Taylor Solicitors remains dedicated to offering insightful guidance and legal support in navigating these dynamic changes.