In a major victory for immigration law advocates and Spouse Visa applicants, the British Government has amended the Immigration Rules surrounding the minimum income threshold to make it easier for some families to meet the requirements.
The Statement of Change, released on 20th January 2017, makes the following changes to the Appendix FM-SE of the Immigration Rules.
- An immigration official deciding on an application (known as the decision-maker) for a UK Spouse Visa may now consider third-party funding which would allow the sponsoring partner to meet the Minimum Income Requirement.
- If the minimum income requirement is not met by the sponsoring partner, the decision-maker may consider whether there are exceptional circumstances which would render refusal of the application a breach of Article 8 because it would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant and/or their family.
- The decision-maker must have regards to the best interests of any child affected by their decision on whether to grant entry-clearance to the applicant.
- If entry-clearance is granted on Article 8 grounds, applicants may be placed on a 10-year route to settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain), with scope to apply later to enter the five-year route where they subsequently meet the relevant requirements
Background to the Statement of Change
In February 2017, the Supreme Court in the case of MM (Lebanon) & Others upheld the lawfulness of the minimum income requirement. However, the judges found
a) that other reliable sources of earnings or finance, beyond those currently permitted under Appendix FM-SE, should be considered in circumstances where refusal of the application could otherwise breach Article 8; and
b) that Appendix FM did not give direct effect to the Secretary of State’s duty under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and immigration Act 2009 to have regard, as a primary consideration, to a child’s best interests in an immigration decision affecting them.
The Statement of Change puts into effect the Supreme Court’s findings and recommendations.
The effect of this change on family visa applicants
Since the decision in MM (Lebanon) & Others, many spouse, partner and fiancé visa applications have been on hold. Now the Immigration Rules have been amended to reflect the Supreme Court’s decision, these applications can move forward, with some now having the chance to succeed where previously, entry-clearance may have been denied.
There will be a more detailed analysis of this development available later today.
OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in the UK. If you need advice on any immigration law matters, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our dedicated immigration lawyers.
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 020 7936 9960 or contact us online.
We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, student visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, asylum and human rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.
Our top immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.
Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0207 936 9960.
By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.
Posted on: Friday, 21 July, 2017