Income Thresholds -
Court rules
in favour of
Home Office

The Court of appeal has upheld the lawfulness of the income threshold introduced by the Home Office in July 2012 under the family migration rules.

Described as “unjustified” by the High Court last year, the government’s family migration policy sets a minimum income threshold of £18,600 on those seeking to sponsor a spouse or partner to enter the United Kingdom. This figure rises to £22,400 for families with a child and a further £2,400 for each extra child. Since their introduction, campaigners have argued vehemently that the minimum income rules impose a shocking infringement on the right to family life.

Given this latest judgement has gone in its favour, the Home Office is now expected to press ahead on the hundreds of cases currently on hold. These pending cases relate to applications in which all requirements apart from the minimum income threshold were met. They all now stand to be considered and refused.

On receiving the news of Lord Justice Aitkens’ ruling, a delighted James Brokenshire, the immigration and security minister, said: ‘Family life must not be established in the UK at the taxpayer’s expense and family migrants must be able to integrate. The minimum income threshold to sponsor family migrants is delivering these objectives and this judgment recognises the important public interest it serves.’

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