UK Family visa minimum
income rise now
in effect

The final measure in the government’s five-point plan to cut net migration has now been introduced, as the minimum income required to bring family members to the UK from overseas was increased last week.

The package of measures announced in December 2023 aims to reduce the number of people coming to the UK via legal migration routes by introducing the following changes:

  • Preventing overseas care workers from bringing family members to the UK under the Health and Care Worker route.
  • Increasing the minimum salary requirement for those arriving on the Skilled Worker route, from £26,200 to £38,700.
  • Replacing the Shortage Occupation List with a new Immigration Salary List and removing the ability for employers to pay migrants less than UK workers in shortage occupations.
  • Commissioning the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out a rapid review of the Graduate route for international students.
  • Increasing the minimum income required to sponsor someone coming to the UK on a family visa from £18,600 to £29,000.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said: “We have reached a tipping point with mass migration. There is no simple solution or easy decision which cuts numbers to levels acceptable to the British people.

Whether it was words unsupported by action, unfounded optimism or just plain wishful thinking that migration would fall on its own, indifference of any kind is never going to work – only determined action, backed by strong resolve, will deliver needed change.

I promised action and we have delivered at remarkable speed. We’ve acted to cut unsustainable numbers, to protect British workers and their wages, to ensure those bringing family to the UK do not burden taxpayers, and to build an immigration system fit for the future – and one the public can rightly have confidence in.”

The minimum income requirement is in place to ensure that families are self-sufficient and do not need to rely on public funds to support their family in the UK. Before this change, the income requirement for family visas had remained unchanged for over a decade.

Phased approach to the minimum income increase for family visas

From 11 April 2024, the sponsoring family member, or in combination with the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work, must now have an income of at least £29,000 earned in the UK. The requirement can be met in a number of ways, including through savings exclusively or in addition to a lower income.

The new minimum income requirement of £29,000 represents an increase of more than 55% from the previous threshold of £18,600.

However, this figure is set to rise even further in future, as the government has opted to introduce the increase in phases to give families more time to plan accordingly. By early 2025, the minimum income threshold for family visas will have increased two more times, rising to £38,700 – to meet the new salary threshold for a Skilled Worker visa.

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