UK Spouse/Family visas: the issue of minimum income requirement

A Spouse visa is a typical type of visa which should bring a family together, where one of the family members or more are not a citizen of the country they want to migrate to.

Every country has its own program for family reunification, and each country has its own rules and requirements. Although to the government it can be the best option, many people are struggling to bring family over into the UK. 

One of the most hard problems these people are facing, is the minimum income requirement that the government demands, if the partner is a non-EU citizen. The current required amount for British citizens to transfer their spouses to their country is £18,600, which is way higher than the National Minimum Wage, and a big percentage of Britons struggle to reach less than three quarters of that amount.

The situation has been very hard for many people who earn way less than the minimum amount set by the government. Many stories are shared of people who had their visa rejected because they could not fully support the application of their partner. According to BBC “the Migration Observatory estimates 51% of working people in Wales do not earn enough to meet the new requirements”; and across the UK the percentage is not very different: 47%.
The Migrants Rights Newtwork published a report in December 2013 sharing two stories which appeared in the news, but there is a young British man, who has published a petition online on charge.org who is facing these difficulties because he cannot afford to bring his wife being her an American citizen.

If you are interested in signing the petition, click here. (It will open in a new tab)
This is the petition description that you can also find on the link above:
“The High Courts suggested £13,000 — still above National Minimum Wage — which is being appealed by the Home Office as too low. Meanwhile, members of the EU with non-EU spouses and children are not subject to any income requirement. British citizens should not be punished for the porous borders the EU has created.
As the Home Secretary, Theresa May, said herself, ‘Equality is not an aside for me; it is not an after-thought or a secondary consideration. It is at the heart of what this coalition government is about.’ However, these current laws openly discriminate against the poor.
We propose lowering the income requirement so that citizens working full-time (37 hours) on a minimum wage salary can be with their families — £12,140.” 

This shows the difficulties for some British citizens in securing permission for their non-European husbands, wives and partners which are not from the EU to visit them in the UK, since the introduction of new family migration rules on 9 July 2012.
–> Evidence from 63 families suggests that non-EU nationals from a wide range of countries, including Commonwealth and US citizens, have been unable to visit their British partner here since July 2012.
–> Refusal of a visit visa has prevented some non-EU partners from attending important family occasions in the UK, including funerals and the birth of their children, like it happened to a man from Turkey who married a British woman who was pregnant and wanted her husband to visit her and attend their child birth, but his visa was denied.
–> In a small number of cases, American and Canadian partners (who do not require a visit visa for the UK) have been placed in immigration detention upon arrival, before being removed.
–> Over half of the non-EU partners prevented from visiting the UK had also been unable to secure a spouse visa here as a result of the £18,600 income requirement.

If you are interested in this cause, please sign the petition. Many British citizens would appreciate this.

Source: Change.org petition, BBC, Migrants Rights Network

 

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