Some family migration applications paused

migration, home office 09 July 2013

The High Court has ruled that the UK's Immigration Rules relating to the minimum income threshold for sponsors of spouses/partners and children applying for entry into the UK under the family route are not unlawful but are "onerous... and unjustified", urging the Home Secretary to alter them.

Currently, only British citizens (or those with refugee status) who earn £18,600 or more a year can sponsor a non-European spouse's visa, or £22,400 for families with a child.

As a result of this ruling, the Home Office has announced that decisions on some family settlement and leave to remain applications will be paused.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said that, until they had assessed the ruling, "where an applicant does not meet the minimum income threshold and there is no other reason to refuse it, the application will be put on hold."

According to the Home Office, this will allow the organisation time to consider the High Court's judgment before processing further applications made under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.

This pause will only apply to those applicants who do not meet the Rules regarding the minimum income threshold; applications that meet all the acceptance criteria will be "accepted and decided as normal". Similarly, applicants who do not meet the non-income-related criteria (e.g. English language requirements) will be rejected as normal.

The Home Office will make a further announcement on this "in due course".

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