UK government to increase the cost of UK Spouse Visa in April, 2024 Image

UK government to increase the cost of UK Spouse Visa in April, 2024

12-03-24
Shreya
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UK government to increase the cost of UK Spouse Visa in April 2024

UK residents, citizens, or armed officials who wish to sponsor their foreign spouse or partner for a UK visa need to provide proof of maintained funds which were equal to an income requirement of at least £18,600 per year, while the rules are a bit different for migrants bringing immediate family to the UK on a dependant visa. The UK Government intends to increase the required maintenance fund threshold from £18,600 to £29,000 in April 2024 and ultimately to £38,700 by early 2025.

Funds requirement to leap from £18,600 to £29,000 in 2024

The UK spouse visa requirement which was established in 2012 to be £18,600 is now being increased to £29,000 in April 2024. As per the financial requirements introduced by the Coalition Government in July 2012 to reduce immigration families needed to support themselves without being a burden to general taxpayers. This requirement could only be met on set sources of income and funding stated in the immigration rules.

Starting from April 11, 2024, the UK government is increasing the minimum income requirement for people bringing foreign spouses or partners into the country. The current threshold of £18,600 per year will rise to £29,000, then possibly to £34,000 later in 2024, and ultimately to £38,700 in early 2025. This change is driven by the government's concern about high immigration and the idea that foreign partners should not rely on state support.

For instance, only the sponsor's income typically counts if the pair depends on money from their jobs. Only if the applicant for the visa is lawfully employed in the UK and is transferring to a partner visa or extending an existing one will their employment income be considered.

The flexibility would only be shown in certain cases such as if the visa refusal will result in the act of violation of the human rights of the couple, this requirement is also not applicable in case the sponsor receives a carer’s allowance or there are any disability-related issues.
 

Is the income requirement justified?

As per the migrant rights group, the income requirement is unjust stating that it would prevent British Citizens and others with foreign spouses from bringing them to the UK and families would also be separated until the sponsor meets the requirement.

Critics also draw attention to features or outcomes of the policy. These include the threshold level, the disparate effects it has on regions and populations, and the stringent criteria for supporting documentation. Although exact figures are uncertain, the effect on immigration may be in the tens of thousands.

In court, the £18,600 threshold was put to the test. The Supreme Court ruled in February 2017 that the minimum income requirement was constitutional in theory, but it also mandated that the regulations be amended to provide for more flexibility. Since it was first introduced in 2012, the proposal has generated a great deal of interest in the legislature. The House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee suggested reforms as per the report for 2023, but the increase of income threshold from £18,600 to £29,000, and ultimately to £38,700, has led to renewed public and parliamentary scrutiny.

 

The rising income threshold by 2025

Starting from April 11, 2024, the government of the UK will initiate the increase for the UK spouse visa from£18,600 to £29,000 annually, to reach £38,700 by the beginning of 2025. This step is primarily taken to limit the immigration in UK as well as stating that the immigrants can not be the burden of the state or the taxpayers. People who will be applying on or before April 11th, 2024 will have a current £18,600 requirement. The annual wage threshold for immigrants entering the country on a skilled worker visa has been raised to £38,700, increasing the likelihood of a judicial challenge.

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