A chink of light as the government relaxes rules (a bit) on income and immigration.

Posted On: Friday, August 25th, 2017 @ 9:56 am by Sallie Davies

A British citizen or someone with indefinite leave to remain who wishes to live in the UK with their partner who is not British or an EU citizen must earn at least £18,600 per year or have substantial savings. This figure increases if there are non-British or EU children involved.

Families have inevitably been kept apart as a result of this income requirement. Now the Supreme Court has decided that the government must take into account the real hardship this can cause especially when there are children involved. So the government has changed the rules.

Now, if a couple cannot reach the financial threshold, the Home Office can consider alternative sources of income where there might be ‘unjustifiably harsh consequences’ for a family if they cannot live together in the UK. If there are children involved the Home Office must look at the best interests of those children. In some exceptional cases, the Home Office could simply grant the leave to enter or stay without any other sources of income being available.

The alternative sources of income could be:

  1. Third party support from friends and relatives for example

  2. Future possible earnings from a job or self-employment that has been arranged already

  3. Any other ‘credible and reliable’ source of income

  4. Access to public funds in rare cases if a person is destitute or if a child’s welfare is at risk.

As with all immigration applications it will be vitally important to produce an irritating amount of nit-picking evidence that there is real hardship and that there is money coming from somewhere else to support the family. Nevertheless, this may be an answer for some hard-pressed families.


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