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Minimum income threshold: Additional info for family visa applicants

by 1st Contact | Apr 29, 2014
  • Two months ago, the Home Office challenged the High Court’s 2013 ruling on the minimum income threshold for spouses/partners and their children. The outcome of the appeal is still being decided, but the government has published some extra info that will hopefully clarify things during this stressful time.
  • Immigration

    The income threshold affects non-EEA spouses/partners and their children who are applying to settle in the UK with someone who already lives there. Generally, these applications fall under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

    How the appeal affects applications

    • Until the outcome of the appeal is known, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will continue to put on hold some spouse/partner and child applications for settlement visas/leave to remain.
    • If your application has been put on hold, it could, unfortunately, take a few months until UKVI reopens the case. This is because UKVI will not make a decision on your application until the High Court makes their decision. In all cases, you’ll be notified by UKVI in writing if your application has been put on hold.
    • UKVI has published info on the number of non-EEA applications on hold.

    Which applications are put on hold?

    • If your application has been put on hold, it will be because you don’t meet the requirements for the minimum income threshold under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. You can find these rules in Appendix FM-SE.
    • If your application was turned down for a reason not relating to the minimum income threshold (eg. by not meeting English language requirements), your application will be processed and decided as normal.
    • Adoption applications made on or after 9 July 2012 are required to meet the minimum income threshold under Part 8 of the Immigration Rules.
    • Adult dependent relatives or spouses/partners who are subject to the two-year probationary period are not affected. They don’t fall under the income threshold requirement and will be assessed under the rules that apply to them.

    Applications currently on hold

    • You can withdraw your application if it’s on hold, although UKVI won’t refund your application fee.
    • If you applied from outside the UK and want to get your passport back to travel, you can contact your visa application centre.
    • If you applied in the UK and want to travel outside the Common Travel Area, you can contact UKVI to return your passport.

    New applications

    • If you want to submit a spouse/partner or child application under Appendix FM, you can still do so like you normally would. But, if the income threshold is the only requirement you don’t meet, your application will be put on hold until the outcome of the appeal is known.
    • If you meet all of the rules, including the income threshold requirement, UKVI will consider your application successful.

    We know that this is a time of uncertainty and worry for many people waiting to hear the outcome of the appeal. We’ll endeavour to keep you updated on anything we hear. Stay tuned to our facebook page, where we’ll be keeping you informed about any updates to the appeal. 

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