Start of new school year highlights UK visa problems

09 Sep 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The start of a new school year has once again highlighted the problems created by the income thresholds imposed on UK spouse visas and family visa routes.

As children return to school, many families are facing difficulties as some parents are forced to leave the country as a result of UK visa problems. The Bailey family spoke to The Independent about their situation, explaining that the problem is emotional but has been driven by financial difficulties.

Guy Bailey, whose American wife Stacey has had to remain in the US until her British husband has been earning the minimum sponsorship threshold of £18,600 for at least six months, told the paper the problems the situation has created with his son: “I don’t know how you’d begin to explain to a five-year-old that these people think your mum shouldn’t be with you because she wasn’t born here.

“Vincent just thinks Stacey is looking after his toys and packing them up into boxes for him. It’s a white lie but it helps him make sense of what’s going on.”

The comments come as Conservative MP Andrew Percy is to speak in Parliament against the income threshold. The High Court has already described the thresholds as “onerous” and “unjustified” but so far no changes have been forced through, although the mounting evidence may prompt the government to reconsider.

The minimum income to sponsor a spouse or partner on a UK visa is £18,600. This rises to £22,400 if you are sponsoring a child as well and for each additional child individuals will need an additional income of £2,400.