UK spouse visa rules unfair, claims Home Office Minister

19 Feb 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UK spouse visa rules are unfair for those applying to bring their spouse from outside of the European Union into the UK.

This is the view expressed by Home Office Minister James Brokenshire, who has admitted in a recent meeting that he disagrees with the discrepancies between rules for EU and global applicants.

His comments relate specifically to the minimum income thresholds imposed in 2012. These mean that anyone seeking to sponsor their non-European spouse's visa will need to be earning at least £18,600. This rises further to £22,400 for families with a child, with an additional £2,400 on top of that for each further child.

Mr Brokenshire said that he sees those with a non-EU spouse as getting a raw deal because these minimum thresholds only apply to them and not to EU applicants.

In response to comments from Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz, who said that a constituent of his in Leicester East had highlighted the discrepancy, Mr Brokenshire said: "I don't find that acceptable and it [is] something that needs to be addressed."

The BBC reported Mr Vaz's full comments as follows: "Two people living in identical houses next to each other - one who happens to be British born or a person with indefinite leave tried to bring someone from India, they have got to show their £18,600.

"However, the next door neighbour who comes from Slovakia, who has settled in Leicester, and who wants to bring her spouse in, doesn't have to show that income. That's unfair isn't it?"