News Archive - October 2013

UK visa rules unjust, claims Welsh man

28 Oct 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A Welsh man has said that recent changes to UK visa regulations are “unjust” due to the implementation of minimum income thresholds.

David Hook, a construction worker from Swansea, married a Canadian woman but has been unable to bring her to live in Britain due to the restrictions, which require Brits to earn a minimum of £18,600 a year before they can qualify to apply for a UK spouse visa for a partner from outside the EU.

A BBC Wales investigation looked at how these rules are playing out in practice. It found that the minimum income rule would prevent around half of the Welsh workforce from applying for a UK spouse visa.

Mr Hook told the reporters: “In south Wales I was working as a construction labourer on the minimum wage. You're not going to make that [minimum income] a year. Now I'm working in security and again most of that is minimum wage.

"The most I've ever earned is about £14,000 a year - and that was working 70, 75 hours a week."

Speaking to the BBC's 'Eye on Wales' programme, he added that he had not seen his wife in about a year until they were recently reunited at Gatwick airport. Unfortunately, UK immigration officials denied his wife entry and she was detained in a removal centre for two days, causing the couple much distress.

This is not the first case to question the justification behind the minimum income threshold for UK spouse visa sponsorship. The system's legality has already been questioned in the courts leading to all spouse visa applications being frozen until the situation can be remedied.