High Court issues judgement on UK visa income threshold

05 Jul 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The High Court has delivered its judgement on a case concerning a legal challenge to the minimum income threshold for UK spouse visa applications.

This means that current applications made under the Appendix FM that would solely be refused on the grounds of the minimum threshold not being met are being paused rather than processed.

Certain visa cases have been put on hold by the Home Office in the wake of the decision, which will give UK immigration lawyers and the immigration officials time to ascertain exactly what the implications of the judgement will be.

At the moment, the changes will not prevent people from submitting a UK spouse or partner visa application, nor will it stop them from applying through the family route to acquire a visa for their child. However, applicants are advised to take into account the fact that their application will be paused if it would normally only be rejected due to the fact that the minimum income threshold is not met.

Applicants that meet the minimum threshold, along with all other threshold requirements, will see their application for UK visa access processed and granted as before.

It is also worth noting that not all adoption cases are affected by the change. Applications which are not legally required to meet the minimum income threshold will remain unaffected.

The decision to pause judgement has come in the wake of three claimants who have challenged the High Court on the new measures implementing earnings thresholds for British citizens looking to sponsor the visas of non-EU spouses.

The judge ruled that while the immigration rules governing the family route are not unlawful, they are "onerous" and "unjustified".

At the moment, the family route requires that British citizens earn at least £18,600 a year if they want to sponsor a non-EU spouse's visa. For families with a child, this figure rises to £22,400 and a further £2,400 for each extra child.