To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of current regulations on spousal visas on low wage families in the UK; and if she will amend spousal visa application criteria to take into account potential employment opportunities that migrant spouses might have to bridge the minimum income threshold.
14 September 2015
We welcome those who wish to make a life in the UK with their family, work hard and make a contribution, but family life must not be established here at the taxpayer's expense. The minimum income threshold under the family Immigration Rules for sponsoring a non-European Economic Area national spouse to come to the UK aims to prevent burdens on the taxpayer and promote integration. Its level reflects advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee on the income which means a family settled in the UK will generally cease to be able to access income-related benefits.
The employment prospects of the migrant spouse are no guarantee that they will find work in the UK. Those with an appropriate job offer here can apply under Tier 2 of the Points Based System. Migrant spouses coming to the UK under the family route must be capable of being independently supported by their sponsor or by their joint savings or non-employment income. The courts have agreed that this is a matter of public policy for the Government and Parliament to determine.