21 March 2024

Sponsoring a Spouse is Getting more Expensive.

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On 14 March 2024, the Home Office published the latest statement of changes (SOC). It confirms the increase to the Minimum Income Requirement for those in the five-year partner and child routes under Appendix FM. These changes will be effective from 11 April 2024.

How much is the increase?

The minimum income threshold for a spouse visa will increase from £18600 to £29,000 on 11th April 2024. The new income requirements will apply to new applicants only.

What will happen to extension applications?

There will be transitional arrangements in place for those who already have a family route visa within the fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner or five-year partner route, or who applied before 11th April 2024 and are being granted. Those who already have a visa under the current rules or made an application before 11th April 2024 will continue to benefit from the exiting lower financial requirement. The increased income threshold will not be applicable to them.

What will be the child element of the new requirement?

We have been raising this issue for some time now that British citizens are being discriminated compared to those on a Skilled Worker visa. Therefore, the child element of the minimum income requirement is completely taken out under the new rules. This means income threshold will not be increased regardless of how many children are applying with the spouse/partner/fiancé.

This will ensure that the British citizens are treated the same way as other migrants who are only required to meet the Skilled Worker salary requirements as a flat rate, regardless of any children being sponsored.

What if minimum income criteria are is not met?

Leave will only be approved if there are exceptional circumstances which would render refusal of the application a breach of ECHR Article 8. This is usually because refusal will result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant or their family. We know this will be very difficult to prove. In addition, the insurmountable obstacles element is retained within the Immigration Rules. This is applicable to those who believe they cannot continue their family life outside the UK. Those granted on this basis are placed on a longer 10-year route to settlement.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss that may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

About the Author

Awais has an extensive experience of advising high net-worth individuals on all types of immigration matters, ranging from investor and entrepreneur visa applications to appeals and judicial reviews in the Immigration Tribunal and the High Court.

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