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Closed petition Don’t increase the income requirement for family visas to £38,700

Currently the financial requirements to bring your spouse to the UK is £18,600 per year and now the Government wants to more than double it. Most people in the UK don’t make that per year. We believe this policy punishes those who fall in love with someone with a different nationality.

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Most people in the UK don’t make £38,700 per year and now may face the choice of a lifetime without their partner or leaving their own country because they fell in love and can’t meet the financial requirement for the family visa.

We believe it's inhumane for the Government to do this to British citizens and others entitled to family visas, and that this policy is punishing people for failing in love with someone who has a different nationality.

This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

101,321 signatures

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Parliament will consider this for a debate.

Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate.

Waiting for a new Petitions Committee to be appointed after the General Election

Government responded

This response was given on 10 January 2024

The Government intends to raise the MIR in line with the general salary threshold for skilled workers, but will do so in stages to provide predictability for families, starting in spring 2024.

Read the response in full

The minimum income requirement (MIR) was introduced in July 2012 to ensure family migrants could be supported at a reasonable level, so they do not unreasonably become a burden on the British taxpayer, and to help ensure they can participate sufficiently in everyday life to facilitate their integration into British society. The MIR has not been increased in line with inflation or real wages since its introduction, or been adjusted in light of the rising numbers of migrants using the route.

The Home Secretary, in his announcement to Parliament on 4 December 2023, made clear that the intention is to bring the MIR in line with the new minimum general salary threshold for skilled workers, £38,700. This will ensure people only bring dependants to the UK they can support financially and will apply to all British and settled sponsors under the five-year partner route to settlement.

In spring 2024, we will raise the minimum income threshold for family visas to £29,000, that is the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs which are eligible for skilled worker visas. We will incrementally increase the threshold, moving to the 40th percentile (currently £34,500), and finally to the 50th percentile (currently £38,700, and the level at which the general skilled worker threshold is set) by early 2025.

There will no longer be a separate child element to the MIR, to ensure British nationals are not treated less favourably than migrants who are required to meet the general skilled worker threshold as a flat rate, regardless of any child being sponsored. Other aspects of the MIR will remain unchanged, such as the various ways in which it can be met and the consideration of exceptional circumstances where it may not be met.

This change will not be applied retrospectively to people already on the five-year partner route. Those who already have a family visa within the five-year partner route, or who apply before the minimum income threshold is raised, will continue to have their applications assessed against the current income requirement and will not be required to meet the increased threshold. This will also be the case for children seeking to join or accompany parents.

Anyone granted a fiancé(e) visa before the minimum income threshold is raised will also be assessed against the current income requirement when they apply for a family visa within the five-year partner route. Those already in the UK on a different route, who apply to switch into the five-year partner route after the minimum income requirement has been increased, will be subject to the new income requirement.
The Government will publish an Equality Impact Assessment on this change in due course.

A fact sheet and an impact assessment can be found on the GOV.UK website using the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/fact-sheet-on-net-migration-measures-further-detail and


We keep all of our policies under review with regards to the impact on net migration, families and equalities.

Home Office

Income thresholds for spouse visas debated by MPs

MPs debated minimum income thresholds for partner and spousal visas on 23 April 2024.

The debate was led by Paul Blomfield MP.

The Minister for Legal Migration and the Border, Tom Pursglove MP, responded on behalf of the Government.

The debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee and held in Westminster Hall.

What is a Westminster Hall debate?

Westminster Hall is the second chamber of the House of Commons. Westminster Hall debates give MPs an opportunity to raise local and national issues and receive a response from a government minister. Westminster Hall debates are general debates that do not end in a vote.

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What is the Backbench Business Committee?

The Backbench Business Committee is a group of MPs who can schedule debates for backbenchers (MPs who aren’t ministers or shadow ministers) either in the House of Commons Chamber or Westminster Hall.

MPs can make a request for a debate on a topic of their choice, to the Backbench Business Committee, which decides which debates to schedule.

Find out more about the Backbench Business Committee

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About the petition you signed on income requirements for family visas

There will be a General Election on 4 July. This means that Parliament closes for a few weeks before the vote, for the election campaign. The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who decide which petitions are debated) will cease to exist when Parliament closes.

After the election, the new House of Commons will appoint new committees. It will be up to the new Petitions Committee to decide whether to schedule a debate on this petition. Previous Petitions Committees have generally agreed to schedule debates on petitions that received 100,000 signatures but were unable to be debated before a general election.

We don't know yet exactly when a new Petitions Committee will be appointed, but will update our website with news about the new Petitions Committee and reopening of the site. You can also follow us on X (formerly Twitter) at @HoCPetitions for updates.

We will let you know if a new Petitions Committee decides to schedule a debate on this petition.