ArticleHome Office revises plans for UK family visa income threshold

The UK Home Office has revised its initial plan to significantly increase the minimum income requirement for UK family visa. The original announcement in early December proposed a steep rise from £18,600 to £38,700, set to take effect in Spring 2024. This proposal faced substantial backlash due to concerns over family separation, financial hardships, and the potential to diminish the UK’s attractiveness to migrant workers.

Revised plan in phases:

Responding to the widespread criticism, the Home Office has outlined a new phased approach to the salary requirement for family visas:

  • Spring 2024: Increase to £29,000.
  • Late 2024: A potential increase to approximately £34,500.
  • Early 2025: A final increase to about £38,700.

While the Home Office has confirmed these adjustments, they have indicated that full details, including transitional provisions, will be provided in the coming year.

Impact on existing visa holders:

The Home Office clarified that the revised salary levels will apply exclusively to first-time applicants. This means individuals seeking to extend their stay as a family member or those applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under a family visa will not be subjected to the increased threshold. Those already on the five-year partner route, or who apply before the hike, will continue to have their applications assessed against the current income requirement of £18,600.

Applicability of new thresholds:

The new minimum income requirement of £29,000 will affect those applying for a family visa on the five-year partner route after the increase in Spring 2024, and who do not currently hold such a visa. Additionally, individuals looking to switch to a five-year family visa after the new threshold is in place will also be subject to the higher income requirement.

However, for those applying through the five-year route before the raise, or for dependent children, the current income requirement of £18,600 will still apply. The same holds for those who secure a fiancé(e) visa before the increase and later apply for a family visa under the five-year partner route; their applications will be assessed against the £18,600 threshold.

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