House of Commons Library 'The financial (minimum income) requirement for partner visas - Commons Library Standard Note ' :
'Since 9 July 2012, applications for permission to enter/remain in the UK as the non-EEA national partner of a British citizen, refugee or person settled here have been required to demonstrate available maintenance funds equivalent to a minimum gross annual income of £18,600 (or higher in cases including non-EEA national dependent children).
'The Immigration Rules specify which income sources can be used to satisfy the requirement (including income from employment, private pension or cash savings), and the documents that must be provided as evidence. In many cases only the British/settled sponsor’s employment income is taken into account, because their partner’s employment can only be considered if they are already in the UK with permission to work.
'The Government considers that these maintenance rules will ensure that families are able to support themselves and the migrant partner’s integration without being a burden on the general taxpayer.
'Various migrants’ rights groups are campaigning against the financial requirement, which they consider to be unfair, disproportionate and counter-productive to the Government’s intentions. In June 2013 a report by members of the APPG on Migration called for an independent review of the requirement and its impact. The Government does not intend to do this. It has made some minor adjustments to the policy, but overall is satisfied that it is operating as intended.
'In July 2013 the High Court considered the lawfulness of the financial requirement. It did not strike it down as unlawful in general, but found that certain factors in the way it is applied represent a very significant interference with British citizens’ and refugees’ rights. It suggested some alternative ways in which a financial requirement could be applied.
'The Government is appealing against the decision. In the meantime, it has suspended the processing of applications that fall for refusal solely because they do not satisfy the financial requirement rules. Processing continues as normal for applications that fall for refusal for other reasons, and for applications that satisfy the Immigration Rules requirements.'
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