New family immigration rules

On Friday 5 July 2013, the High Court handed down its judgment in the case of MM & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a Judicial Review of the minimum income threshold for spouses/partners and children applying under the family route.

The High Court found the new family immigration rules are lawful, but the earnings threshold amounts to a disproportionate interference with family life.

As a result of the judgment, the Home Office has paused decision-making on some spouse/partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications to enable it to consider the implications of the judgment. So, where an applicant does not meet the minimum income threshold under Appendix FM, including the specified evidence required under Appendix FM-SE, and there is no other reason to refuse the application, it will be put on hold.

The same approach is being applied to a small number of adoption cases which would be refused on this ground alone.

Although the case does not overturn the financial requirement, it does at least agree that the current figures are disproportionately high. Since the minimum earnings requirement was introduced, it has resulted in many British people being kept apart from their family members.