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Financial Threshold to Remain at £18,600 Rules the Court of Appeal


The Court of Appeal have today handed down their judgment in MM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 985, the test case challenging the income requirement of £18,600 imposed on those wishing to bring their partners to the UK.


In an earlier article, we commented on the decision reached by the High Court that the £18,600 threshold was considered unlawful. (To read the article please click here)


Since the High Court reached the decision that the financial requirement was unlawful, the Home Office had put on hold all the applications by partners where the only reason for refusing the application would be because of the financial requirement. The outcome of this is that there are now thousands of applications on hold, awaiting the Court of Appeal’s decision in this case.


After considering the arguments, the Court of Appeal have today released a very lengthy decision, finding, in summary, that the financial requirement of £18,600 is lawful. This will be an enormous set back for all of those applicants who are prevented from reuniting with their partners, because their British based partner is not able to earn enough. The Court of Appeal accepted that the outcome of this appeal was that there would be people who would never be able to sponsor their partner to come to the UK as they would not reach the relevant financial thresholds, but they did not accept that this would breach the UK’s obligations under human rights laws. It is possible though for individual applicants to show that refusing them a visa to come to the UK would breach their own human rights where they cannot meet the financial requirement, depending on all of the circumstances.  


The Solicitors who brought the case have indicated that they will be pursuing a claim to the Supreme Court, however such a challenge is likely to take a number of months before it is fully resolved. 







Paragon Law