The UK government’s announcement in December 2023 sparked widespread concern, revealing a significant rise in the financial requirements for obtaining Spouse and Family Visas. This marks a substantial shift from the existing threshold and aims to reshape the landscape of family reunification in the UK.
In the ever-evolving global landscape, keeping up with recent changes in UK visa regulations is crucial for individuals contemplating a relocation to the United Kingdom. Notably, there have been substantial transformations in the UK’s visa policies, particularly in relation to financial aspects. Let’s explore the details and reveal the essential updates.
A Closer Look at the New Financial Benchmarks
The previous financial threshold for Spouse Visa eligibility, set at £18,600, will see a surprising increase to £29,000 on April 11th 2024, followed by increases to £38,700 by early 2025. This change, announced by the Home Office in late December 2023, is part of a broader five-point strategy aimed at reducing the net migration numbers by approximately 300,000 individuals annually.
This policy highlights the government’s stance on self-reliance and economic contribution from those seeking to join their family members in the UK. As a result, immigration lawyers are advising prospective applicants to accelerate their application processes, cautioning that delays might result in non-compliance with the new requirements.
Impact of the Financial Increase on Family Visa Applications
The consequences of this revision are deep, especially for those earning below the new threshold. The current regulation requires a sponsor to earn £18,600 to support their partner and additional amounts for each child – £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for subsequent children.
With the upcoming increase, the financial capability to sponsor a partner and two children might escalate to nearly £45,000 annually, significantly impacting the feasibility of family reunifications.
In addition to the revised financial 2024 requirements for the Spouse Visa, the government implemented a significant increase in the immigration health surcharge, a mandatory fee for Family Visa applicants to £1,035.
Potential Exemptions and Alternatives
Some applicants may be exempt from meeting these financial requirements, particularly if the sponsor receives specified benefits. Additionally, meeting the financial requirements through savings or a combination of income and savings is another option. However, these alternatives come with complexities and specific regulations.
Currently, to rely solely on savings, you need at least £62,500, with this figure escalating to £78,500 for those with two children. These amounts may increase following the income requirement hike from £18,600 to £29,000 followed by increases to £38,700 by early 2025, with figures like £112,750 being stated around by the UK Home Office.
The funds must be in a readily accessible account, held by either the applicant, the sponsor, or both, for at least six months before application. Given the complexity and potential changes in requirements, seeking expert legal advice is advisable to ensure compliance with existing immigration rules.
Given these significant changes and their potential impact on families and individuals, seeking expert legal advice has become more crucial than ever. Specialist immigration lawyers are equipped to offer guidance and support in navigating these changes, ensuring that applications are compliant and submitted in a timely manner.
Act Now to Secure Your Visa!
With the impending implementation of new visa regulations, the window for potential applicants to meet the current criteria is closing rapidly. So, it’s best to start your visa application as soon as possible.
Spouse Visa Lawyers are here to assist you through the process of your visa application process. Our expertise in immigration law ensures that your application aligns with the concurrent requirements, maximising your chances of success.
Don’t let these regulatory changes disrupt your plans. Contact Spouse Visa Lawyers today to start your visa application procedure with confidence and ease.
The information provided in our articles is intended solely for guidance and should not be considered legal advice. We do not assume responsibility for any liabilities arising from the information in written articles and recommend that all readers seek professional advice before taking any action. For those wishing to discuss their case with a professional, please feel free to contact us directly.
Dr Bernard Andonian has over four decades of experience as a London-based UK Immigration Solicitor and was also a former immigration Judge. He has been awarded a PhD in Law from the University of West London for his in-depth knowledge of UK immigration and nationality law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts whilst representing clients in the UK, and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.