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Rishi Sunak Announces £38,700 Minimum Income Requirement For Family Reunification In 2025



Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak has announced that the minimum income levels necessary for UK citizens to sponsor foreign relatives’ visas will be raised to £38,700 by 2025, further adding to the confusion surrounding the rapidly evolving regulations.

This comes a day after a parliamentary answer, initially overlooked, suggested that the criticized plan to more than double the threshold from £18,600 to £38,700 was being set aside.

Contrary to the Home Office’s statement that the minimum salary would first increase to £29,000 in spring 2024, with subsequent stages leading to £38,700, Sunak stated during an interview that the full threshold hike would occur in early 2025.

This discrepancy in timelines has caused confusion and led to concerns among right-wing Conservative MPs, who have been pressing for stricter rules in response to annual net migration figures of 745,000.

Sunak’s apparent acceleration of the timeline, diverging from the Home Office’s plan, raises speculation about potential discontent among right-wing MPs.

Rishi Sunak Announces Implementation Timeline in Early 2025

Despite current polls indicating a change in government by spring 2025, Sunak’s expedited schedule suggests a proactive approach to appease conservative factions.

The looming policy changes have sparked criticism from campaigners and lawyers, who argue that even the interim £29,000 threshold will disproportionately impact low-income families, leading to separations.

Migrant Voice, a migrant-led charity, condemned the policy as a “cruel way of separating families,” estimating that up to 20,000 people could be affected.

The Home Office’s updated factsheet confirmed the spring 2025 date but lacked clarity on when the interim £29,000 threshold would be implemented.

This accelerated timeline raises concerns among various advocacy groups and legal experts, highlighting the potential consequences for families and the broader implications of the government’s migration reduction strategy.

UK’s Evolving Income Thresholds: Implications and Concerns in a Global Context”

The introduction of the new £29,000 income barrier, aimed at reducing legal migration by the UK government, may lead to a decrease in the entry of “low tens of thousands” of migrants this year, aligning with the government’s overarching objective, as outlined in a strategy document.

Madeleine Sumption, the Director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, voiced concerns on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, describing the £38,700 threshold as “unusually high” and characterizing the £29,000 requirement as “quite restrictive” when compared to income thresholds in other European countries.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary for Labour, criticized the government’s lack of consultation and consideration for the impact on families affected by the substantial changes to spousal visas.

She remarked that the government’s current backtracking was a consequence of their haste in implementing new proposals.

A Plymouth resident named Ruby expressed apprehension over the £29,000 requirement potentially preventing her husband Furkan, currently in Turkey, from joining her.

Despite adjusting her profession to a veterinarian receptionist with a yearly income of £23,000, she remains £5,000 short of the current requirement. She described the situation as “cruel” and emphasized her right to a family life in the place she has lived all her life.

Cam, waiting for his American wife to join him in London after four years of marriage, shared his concerns about meeting the income criteria before the spring deadline.

While relieved that he could still apply even if the criteria changed, he acknowledged the stress and pressure many couples and families would continue to face due to the stringent requirements.

Josie, a British citizen residing in Ancona, Italy, with her Italian husband, expressed uncertainty about returning to the UK despite the delay in implementing the £38,700 threshold.

As scientists, the couple had planned to relocate to the UK after marrying in December 2020. Josie cited the wavering policy decisions as a cause for concern, diminishing confidence in the UK as an appealing place for scientists.

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