Spouse & Partner applications: The minimum income requirement changes
Updated 6 Feb 2024
On 4 December 2023, the Government announced a 5-point plan to cut net migration to the UK. This included increasing the minimum income requirement for family visas from £18,600 gross per year to £38,700 gross per year for all applications from spring 2024.
The Government yesterday published amended plans to change the minimum income requirement.
Here is the link to the Home Office’s fact sheet published on 21.12.2023:
When do these changes apply from?
Partner visas increase to minimum income requirement to £29,000 from 11 April 2024.
What are the amended changes?
The minimum income requirement will now increase in stages rather be raised to £38,700 immediately.
It will rise to £29,000 gross per year from spring 2024. This is being set at the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs at the skills level RQF3.
It will later be increased again to the 40th percentile of earnings for jobs at the skills level RQF3, currently £34,500, and then again to the 50th percentile, which is currently £38,700. However, it is not yet confirmed when these further rises will take place.
Unlike under the current requirements, there will be no additional sum needed to sponsor children, as well as a spouse or partner.
We do not yet know the detail of how Applicants will need to show they meet this from different sources of income e.g. cash savings or pension.
Who do these changes apply to?
These changes will apply to all applications made after they are introduced.
They will not apply to people who already have a family visa in the 5-year route to settlement or who apply before the financial requirement goes up.
They will however apply to anyone granted a fiancé(e) visa before the minimum income requirement increases but who then applies for a spouse visa in the UK after the changes are introduced.
They will also apply to those already in the UK in a different immigration category who apply to switch into the 5-year partner route after the minimum income requirement has been increased.
Other changes happening – Skilled Worker applications: Changes to income thresholds and statement of changes
The Government yesterday confirmed that there are two statements of changes coming between now and April.
As of 11.03.2024 the ability for care workers to bring their dependents to join them in the UK is to be removed.
The earnings threshold for those on the Skilled Worker route is increasing from £26,200 to £38,700. This is to come into effect on 04.04.2024.
Additionally care providers will only be able to sponsor workers if they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
What should prospective applicants now do?
Our advice is to keep any eye out for more Government announcements about this and seek advice well ahead of making an application.