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Financial Requirement – Change in Family Migration

Since 9 July 2012, the Immigration Rules have contained a financial requirement to be met by a person applying for entry clearance to, leave to remain in or indefinite leave to remain in the UK as the non-EEA national partner or dependent child of a person who is:

  • a British Citizen; or
  • present and settled in the UK; or
  • in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection.

Since 1 December 2013, the Immigration Rules in Appendix Armed Forces have also contained a financial requirement to be met by a person applying for entry clearance to, leave to remain in or indefinite leave to remain in the UK as the non-EEA national partner or dependent child of a person (British or foreign or Commonwealth) who is a member of HM Forces (as defined in paragraph 2(d) of Appendix Armed Forces).

The lawfulness of the minimum income threshold under the financial requirement was upheld by the Court of Appeal in its 11 July 2014 judgment in MM & Others [2014] EWCA Civ 985. From 28 July 2014, section 19 of the Immigration Act 2014 reinforces the public interest under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to respect for private and family life) in the financial independence of migrants, to prevent burdens on the taxpayer and promote integration.

Decision-makers cannot exercise any discretion or flexibility with regard to the level of the financial requirement that must be met. It is a matter of public policy to operate a financial requirement based on a minimum income threshold for the sponsorship of partners and children. It must be clear and consistently applied in all cases. The applicant has to demonstrate and evidence the income/savings required to meet the level of the financial requirement relevant to their application. They do not need to provide information in the first instance about any income/savings which they and/or the partner may have beyond this.

The onus is on the applicant to demonstrate that the financial requirement is met in their case. Decision-makers will not generally be expected to make further enquiries or request further information in an effort to establish whether the financial requirement is met.

New changes have been applied to the policy guidance related to meeting the financial requirement. These are changes following April 2016 Statement of Changes. If you have questions related to meeting the financial requirement, please call us on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us your query to: info@icslegal.com.