UK government raises family visa income threshold by 55% to curb migration

The UK has increased the minimum income criterion to GBP 29,000 per year, which is a 55% increase from the previous standard, in order to sponsor family members on a Family Visa.

Author
Bhaskar Chakravorty
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The United Kingdom has tightened its immigration standards by raising the minimum income criterion for sponsoring a family member on a family visa. The government has revealed the income requirements, and in order to be eligible, candidates must earn at least GBP 29,000 (British Pounds) annually.

This represents a noteworthy 55% increase above the previous GBP 18,600 level.The increase, which went into effect on April 11, was announced by the Rishi Sunak government last year as part of a phased strategy to match the family visa wage level with the skilled worker visa salary requirement.

The Policy Change

Under the new policy, individuals applying for family visas in the UK will now need to meet a higher income requirement. This threshold serves as a measure to ensure that immigrants can financially support themselves and their families without relying on public funds.

The rationale behind the Increase

The UK government asserts that the increase in the family visa income threshold is necessary to address concerns about immigration levels and reduce the strain on public services. By raising the income requirement, authorities aim to ensure that immigrants contribute positively to the UK economy and society.

Impact on Immigrant Families

The policy change is expected to have significant implications for immigrant families seeking to reunite in the UK. Many families may find it challenging to meet the higher income threshold, particularly those in lower-income brackets or with multiple dependents. Critics argue that the increase could disproportionately affect low-income immigrants and result in family separation.The decision to raise the family visa income threshold has faced criticism from various quarters. Advocacy groups and immigrant rights organizations have expressed concerns about the potential impact on family unity and social cohesion. They argue that the policy change could hinder the ability of immigrant families to live together and integrate into UK society.

Government Response

In response to criticisms, the UK government has defended its decision, stating that the increase in the income threshold is in line with its broader immigration policy objectives. Officials emphasize the importance of ensuring that immigrants can support themselves financially and contribute to the UK economy.

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