UK government plans changes to minimum income requirements for family visas in 2024

Since its introduction in 2012, the Minimum Income Requirement (MIR) has served as a tool to guarantee reasonable support for family migrants and their successful adaptation to British society.

However, over time, the MIR has not risen in line with inflation or real wages, creating an imbalance in light of the increasing number of migrants using this route.

The Home Secretary’s latest announcement on 4 December 2023 highlights the need to bring the MIR in line with the new general minimum wage threshold for skilled workers, set at £38,700. This initiative aims to ensure that migrants only bring in dependents they can financially support, taking into account the needs of their families.

Specific steps to change the requirements have been identified. From early spring 2024, the minimum income threshold for family visas will be increased to £29,000.

This equates to 25th percentile of earnings for qualified workers. The gradual increase will continue, reaching the 40th percentile (£34,500) and finally the 50th percentile (£38,700) by early 2025.

Note that there will be no separate element for children under the new changes to the MIR, ensuring that migrants and UK citizens are treated the same. However, other aspects of the MIR, such as the different ways in which requirements can be met and the consideration of exceptional circumstances, will remain unchanged.

It is important to note that these changes will not apply to individuals who are already on the five-year partnership route.

Those who have already obtained a family visa or applied before the new minimum income threshold was introduced will continue to be considered under the previous requirements. Similar rules apply to those holding a fiancée visa.

Further information on the equality impact of these changes is available on the UK Government’s official website
The Government pledges to continually review policy in relation to the impact on migration, families and equality.

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