March 4, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Rishi Sunak says new £38,700 visa rule will be implemented in early 2025

Rishi Sunak says new £38,700 visa rule will be implemented in early 2025

Plans requiring people to earn £38,700 a year before bringing family to the UK will be introduced in early 2025, Rishi Sunak said.

The rise from the current level of £18,600 was announced earlier this month and was scheduled to take place in the spring.

However, the government has backed down and now says the increase will come in two stages.

Next spring, the minimum will rise to £29,000, with the further increase not being applied until the following year.

Speaking in Lincoln, Mr Sunak defended the timetable, saying: “The principle here is absolutely correct that if people are bringing dependents into this country as part of their family, they should be able to provide for them.”

“We're doing exactly what we said we were going to do. We're just doing it in two phases. So it will go up in a few months and then it will go up again by the full amount in early 2025.”

He added: “Migration levels are very high. They must decrease.”

The next general election is due to be held by January 2025, meaning Labor will face intense questions about its position on the proposed rules.

Official estimates suggest that net migration – the difference between the number of people coming into and leaving the UK – has risen to a record 745,000 people in 2022.

Ministers faced criticism that the increase from £18,600 to £38,700 for family visas was too high and would disrupt families.

The BBC also understands that there are concerns that changing these rules all at once could leave the government more vulnerable to legal challenges.

Ministers announced on Thursday that the minimum would only rise to £29,000 in the spring before rising to £38,700, but gave no further timetable.

However, Sunak provided more details on Friday when he said the figure would rise to the full amount in early 2025.

'Sell at a low price'

A spokesman for former Immigration Secretary Robert Jenrick, who resigned from the government earlier this month over Sunak's approach to illegal immigration, said the new visa rules “need to be implemented immediately”.

“Otherwise there is a risk of a massive sell-off of visa applications” as people try to enter the country under the current system, he added.

The Ministry of Interior confirmed that anyone wishing to renew a family visa will be able to do so, without having to meet the new minimum income.

a Government fact sheet He said those who already had a family visa under the five-year partner route, or who applied before the minimum income was raised, would continue to have their applications assessed against their current income level.

Official statistics show that 82,395 family visas were issued in the year to September – 79% of them to partners, 13% to children, and 8% to other relatives.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Madeleine Sumption, director of the University of Oxford's Migration Observatory, said £29,000 was still “very restrictive” compared to levels in other European countries, and £38,700 was “extraordinarily high”. .

Labour's shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, said the government “failed to consult anyone on its new proposals and did not take into account the impact of sharp changes to spousal visas on families next year, so it is not surprising that they are now making a rapid comeback.”

Comment on the photo,

Ruby's husband, Furkan, wants to join her in Plymouth

Ruby told the BBC that £29,000 was too high and could prevent her husband Furkan, who is in Turkey, from coming to live with her in Plymouth.

She said: “[I’m] “It's still £5,000 less than what's required now,” she said, despite having already changed her job for the visa requirements – going from being self-employed to a £23,000-a-year job as a veterinary receptionist to show she had a steady income to support her husband.

“I think it's cruel in a lot of ways,” she said. “When I first heard that I was out of control, just changing that affected me so much.

“I've lived here my whole life, my family is here, and I should have the right to have a family life like everyone else.”

Cam had been with his American wife for four years and was hoping she could join him in London.

He earns £36,000 and was planning to submit his application in March – after enough time to show he has a stable income – but was not sure he would be able to top it before the new minimum comes into force in the spring.

In response to the government’s decision to impose the increase in stages, he told the BBC: “On a personal level, it is a matter of great relief to know that even if… [the income threshold] If the order changes before we can apply, we will continue to meet the requirements. We hope everything is fine.

“However, I know that a lot of couples, a lot of families, are still going to feel a lot of stress and a lot of pressure because they still can't meet those requirements.”

British national Josie lives with her Italian husband in Ancona, Italy. The couple, both scientists, married in December 2020 and were planning to move to the UK to settle.

Speaking on BBC's World at One programme, Josie said that despite the delay in introducing the £38,700 limit, she was still unsure about returning to the UK.

“Given the floundering of political decisions, it doesn't give us a lot of confidence – it's a shame because the UK is a great place to work as a scientist.”