Joint parliamentary briefing on the increase to the Minimum Income Requirement

Reunite Families UK, Migrant Voice, Praxis and British in Europe published a joint parliamentary briefing on the increase to the Minimum Income Requirement.

The briefing aims to highlight the key unknowns of the policy as well as the impact the policy will have on children and family before issuing key recommendations to have a more humane family migration system.

Amongst the unknowns of the policy:

  • Will the figures associated with the saving route be increased alongside the MIR?
  • Which threshold will people have to meet if they apply before the new threshold of £38,700?
  • What advice was taken in relation to this threshold?

Key findings from RFUK‘s research on the impact of the rules:

  • Single parent families are created
  • The policy already disproportionately affects:
    • Women
    • People working part-time
    • People operating as forced single parents
    • Families with children who have additional support needs

Impact of the rules on children‘s mental health:

  • 92% of those surveyed said that their children’s mental health suffered as a result of the separation.
  • 65% of respondents to the survey conducted as part of the research say that their child received a formal diagnosis of a mental health condition.
  • Children are experiencing a range of issues

Key Recommendations

Ultimately, the best way to avoid the severe harm to families described above would be to abolish the MIR entirely and recognise a statutory right for a British citizen or settled resident to bring their close family members to the UK.

Short of that, we make the following recommendations:

1) Commission a review of the family migration rules in detail, which takes account of and builds on the recommendations made by previous rules, such as that conducted by the House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee in 2023, with a particular focus on:

    1. Integration;
    2. Examining how the impact of the rules is gendered and racialised
    3. Their contribution to the worsening mental health of the people going through the process.

2) Adopt family migration rules for British and settled sponsors of overseas spouses and partners that promote family and foster integration (by for instance taking into account the earning potential of both partners). Any new policy must be formulated and implemented giving due weight to the best interests of children.

3) Fix the level of the visa application fees at the cost of processing for all family applications

4) Every route to settlement should be capped at 5 years.

5) Remove all the so-called ‘reset the clock’ mechanisms of applicants on the 10-year route now. Meaning that when people are on the 10-year route to settlement and meet the requirement to be moved onto the 5-year route they shouldn’t have to restart their route to settlement. Their years and fees already spent on a route should be included within the 5-year route to settlement.