UK’s new Visa rules under fire
New Visa and financial rules for migrants wishing to enter the UK from outside the European Union have been slammed by a groups of MPs after a number of instances that have in their words ‘torn families apart and caused anguish’.
The critical MPs say that thousands of British citizens had been unable to bring their non-EU born spouses back to the UK after the new rules were brought into force last year.
The rules require any British citizen who wants to sponsor their non-European souses Visa to be able to show that they earn at least £18,600 a year, rising to £22,400 to sponsor a child and an extra £2,400 per extra child.
The inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration, which is calling for an independent review of the minimum income requirement, looked at more than 175 cases from families affected by the rules.
Forty-five claimed their inability to meet the income threshold had led to the separation of children, including British children, from a non-EU parent, the group said. The group also highlighted the incident where a woman from outside the EU had been separated from her husband and children, including her five-month old baby.
Wider evidence suggests that up to 47% of the UK working population last year would have failed to meet the income level to sponsor a non-European Economic Area partner, the group said, and by the government’s own estimate, almost 18,000 British people will be prevented from being reunited with their spouse or partner in the UK every year as a result of the new rules, it added.
The UK Home Office said that the rules are in place to make sure that migrants to the UK to join their spouses would not become a burden on the taxpayer and would be well off enough to support themselves and integrate effectively.
It is unlikely that these rules will be relaxed whilst the UK government attempts to win over a sceptical public over the issues of immigration. The Conservative government has taken a tougher stance on the issue as it tries to deflect criticism of its handling of the issue.