Supreme Court rules income barrier for spouse immigration lawful

The Supreme Court has ruled that income barrier stopping thousands of British citizens from bringing a foreign spouse to the UK is lawful.

In 2012 legislation directed that Britons must earn more than £18,600 before a husband or wife from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) can settle in the UK. The minimum income threshold rises to £22,400 if the couple have a child who does not have British citizenship - and then by an additional £2,400 for each subsequent child.

However, critics claimed that the law meant 15,000 children have been separated from parents as a result. During the ruling, a series of test cases were presented to the court, including affected couples who argued that the rules breached their right to family life.

Saira Grant, from the Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants, warned: “The amount it's set at is really concerning. More importantly, it's what the impact is. Families are being torn apart. These immigration rules are impacting British citizens. The unintended victims seem to be children."

Meanwhile, the government defended that the measures aimed to reduce the burden on taxpayers, promote integration and prevent and tackle abuse of the family migration route.

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