23rd July 2014

How much money do I need to bring my spouse/civil partner to the UK?

The financial threshold held to be lawful.

Many people have been waiting in anticipation for months for the Court of Appeal in the case of MM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 985, to make a decision on the financial threshold in spouse/civil partner/ unmarried partner entry clearance applications.

In July 2012 when the Immigration Rules changed, the Home Office introduced a financial threshold for spouse/civil partner/unmarried partner entry clearance applications. This meant that the UK sponsor  had to be earning a set amount or have a set amount of savings if they wanted to bring their spouse/civil partner/ unmarried partner to the UK.  An additional supplement applied if the sponsor wanted to bring their children at the same time. The rules are quite complex as different types of income and finance can be used to meet the threshold and so it can become very confusing for those applying.

An appeal was brought against the financial threshold stating that it was unlawful and a breach of people’s human rights.

The Home Office have therefore been putting thousands of applications on hold where the financial threshold has not been met, awaiting a decision from the Court.   The Court of Appeal have now finally made their decision, finding that imposing a minimum threshold is not unlawful or disproportionate to the legitimate aim of controlling immigration and ensuring integration.

There may well be an appeal against this decision but in the meantime the Home Office have now announced that from 28th July 2014 they will begin to make decisions on the 4000 applications that have been on hold. As the court upheld the lawfulness of the financial threshold the Home Office are therefore likely to refuse many of these applications.

If you receive a refusal or if you are concerned about this decision then please contact a member of our immigration team who will be able to assist you.  


For further information please get in touch with our dedicated team.

You can always call us on 0845 894 1622 or email on


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