British Government Likely To Increase Minimum Income Threshold And NHS Surcharge
Last week the UK held a general election, which despite considerable loss of seats and overall majority, means the Conservatives will remain in control of the government, for now at least. If the manifesto on which the Tories campaigned is to be carried through, those wishing to apply for a UK spouse visa need to be aware of the potential implications of an increase in the Minimum Income Threshold and NHS surcharge.
Minimum Income Threshold
The Minimum Income Threshold for Spouse Visas which was introduced in 2012 by Theresa May, and has driven families apart ever since. Currently, to sponsor a spouse, fiancé, or partner, you must have a minimum income of £18,600. If you are also sponsoring a child, the minimum income threshold will rise to £22,400 and £2,400 for each additional child.
The Conservative Party manifesto pledged to raise this amount but has not stipulated by how much.
In February this year, the Supreme Court ruled that Government financial measures affecting British citizens who want foreign spouses or partners to join them in the UK, do not breach Human Rights legislation.
The manifesto also stated the NHS surcharge (applicable to non-EEA nationals) would increase to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students, to cover their use of the UK’s public health services.
This means that a Tier 2 worker, applying for a five-year visa will be required to pay £3,000 upfront when applying for their visa. To make the process even more financially painful, the NHS surcharge applies to dependents as well. So a Tier 2 (General) Visa applicant with a spouse and two children would have to pay £12,000 on application. This will make obtaining a visa almost impossible for many applicants.
How OTS Solicitors can help
By instructing OTS Solicitors to manage your UK family visa process, you have a high chance of collating the correct supporting documentation and getting your visa processed quickly and successfully.
It is crucial for those thinking about applying for a family visa or indeed any other type of visa, to get their application in now, before the minimum income threshold and NHS surcharge significantly increase.
OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best Immigration law firms in the UK. If you need advice on any Immigration law matters, please phone our office on 0203 959 9123 to talk to one of our dedicated Immigration lawyers.