On 20th July 2017 the Home Office published changes to the Immigration Rules following the decision of the Supreme Court in MM (Lebanon) & others v Secretary of State for the Home Department 2017 UKSC10 relating to the Financial Requirement for applications for leave to remain made by partners of British citizens and those settled in the UK. The Minimum Income Rule requires an income of at least £18,600. However, the amendment to paragraph 21A of Appendix FM-SE the rules allow other sources of income considered in certain circumstances.
These new rules came into effect on 10th August 2017. The main changes to the Minimum Income Requirement policy are:
- Other sources of income will be considered to meet the Minimum Income Rule in exceptional circumstances, where partners and children are involved
- Where other sources of income are relied upon the applicant, partner and any children, will be granted leave on a 10-year route to settlement
- To give Appendix FM the cover of being compliant with section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009
- To allow for recourse to public funds in certain circumstances (Employment Support Allowance or Personal Independence payments.
- Clarifying the drafting of the English language requirement for further leave to remain as a partner or parent
- Ensuring that a partner of a person here with refugee leave or humanitarian protection cannot qualify for settlement before that person has done so. The application should raise exceptional circumstances which would result in a breach of Article 8 because it would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant, the partner or a child under the age of 18 years old if the other sources of income are not considered.
What does this mean?
- The new rules provide applicants with the opportunity to use credible sources to meet the minimum requirement, those who were previously struggling to meet the requirement can now apply.
- Where the decision maker takes the view that there would be unjustifiably harsh consequences, the applicant must be given the chance to show that they can meet the Minimum Income Requirement through other credible and reliable sources of income, financial support. In the event further evidence is required the applicant is provided with 21 days to obtain and provide the evidence requested.
- The General Requirements have been amended to require the Home Office decision-maker to consider whether the Minimum Income Rule can be met from other sources of income, financial support or funds as set out in the new paragraph 21A of Appendix FM-SE.
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