The Home Office appeal, lodged in the wake of the High Court decision on the minimum income threshold brought into force on the 9th July 2012, is to be heard next year between the 3rd and 5th of March. While the outcome is uncertain at this point, it is hoped that the current financial requirement will be reconsidered following the final judgment.
In July 2013 the High Court held its first session to decide on the question of whether the income threshold of £18,600 per year for anyone sponsoring a partner, spouse, fiancee or other family member to enter the country on a UK settlement visa was lawful. Although the High Court did not set aside the new rules, it was determined that the figure used by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) as a threshold was unreasonably high. Because of this and other comments by the judges, the Home Office decided to appeal.
While the appeal is still pending, anyone who has a UK marriage application pending which would fail on the sole count of income threshold will have the decision ‘paused’ until the matter is clarified. This will also apply to those with other visa applications in the pipeline which would be affected, such as a UK spouse visa or unmarried partner visa under the settlement category. The UKBA (UK Visas & Immigration) has pointed out that this pause only applies to financial requirement considerations; all other reasons for refusal will go through normally, as will those which pass all applicable criteria for approval.