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One of the issues the Supreme Court may examine is whether the foreign spouse’s income might count towards the threshold. At present, some low-earning British expatriates have trouble moving back from abroad with their foreign spouse, even if that partner is a high earner. The court has the power to declare these rules unlawful, though that is unlikely, believes Ms Grant. In the absence of many other ways of reducing immigration, the government will want to cling on to the strict new rules, for better or worse.

According to IPS estimates, non-EU family migration to the UK increased from an average of 35,000 per year in the 1990s to 45,000 in 2013, or 20% of all non-EU immigration that year. These estimates include both dependents and family unification migrants. Family migration, like overall migration to the UK, increased from 1997 to the mid-2000s, peaking at 74,000 in 2006 (see figure 1). Also similar to other categories of migration, family migration declined in the second half of the 2000s. But these shifts in family migration were smaller in magnitude than similar shifts in migration for work or study. As a result of these trends, family migration comprises a smaller share of overall migration now than it did in the 1990s (see our the Migration Observatory briefing on Immigration by Category: Workers, Students, Family Members, Asylum Applicants). Although this briefing focuses on non-EU migration, it is worth noting that, including  EU nationals, family migration is now at similar levels to the 1990s. LTIM estimates of family migration were 90,000 in 1991 and averaged 75,000 during the 1990s. LTIM estimates had increased to 105,000 by 2006 but fell to 71,000 in 2013.

3.71 A surprisingly large number of those who attended the detainee forum I organised had been detained because of allegedly sham marriages. Most had been detained after Home Office interviews in Liverpool or Manchester. The questions they said they had been asked by caseworkers to ascertain whether their marriage was a sham included their knowledge of their wife’s National Insurance number, the colour of her underwear, and her bra size. If this was indeed the case, it is questionable whether such questions were either appropriate or useful. 

Les musulmanes qui ne maîtrisent pas suffisamment l'anglais pourraient être expulsées du Royaume-Uni, a mis en garde lundi le premier ministre David Cameron, justifiant sa menace par la lutte contre la ségrégation sexuelle.

David Cameron has been accused of stigmatising Muslim women after he announced plans to help them learn English and warned that migrant spouses who fail language tests may have to leave the UK.
Announcing the plans on Monday, the prime minister suggested the language classes for Muslim women could help stop radicalisation.

Britain yesterday began the process of deporting migrants camped at a British military base in Cyprus, triggering the threat of a mass hunger strike. Members of the group, which crossed the Mediterranean from Lebanon on two small boats almost three weeks ago, were warned in a letter that they would be returned to Beirut because they had chosen not to claim asylum in Cyprus.

Britain is to spend almost half a billion pounds to stem the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean. Ministers will announce £275 million of funding today to help Turkish officials deal with hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees over the next two years, as a two-day global summit on the crisis closes in Malta. At a working dinner in Valletta last night, David Cameron also pledged to use £200 million of British aid money to help African countries tackle migration.

David Cameron is to insist that EU migrants working in Britain are banned from claiming in-work benefits for four years as part of the UK’s new relationship with Brussels. The prime minister said he still wanted the controversial reform to be part of Britain’s new relationship with the EU, despite major difficulties in securing the move.

United Kingdom's Immigration Laws Timeline

Stepping up European attempts to clear away hundreds of thousands of migrants whose asylum claims have been denied, E.U. leaders early Friday bolstered the powers of the pan-E.U. border agency to deport people.

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