The financial requirements to sponsor an overseas spouse

  • United Kingdom

The financial requirements to sponsor an overseas spouse

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Associate Professor of Law Dr Helena Wray and her Middlesex colleague, Co-Director of the Social Policy Research Centre Eleonore Kofman, consider the latest evidence ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on the minimum income requirement.

On 22 February 2016, the Supreme Court will begin hearing a human rights appeal on the current very high minimum income requirement (MIR) that must be met by a British citizen or resident who wants to sponsor a spouse who comes from outside the European Economic Area. The MIR requires the UK sponsor to have an income of at least £18,600 per annum. This is the level at which, according to an analysis carried out by the Migration Advisory Committee, a couple with no children will cease to be eligible for state benefits such as housing benefit or working tax credit.[1] However, although the threshold applies to a couple, it must be met through the sponsor’s own resources. The incoming spouse’s own prospective earnings cannot count towards meeting the MIR.

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