Home Office tweaks the Appendix FM family visa rules
- Answered by Red Square London’s Immigration Specialist, Oliver Westmoreland – Ответил наш Специалист по Иммиграционным Вопросам, Оливер Вестморлэнд
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Home Office tweaks Appendix FM family visa rules
21 August 2017
Earlier this year the Supreme Court heard a case called “MM (Lebanon)”. This case mounted a challenge to the dreaded Appendix FM family immigration rules, and in particular to the requirement that there have to be minimum earnings available when a spouse/civil partner applies for a family visa. The amount of minimum earnings varies, depending on whether there are any child dependants included in the application, but in all cases the amount must be at least £18,600 per year.
Some people have argued that this requirement is harsh and is unlawful under family life human rights principles, as per Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
But the Supreme Court held – as it often has done in such cases – that the Rules, although to some extent onerous, are in a general way rules that the Home Office was entitled to make, as part of the legitimate exercise of immigration control.
The Court did however, have strong reservations about a few aspects of the Appendix FM rules, which they declared to be unlawful. It said that the rules and associated policy guidance needed to be amended to take more account of the interests of children and also needed, in certain circumstances, to take more account of a broader source of earnings.
The Home Office has duly heeded the Court’s decision, and has now slightly “softened” the rules and policy guidance here and there.
But Appendix FM remains prodigiously complicated and you are well advised to take good legal advice if you seek to engage with it.