The Minimum Income Requirement for Family Settlement: The Cost of Integration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article addresses challenges and criticisms of the minimum income requirement for partners of non-European nationals, introduced in 2012. The long passage of the case of MM and Others through the courts is considered, with particular emphasis on the Supreme Court judgment. It discusses whether the Supreme Court decision correctly balances the need to control immigration with the right to private and family life of the couples concerned. It considers the changing case of the Secretary of State and how the intentions expressed at implementation of the rules significantly differ from the position conceded in the Supreme Court.It is suggested that the provisions, and the findings relating to their lawfulness, convey a narrow economic focus and that a broader approach to integration and family unification is needed. The attempts to justify the provisions as promoting integration are questioned, given the limited interpretation of such a complex and intricate concept. Further, the impact on access to public funds is assessed, and whether segregating couples is likely to increase, rather than decrease, access to welfare benefits.The amendments to the immigration rules, resulting from the Supreme Court decision, are considered and the difficulties posed to caseworkers having to decipher the accompanying guidance on this matter addressed. Finally, consideration is given to whether the amendments are sufficient to ensure fairness to applicants or whether they are likely to promote further challenge.

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Public Law following peer review. The definitive published version will be available online on Westlaw UK or from Thomson Reuters DocDel service.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-325
Number of pages22
JournalPublic Law
Volume2019
Issue numberApr
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

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