Conservatives Pledge to Make it Even Tougher to Bring a Foreign Spouse to the UK

The Conservative Party has pledged that, if re-elected, it will increase the minimum income threshold required by a sponsor to bring a foreign spouse to the UK.

It has not however specified what the new required income level will be.

In 2012, the coalition government created a new immigration rule requiring a sponsor to earn a minimum of £18,600 a year just to be able to bring their spouse/partner to live with them in Britain.

The threshold rises to £22,400 if there is one or more non-European-born child in the family.

The income of the non-European partner does not count towards the threshold.

This penalises thousands of low income families.

It has split up countless families with parents separated from children, and husbands from wives.

Approximately 15,000 children have grown up as “Skype kids” describing the nature of their contact with one of their parents.

Now the Conservative Manifesto promises to increase the minimum income threshold even further although the new figure is not given.

“We will increase the earnings thresholds for people wishing to sponsor migrants for family visas.”


This will inevitably lead to the separation of tens of thousands more families.

Potentially, the threshold will also apply to European spouses who may no longer enjoy free movement rights in a post-Brexit Britain.

Labour has promised in its own manifesto that it would scrap the threshold, stating it does not believe that “family life should be protected only for the wealthy”.,  Diary of an Immigration Lawyer, is a blog run by Fahad Ansari, the director and principal solicitor of Riverway Law, a niche UK immigration and nationality law practice based in London.  If you would like any advice or assistance in relation to your immigration matter, please do not hesitate to email me at or submit your details here.


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