Tags: EU | Britain | Immigration | Income

UK Court: Income Rule to Bring in Foreign Spouses Is Lawful

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 08:04 AM

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the government is entitled to set a minimum-income threshold for people wanting to bring foreign spouses to the country, a measure introduced to ensure that immigrants won't draw on public welfare funds.

But the court said the way the rules have been implemented is unlawful and allowed several claimants to challenge their rejection by U.K. immigration authorities.

Since 2012, Britons who want to bring spouses from outside a group of mainly European Union nations to the U.K. must earn at least 18,600 pounds ($23,000) a year — more if the couple has children. Several people who were rejected under the rules took the government to court, arguing the law breached their right to a family life.

Seven Supreme Court justices ruled that the income requirement was "acceptable in principle." They said the fact the rule "may cause hardship to many does not render it unlawful."

But the judges said the rule had been implemented in a "defective" way. The justices said authorities must consider the welfare of children and whether applicants have other funding sources.

Saira Grant, chief executive at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said the judgment "is a real victory for families, especially those with children."

She said the government should "take immediate steps to protect the welfare of children in accordance with their legal duty."

The Home Office said the court had endorsed the government's approach, but it was "carefully considering what the court has said in relation to exceptional cases where the income threshold has not been met, particularly where the case involves a child."

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Britain's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the government is entitled to set a minimum-income threshold for people wanting to bring foreign spouses to the country, a measure introduced to ensure that immigrants won't draw on public welfare funds.But the court said the way...
EU,Britain,Immigration,Income
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2017-04-22
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 08:04 AM
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