TEST CASE ON THE MINIMUM FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT FOR SPOUSES
Case name: MM and Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department – In the High Court sitting in Birmingham
J.m. Wilson Solicitors LLP is once again leading the way in challenging the Government’s change to the Immigration Rules on the 9th July 2012 where it introduced a minimum amount a person can earn before they can bring their spouse to the UK.
In the particular case that the J.m. Wilson Solicitors LLP are taking forward to the High Court the person in the UK is a Lebanese national, now aged 34 and came to the UK in 2001. He is a refugee and has leave to remain in the United Kingdom until January 2014. This further effects his ability to obtain high paid employment. The rule also affects British Nationals and any other residents with settled leave who are receiving the National Minimum Wage as even if they work a full week they will still not meet the requirement.
He is engaged to a Lebanese woman and plans to get married to her but he does not earn the required amount despite working every hour he can to bring her to the UK in accordance with the requirements set out in the Immigration Rules.
The challenge is based on the legality of these rules, as they are both discriminatory and a breach of Article 8, the right to family life.
There has been a lot of criticism of the Government’s introduction of this new requirement and it is said it is further attempt to stop migration to the UK.
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UPDATE: The case concluded on 8th February and went well. The barrister for the Government hardly mentioned Refugees in her submission and we feel this part of our case is strong. it is clear during the consultation period there was no consideration of the Refugees in the UK and also that of children. The Government's position was there is discretion to be applied in exceptional cases but there was guidance issued to Entry Clearance Officers on this point and during the course of the proceedings the Home Office produced some guidance which was insufficient. This was another significant point that the Government's barrister could not address or deal properly.The position in terms of men and women and their earning capacity was the most argued as this will effect most people. The Judge did seem to take on the point of discrimination but we will have to see. Decision was reserved and no doubt we will receive it within a couple of months or so. Thank you for your support
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