circle circle
 Family visas: What do the new financial requirements mean for me?
Immigration law

Family visas: What do the new financial requirements mean for me?



From 11 April 2024, the minimum income requirement (MIR) for those wishing to sponsor their partner/ spouse and dependants to join them in the UK on the five-year route to settlement will rise from £18,600 to £29,000 per annum. This is the first of three, planned, incremental increases to the minimum income requirement. The Government plans two further increases, from £29,000 to £34,500 and then to £38,700 by early 2025. Exact dates for the last two increases are yet to be announced and their implementation may depend on the changing political landscape.

Background to the changes

On 4 December 2024, the UK Government announced a new five-point plan, aimed at reducing legal migration to the UK. While many of the announced measures were anticipated, those wishing to sponsor their partner/ spouse and dependants to join them in the UK were surprised by the announced hike in the minimum income requirement, from £18,600 to £38,700, to bring the minimum income requirement in line with the Skilled Worker general salary threshold. The Government later walked back its proposed plan, opting instead to introduce the increase incrementally.

What does the new financial requirement mean for me?

  • I intend to make a new application to sponsor my fiancé(e)/ proposed civil partner/ spouse/ partner on the five-year route to settlement, on or after 11 April 2024. What rules apply to me?

Those who wish to sponsor their partner/ spouse and dependants to join them in the UK from 11 April 2024 will now need to demonstrate that they earn £29,000 gross per annum. There will no longer be a separate child element to the MIR, which currently requires an additional £3,800 per annum for the first child and an additional £2,400 for any further dependent children. This is to ensure that British nationals are treated equally to skilled worker migrants, who are only required to meet the Skilled Worker salary threshold at a flat rate, regardless of any children sponsored.

  • I am already in the UK on the fiancé(e)/ proposed civil partner/ five-year partner route. Do these changes affect me?

The MIR for those already on the five-year partner route or who apply before 11 April 2024 and are granted a visa will be locked in at £18,600 until settlement on that route, provided they stay with the same partner. The same goes for those children who applied to join or accompany a parent on the partner route before the cut-off date.

For those who have already locked in a minimum income requirement of £18,600, where the financial requirement exceeds £29,000 due to the number of children in the family, the applicant will only need to provide evidence of a gross annual income of £29,000.

  • Can I still sponsor my partner to join me in the UK if I am on benefits?

The rules for those in receipt of one or more of the qualifying benefits remain unchanged: Disability Living Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit, Attendance Allowance, Pension Age Disability Payment (Scotland), Carer’s Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Adult Disability Payment (Scotland), Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, Constant Attendance Allowance and Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme.  Those in receipt of one or more of those benefits will continue to be able to sponsor their partner/spouse and dependants provided they can show that they can meet the adequate maintenance test. The MIR will not apply.

What if I don’t earn enough?

Sponsors who are employed with gross salaries that fall short of the minimum income requirement may be able to rely on a combination of other permitted income sources, including cash savings. As of 11 April 2024 onwards, the required amount of savings has gone up from £62,500 to £88,500. This figure is set to rise to £102,250 and then £112,750 if and when the next two planned increases are implemented.

Those applicants who are unable to meet the minimum income requirement can still apply but they will need to show that there would be a breach of their Article 8 rights (the right to private and family life) if the Home Office refuses to grant leave to enter or remain because it would result in “unjustifiably harsh consequences” for the applicant, their partner or a relevant child. The test for this type of application is a high one and it is likely that a large number of these cases will end up at the appeal stage, meaning additional unnecessary distress and heartache for British mixed nationality families.

Take away

With the British median salary at £34,963, these changes could have a significantly detrimental impact on a huge number of families.

Those wishing to apply to bring a loved one to the UK should consider seeking advice with a view to applying prior to the implementation of any further increases to the minimum income requirement. Similarly, those who are unsure as to whether they meet (and can evidence) the new minimum income requirement or whether they might be eligible to apply on Article 8 grounds should seek advice given the complex nature of these applications.

Should you require immigration advice in relation to the proposed changes or any immigration, asylum or nationality matter, please contact us.


Glasgow Edinburgh Inverness Elgin Thurso Shetland
Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 912 0294 or complete our online form below for legal advice or to arrange a call back.

Speak to us today on 0330 159 5555

Get in touch


Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.