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All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration publishes report on the impacts of new rules on family migration

Date of Publication: 
10 June 2013

Report follows an inquiry which heard claims that the new rules were "tearing families apart" and had "unintended consequences" for high earning migrants

All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration publishes report on the impacts of new rules on family migration

10 June 2013

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration has published a new report on the impacts of the new rules on family migration that came into force on 9 July 2012.

The APPG on Migration launched an inquiry last November to examine the rules.

In particular, the inquiry looked at the new minimum income requirement of £18,600 for British nationals and permanent residents ('UK sponsors') seeking to sponsor a non-EEA spouse or partner and the new rules on sponsorship of non-EEA adult dependents applying to come to the UK.

Over 280 submissions were received by the APPG on Migration for the inquiry, including over 170 submissions from families who had been affected by the rules. Written evidence was also received from charities, lawyers, local authorities, businesses and MPs from across the UK.

You can read the APPG on Migration report here.

In the report, the APPG on Migration called for an urgent review of the new rules and urged the Government to consider the emerging evidence about what must be the unintended consequences of the rules.

According to the Guardian, the report claims that the new rules are tearing hundreds of British families apart.

The former Liberal Democrat children's minister, Sarah Teather, told the Guardian: "During the course of the inquiry we heard from many families in which British children are being made to grow up away from a parent, or where families had been forced to move overseas in order to be together. Whatever the objective of the policy, children shouldn't suffer as a result. Now is the time to take another look at the policy."

The Financial Times reported that the report said the new rules are so rigidly enforced that they are also preventing high-earning executives from settling in the UK.

Julia Onslow-Cole, partner and head of global immigration at PwC Legal, told the FT that she recommended an "urgent review" of the rules, as her firm believes they have had "unintended consequences".

According to the FT, PwC Legal's submission to the APPG on Migration inquiry featured the example of an Australian national married to a British national. Despite the fact that his UK earnings would be £400,000 a year, and the couple have property worth over £3.5m, they have been unable to relocate to the UK because his earnings overseas could not be considered and his wife is not employed nor does she intend or need to undertake employment in the UK.

The Home Office defended the new family migration rules and a spokeswoman told the FT that the new rules were designed to make sure those coming to the UK to join their spouse would not become a burden on the taxpayer.

The Home Office spokeswoman added that "high-value migrants" would not be refused because their British spouse or partner was not employed, and they can meet the income threshold by having cash savings of £62,500 or through their own private income.