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Minimum Income Rule Justifiable, Rules Court

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that immigration rules which prevent a married person being 'sponsored' unless the sponsor's income exceeds a minimum level are not a breach of the human rights of the applicant.

The rules provide that where a person wishes to sponsor the entry of a partner from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), the sponsor's gross income must exceed £18,600 per annum (or a higher figure if there are children).

The rules were challenged on the basis that they constituted an unjustified interference with the right to respect for family life, which is guaranteed under Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The Court found that the purpose of the rule was to reduce the cost to the public purse and also to aid the integration of non-EEA spouses into British society.

It ruled that this was not incompatible with the Convention and constituted a justifiable form of discrimination.

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