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UK hikes minimum annual income threshold for family visas

The Rishi Sunak government on Thursday increased the minimum income threshold required to sponsor a family member’s visa in the United Kingdom. The move is seen as a step towards Britain’s plan to cut down immigration levels in the country, report agencies.

The minimum annual income benchmark which was earlier £18,600 has now been increased to £29,000 – a hike of more than 55 per cent. The reform in the income benchmark is effective immediately, said the UK government in an official statement.

“Today’s change comes as the Home Secretary meets his commitment to implement his major package of reforms to the immigration system within weeks of announcing them – which came following the unveiling of measures to tighten the student visa route in May 2023,” the UK government’s statement read.

The government’s official website also mentioned, that by early 2025, the minimum required income will increase 2 more times, rising to £38,700 – to meet the new salary threshold for a Skilled Worker visa.

The new changes in the UK visa norms are a part of immigration system reforms of the Rishi Sunak government announced last year. In May 2023, the UK government tightened the student visa route as well.

With the new update, approximately 300,000 people arriving in the UK last year would no longer be able to.

New update on UK family visa: Details

A UK family visa is required if you want to live with a relative who has the right to be in the UK for more than six months. The family visa is applicable for your spouse or partner, child, parent, fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and relative who will provide long-term care for you.

To acquire the family visa, you have to demonstrate a good knowledge of the English language and meet the minimum income threshold, which was earlier £18,600. This income benchmark has now been increased to £29,000, and will systematically increase further as well.

Anyone renewing an existing family visa will not have to meet the new earnings threshold, the Home Office has confirmed.