Increase to minimum income requirement

Minimum income requirement update February 2024

Following a ministerial statement released on 30 January 2024, we now know that the increase to the Minimum Income Requirement to the initial amount of £29,000 will take place on 11 April 2024. The ministerial statement also confirmed that there will be two further increases. The requirement will increase to £34,500 and finally to £38,700. No dates have been given for these further incremental increases, just that the final one will take effect in early 2025. Please see the bullet points below for further information. We are still waiting for clarification on the extent to which the Armed Forces will be affected by these changes.

Minimum income requirement update 3 January 2024

Further guidance about the increase in the minimum income requirement (MIR) was released on 21 December 2023. The important facts for families of serving personnel are:

  • The MIR increase will be in phases. On 11 April 2024 it will rise to £29,000.
    • The current government has indicated that it plans to increase it again to £34,500 and then to £38,700 in ‘early 2025’.
  • If you or your partner/child already have a visa issued under the five-year partner route or you apply before the MIR is raised, you will not be required to meet the increased threshold when you apply for ILR in five years’ time. The applications will be assessed against the income requirements in place in 2023.
  • If you/your partner are granted a fianc(é)e visa before the minimum income threshold is raised, you will also be assessed against the income requirements in place in 2023 when you apply to switch onto the five-year partner route.
  • Anyone in the UK on a different route who applies to switch into the five-year partner route after the minimum income requirement has been increased, will be subject to the income requirements at that point and into the future.
  • Anyone wishing to bring family to the UK after the minimum income requirement has increased, will be subject to the income requirement at that point and into the future. If you think you may meet the MIR to bring your family to the UK now, please get in touch with us.
  • A key change is that there will no longer be a separate child element to the MIR. Therefore, the MIR will be the same regardless of the number of children you are bringing to the UK. (NB: If you are a serving person and you have sole responsibility for your child, you are not currently required to meet the MIR. This will not change.)
  • The points above will also apply to families on overseas assignments.

Increase to minimum income requirement

The Home Secretary announced an increase in the minimum income requirement (MIR) for family visas for British citizens and those settled in the UK. The MIR will be raised from £18,600 to £38,700.

Members of the UK Armed Forces who are not British are considered to be settled in the UK during their service. However, Armed Forces personnel who wish to sponsor visas for eligible family members to enter and remain in the UK currently have to meet the MIR.

As the starting salary for a trained soldier is around £24,000 in 2023, we are concerned about the potential impact on soldiers and their families of this announcement. The 2023 Tri-Service Families Continuous Attitude Survey states that ‘just over one in eight Service spouses report a non-UK nationality’; this rises to 22% of spouses of non-commissioned Army personnel.

We are urgently seeking further details from the Ministry of Defence on how the announcement of 4 December might affect Armed Forces personnel. AFF believes that members of the Armed Forces should be exempt from any increases to the MIR, and will be seeking assurances that this is being considered.

The initial response from the MOD is as follows: “We are aware of the announcement by the Home Secretary on 4 December 2023 that the minimum income required to sponsor a visa for any family members to enter the UK who are not British or do not have settled status, is increasing to £38,700. We appreciate that this may be causing uncertainty.

“The MOD will be working with the Home Office to understand how this will impact Service personnel and their families.”


POSTED ON 8 DECEMBER 2023
UPDATED ON 3 JANUARY 2024
UPDATED ON 12 FEBRUARY 2024

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    Comments

    As a father of two children for me it’s quite unfair as a regular serving personal for the British army alot of changes how can we live in a country that we served and put our life before anyone else just to keep people’s life safe from harm. I know I might sound selfish but the truth to be told you guys have your family here in the uk and we have to travel back to our country to go and see our family we can’t do anything about this if this kick off then we might have just gone awol or just sign off that’s the only options that we got. thanks

    Hi Vilimoni, I appreciate your frustrations. If you would like to discuss this further, you can contact our specialist foreign and commonwealth team who will be best able to support and advise you. The team can be contacted directly via fcsupport@aff.org.uk. I hope this helps.

    Hi!

    I have been saving and waiting for my sixth pay slip of MIR £24,000 to bring my spouse and son over. My sixth pay slip will kick in on March this year, when I was planning to commence their visa application now that I have all the requirements needed by the home office.
    I genuinely fell disappointed and demoralised that all my dreams of finally being with my one and only family close with me to enhance my peace of mind and complete happiness in my heart will completely be scattered and shuttered.
    Honestly it’s so unfair that the home office doesn’t really care of what common wealth soldiers put in this country and what we go through mentally being away from our loved ones for years waiting and when things tend to come through they pass bills & policies to even hurt and brake the only remaining strength we have got, thereby cutting short even the moral of being in service anymore.
    All they care about is the revenue they earn for the money we pay to bring them over not realising the wounds and pain they inflict in our hearts, souls and mind trying to put our best foot forward just to be with our loved ones just like anybody else.
    What’s the point of living and working so hard yet you can’t celebrate what you do with your closest family. It’s 100% degrading and mental torturing if they haven’t realised how painful and saddening it living in fear if something happens to us or them when we’re away, I wish someone can put themselves in our shoes and fill the pinch, how and where it hurts everyday we turn up for knowing that it’s all in vain, seriously!
    Why can’t all SPs be exempted from this MIR, at least for the sake of peace of mind and urge to stay in service for long? Otherwise am personally happy to go back and be with my family in my country of origin and live happily in peace than go down mentally for reason of not living with my family, spend time with them, seeing them grow, going out together and have endless fun etc etc or lose them for being away from for ages.
    I respectfully say that family is something that I hold at heart and am more than happy to lose everything I have accomplished here for the sake being with my family back at home. It’s that significant, the only single unit that matters to me, more than anything else you can think of, I live, work and earn for them.

    Hi,
    I have three daughters age range from 13,9 and 7 whom they are still reside back home.

    We are planning to bring them over this year and We have been saving up for their Visa fees.

    However, Due to the increasing Visa fees and MIR,we finding hard to work ourselves out in order to meet our target.

    I would kindly request if we can be exempt from this changes as this increase will not help us but demoralised us in terms of working related issues,taken into consideration family will face the full brunt of it all.

    Thank you.

    Hi,

    Would new MIR (minimum income requirement) be applicable to spouses of serving soldiers applying for ILR under the 5 years route.

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