As of 11 April 2024, the minimum income requirement for partners has increased from £18600 to £29,000 for new applicants.

According the the UK Government, the new minimum income requirement has been set at a level which is based on earnings as well as benefit levels to help ensure that migrants are more likely to make a net positive contribution to the public finances. This includes supporting the Government’s aim to reduce the overall level of net migration, as well as the Government’s wider ambition for the UK to be a high-wage, high-productivity, high-skill economy.

There will no longer be a separate child element to the minimum income requirement. This is to ensure that British nationals are not treated less favourably than migrants under the work routes who are required to meet the General Skilled Worker threshold as a flat rate, regardless of any children being sponsored.

There are transitional arrangements for those who, before 11 April, already have a Family visa within the fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner or five-year partner route, or who applied before 11 April and are being granted. Once a minimum income requirement has been met, the same minimum income requirement must be met through to settlement on the route, provided the applicant is applying to stay with the same partner. This will also be the case for children seeking to join or accompany a parent. These arrangements provide certainty for those already within the route, or who apply before the increase comes into force.

Existing exceptional circumstances and the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children continue to apply. Those unable to meet the minimum income requirement may still be granted leave where: there are insurmountable obstacles to family life with their partner continuing outside the UK; it would not be reasonable for their child to leave the UK; or there are exceptional circumstances which would render refusal of the application a breach of ECHR Article 8 because it would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant or their family. Those granted on this basis are placed on a longer 10-year route to settlement, granted in four tranches of 30-month periods.