The Home Office has backed down from its plan to raise the family visa earning criteria from £18,600 to £38,700

On 21 December 2023, it has been announced that the ministers have backed down from plans to raise the earnings threshold required for Britons to bring family members to live in the UK to £38,700.

Instead, the government has stated that the threshold will be raised to £29,000 in the spring.

The hike from £18,600 to £38,700 was announced by Home Secretary James Cleverly as part of a package of steps to reduce lawful migration.

However, the idea drew criticism because it threatened to split families apart, with many people’s futures jeopardised as the administration reviewed the policy’s details.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom, a Home Office minister, revealed the change of plans in response to a written parliamentary question on Thursday, 21 December 2023.

Lord Sharpe said: “In spring 2024, we will raise the threshold to £29,000, that is the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs which are eligible for Skilled Worker visas, moving to the 40th percentile (currently £34,500) and finally the 50th percentile (currently £38,700 and the level at which the general skilled worker threshold is set) in the final stage of implementation.”

The minister said the threshold would be “increased in incremental stages to give predictability”.

However, no date for when the threshold would rise beyond £29,000 was given in Lord Sharpe’s answer, nor did one appear in a Home Office paper published on Thursday detailing the plans.

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