"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Thursday 7 December 2023


Author/Source : Steve

The long-anticipated rise in the UK spouse and partner visa minimum income requirement has finally been announced. Around this time last year this was rumoured, and we hoped there was enough pushback to delay it. However, an increase has finally been announced and it's worse than any of us feared.

In a nutshell, the proposal is to set the MIR to £38,700 per annum - more than doubling the figure now. In 2012, when the MIR was introduced, circa 47% of the UK population would -fail- to make this income and were therefore locked out of bringing a foreign partner to the UK. As the years have passed, inflation has eroded this figure considerably, although spiralling above-inflation visa fees have locked large numbers of people out. In more than doubling the figure, well above inflation, around 73% of the UK's working population will be unable to bring in a foreign partner. 

73%! This is absolutely unjustifiable and betrays the true intention here - the proposed figure is well above that needed to support a family in the UK without relying in benefits, and the true intention is nastiness. The last roll of the dice of a failed regime, and a failed way of thinking. All the current government has left is nastiness, pettiness, making life difficult for innocent families, leaving an unpleasant legacy for the next government. Shame on them. May they be consigned to the ashcan of history.

It gets worse. It is suggested in other news reports (for example: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/foreign-spouse-visa-uk-migration-crackdown-b2459168.html ) that, defying convention and commonsense, families -already- on the route will be expected to make the new figure when they apply for extensions. One would hope that logic and intelligence would prevail here, and this proposal is nothing more than the mumblings of ignorant power-hungry politicians who do not even understand the consequences of what they propose. But let's see. One cannot take anything for granted.

I am therefore CALLING EVERYONE IMPACTED, their FRIENDS, FAMILIES and ALLIES, to URGENTLY contact their MPs, parliamentary candidates, and other civil society representatives such as trade unions and faith groups to oppose this egregious proposal and make it clear that ANY POLITICIAN who supports this will be wiped out come the next election. Too often in recent years our interests - the interests of British citizens and their families - have been ignored or gaslighted in the interests of 'listening to concerns'. Enough is enough. THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN and any politician supporting it needs to be wiped from the electoral map.

You can identify and write to your local MP using these tools - https://www.writetothem.com/ or https://members.parliament.uk/members/commons or https://www.theyworkforyou.com/

Labour candidates for the next election where chosen can be found using this tool when available - https://vote.labour.org.uk/

We expect Greens will share their candidates here - https://www.greenparty.org.uk/find-your-local-party.html

We also encourage people to share with trade unions they belong to.

As the recent RMT campaign to save ticket offices - successfully - shows, enough outrage CAN make a difference. Please! 

This is just a template - please do feel free to modify with your own story!

Template letter below :

Dear <candidate name>,

As a voter in the constituency you want to represent in Parliament, I am writing to you with what I want you and any future Government to address in creating a fair immigration policy, and to raise grave concerns over the direction of family migration policy.

Since 2012, many reforms have been introduced creating a 'hostile environment' towards those who come here from overseas. This includes not only migrants - but also British people with overseas families - spouses, partners, children, dependant relatives. I believe the vast majority of people who come to the UK want to actively take part in their local communities, and contribute to wider British society. Current immigration policies are undermining their ability to feel welcome and are increasing social divisions.

In particular, I want to highlight the rules around spousal/partner/family visas which have caused division for many UK families.
- The minimum income requirement, introduced in 2012, was set far higher than the vast majority of developed nations, at a level which close to 40% of the UK population - higher among women and in many regions - could not hope to meet. This has caused many people to have to choose between exile or family division.
- This has also caused untold mental health and financial harm to thousands of families - including small children at vulnerable points in their lives - as they struggle to meet the requirement.
- As well as family impact, contrary to stated reasoning that they promote integration and the economy, the legacy of these rules is of family division - and of in fact harming the economy through forcing people into single parenthood and denying the economy hardpaying workers and taxpayers who will support their families and the country as a whole.
- As well as this, partner visa fees have spiralled since 2012 - the cost for the whole process, not including legal fees, approach £15,000 - £20,000 - prohibitively expensive, far more than most people can afford! All in support of a policy which just divides families, harming society and the economy.
- Furthermore, I would like to highlight that family policies around adult dependant relatives are nearly impossible to meet regardless - a ban masquerading as a rule - the impact on families is truly multi-generational.

<those impacted may want to include a bit about their stories here>

Now I am shocked and appalled that is now a proposal to set the figure of the partner visa minimum income requirement to circa £38,700 per year. This would prevent around 73% of the UK working population from falling in love with a foreigner and starting a family. This is shocking and defies all justification. Even following the logic of the 2012 rule change where supposedly the MIR was set to prevent dependence on benefits, this is far far above the figure needed by the vast majority of the country to support a family. It's absolutely unjustifiable and carries no logic whatsoever, except sheer nastiness.

Furthermore, it's also suggested in the media - by the Home Secretary himself - that the rug may figuratively pulled from under such families as are already on the route by forcing them to conform to the much higher figure when it comes to renewal. This in particular shows a low level of 'bait and switch' morality, and the proposal to break up families in this way is absolutely immoral. Not only immoral, but stupid - how on earth would the country benefit by forcing hard workers to leave and forcing people into single parenthood and benefits? 

I suspect this is the last roll of the dice of a failed mentality. It must be stopped. As one family quoted in the London Evening Standard this week stated, it is nothing less than an obscenity. 

As a nation, our history of tolerance, openness and compassion is being undermined by the politics of fear and division. I want to see an end to arbitrary and short-sighted immigration policies that feed into the creation of an unwelcoming environment for families and ultimately are unsustainable.

I urge you to strongly oppose these measures. I will urge my friends and family to vote out any politician who gives any hint of supporting this unacceptable, immoral, and self-destructive policy. I will be working to identify all parliamentary candidates in my constituency and urging them to make a commitment. This will help decide how I vote in the election in the next few months. I will do all in my power using my democratic rights to spread the word and push for this abominable proposal to be ditched and wiped from history. I truly hope that the politics of compassion - indeed, basic logic - prevail, and that the politics of division are consigned to the ashcan of history.

Please use your office to strongly oppose these egregious measures, on behalf of your constituents, your country, and all that is good.
And please use your office to support those suffering from these unjustified and truly immoral policies.

Yours sincerely,