Prior to the decision in MM (Lebanon) & Others v SSHD  UKSC 10, the Immigration Rules in relation to the financial requirement for certain familial relationships required that an applicant must show that they/their partner had a gross annual income of over £18,600, or savings of over £62,500, or a combination of the two. No reliance could be placed on third party support or any income/savings below these thresholds.
The court in MM found that the rules used when assessing these applications needed to be amended to take account of the impact on children and any other possible sources of income.
As such, the Home Office has now published its latest Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules which implements the changes recommended by the Court in MM. The changes laid out in this Statement come into effect from 10 August 2017 and are as follows:
- Where an applicant under Appendix FM cannot meet the financial requirement through the specified sources and it is evident that there are exceptional circumstances which would mean that a refusal could result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant, their partner or a relevant child, the decision maker must consider other sources of income in deciding whether the financial requirement is met.
- When considering an application in the above way, the decision maker must take into account, as a primary consideration, the best interests of any child who is under 18 and who would be affected by a decision to refuse.
- A decision maker can now have regard to the following sources of income/funds provided that the applicant can prove that it is genuine:
- credible guarantees of sustainable third party support
- credible prospective earnings of the applicant/their partner
- any other credible and reliable sources of income or funds available
- Where the financial requirement is met in the above way, a partner or parent applicant will be granted leave for 2.5 years on a 10 year route to settlement, provided they meet all other relevant requirements.
- Access to public funds will be allowed where an applicant can provide satisfactory evidence that they are destitute or that there are particularly compelling reasons relating to the welfare of a child.
If you believe that the above changes will impact you and you wish to discuss this, please call our Manchester office on 0161 234 6800 or Liverpool on 0151 305 9600 to arrange an appointment.