Migration rules causing 'anguish'

British citizens are being separated from partners and children from outside the European Union (EU) by new migration rules that are "causing anguish for families", MPs have found.

Migration rules may 'be costing the public purse'

Migration rules are causing "anguish" to families and may even be costing the public money, according the chairwoman of the inquiry.

Baroness Hamwee, the Liberal Democrats home affairs lead in the House of Lords, said: "We were struck by the evidence showing just how many British people have been kept apart from partners, children and elderly relatives.

"These rules are causing anguish for families and, counter to their original objectives, may actually be costing the public purse."

The inquiry heard that the income requirement may have created unforeseen costs to the public purse as a result of a potential tax revenue loss from future non-EEA partner earnings.

UK rules 'ensure migrants will not become a burden'

The Home Office said its migration rules for families are designed to ensure people coming to the UK to join their partner "will not become a burden on the taxpayer" and that they will be supported enough to "integrate effectively".

Responding to a group of influential MPs who claimed new migration rules are "causing families anguish", a Home Office spokesperson said:

High-value migrants would not be refused because their British spouse or partner was not employed.

They can meet the income threshold by having cash savings of £62,500 or through their own private income, for example from investments. We have also introduced greater flexibility for those holding investments to liquidate them into cash in order to meet the rules.

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MPs calling for lower income requirement for migrants

MPs are looking into lowering the income requirement for British nationals and permanent residents seeking to sponsor a non-European Economic Area spouse or parter.

  • The figure is currently £22,400 to sponsor and a further £2,400 for each further child
  • The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration (APPG) is discussing lowering this figure to £18,600
  • Evidence suggests 47% of the UK working population last year would fail to meet the income level to sponsor a non-EEA partner, the committee said

Read: Britain's migration rules causing 'anguish' for families

Britain's migration rules causing 'anguish' for families

British citizens are being separated from partners and children from outside the European Union (EU) by new migration rules that are "causing anguish for families", a group of parliamentarians has found.

A breast-feeding mother separated from her British baby was among the cases the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Migration heard during its inquiry into the rules that came into force on in July last year.

A minimum earnings requirement for Britons wishing to sponsor a non-EU spouse is one of the key changes that is "tearing British families apart", the cross-party committee found.

Liberal Democrat APPG member Sarah Teather MP said: "We heard from many families in which British children are being made to grow up away from a parent, or where families had been forced to move overseas in order to be together. Whatever the objective of the policy, children shouldn't suffer."