Minimum income requirements lawful “in principle”


Re: R (MM) (Lebanon) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and Others [2017] UKSC 10

On appeal from [2014] EWCA Civ 985 and [2015] EWCA Civ 387.

These appeals considered whether the introduction into the Immigration Rules of a Minimum Income Requirement for a UK citizen or resident wishing to bring a non-EEA spouse or partner into the UK is in breach of ECHR, art 8, was unlawfully discriminatory, and/or irrational. The Supreme Court held that the income rules were lawful in principle. However the Immigration Rules and the Immigration Directorate Instruction on family migration unlawfully failed to take proper account of the Secretary of State’s duty in respect of the welfare of children under the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, s 55. Similarly, the Court held that the Instructions required amendment to allow consideration of alternative sources of funding when evaluating a claim under the ECHR, art 8. The fact the minimum income requirements could cause hardship did not render it unlawful as it has a legitimate aim, and the threshold was rationally connected to this aim.

Karon Monaghan QC was involved in this case.