APPG on Migration prepares to launch new family migration inquiry
Sponsoring a spouse, partner or elderly relative to come to the UK has never been easy, but in July 2012 the door slammed shut for many people altogether. This week a new inquiry launched by the APPG on Migration and headed up by shadow Equalities Minister Kate Green MP will begin to take evidence on the impacts of these rule changes on individuals and communities across the UK.
In particular the Committee will look at the new minimum earnings requirement of £18,600 for people wanting to bring their spouse or partner to join them in the UK. It’s estimated that 47% of the British working population earns less than this - and the Home Office anticipates that over 15,000 couples per year will be kept apart as a result of the new rules.
The Committee will also review new requirements for bringing adult or elderly dependents to the UK, including that applicants need long-term personal care in the UK which cannot be provided by anyone but the UK-based sponsor. The changes are expected to reduce the number of elderly parents and grandparents able to come to the UK from just short of 3000 per year to the hundreds.
The new APPG Migration family migration inquiry has been launched in order to allow concerned parliamentarians to consider a wide range of views and evidence on the rule changes. It will be led by Kate Green MP, shadow equalities minister, chair of a parliamentary committee which includes Sarah Teather MP, Paul Uppal MP, Jack Dromey MP, Baroness Hamwee and Lord Hussain. The inquiry will be coordinated by the APPG on Migration, and will take evidence from all interested parties - from individuals directly affected by the rule changes, economists, employers, trades unions, thinktanks and community organisations - about the impacts of the new rules and the way forward.
Since these new rules came into force, MRN has received many phone calls and emails from people who are devastated by the impacts of the rule changes. It is our view that family life for many groups across the UK has been thrown into jeopardy, including young couples, people from many Asian communities, pensioners and people living in areas with lower-than-average earnings. However, this is an opportunity for groups, analysts and individuals to highlight a wide range of experiences and analysis relevant to this issue. We hope that all those with an interest and stake in the family migration rules will take part in submitting evidence over the coming weeks and months.