Family visa petition against wage threshold increases reaches 100k signatures needed for Parliament debate

An official petition against increasing the salary workers need to earn in order to obtain a family visa has reached the 100,000 signatures needed for a debate in Parliament.

The Home Office last year hiked the wage required to bring a loved one from abroad to the UK from £18,600-a-year to £29,000-a-year. It is due to rise further to £38,700 by early 2025.A petition against the increase set up on the government website reached 101,321 signatures, despite closing early after the general election was called for July 4.

It stated that: “Most people in the UK don’t make that per year. We believe this policy punishes those who fall in love with someone with a different nationality.”

The number of signatures means the petition should have been scheduled for an MP debate in Westminster. But Parliament was closed down when the general election was called and it will be up to the new Government if it is discussed .

“The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who decide which petitions are debated) will cease to exist when Parliament closes,” the Government said.

“After the election, the new House of Commons will appoint new committees.

“It will be up to the new Petitions Committee to decide whether to schedule a debate on this petition.

“Previous Petitions Committees have generally agreed to schedule debates on petitions that received 100,000 signatures but were unable to be debated before a general election.”

It comes as it was announced a legal challenge is being brought against the Government for hiking the minimum income for family visas by thousands of pounds.

A lawyer for Reunite Families UK (RFUK) said the decision, announced last December, had been taken in “a cavalier manner” by Home Secretary James Cleverly.

The organisation said it had filed a legal challenge, and the lawyer said they would ask the High Court to quash the decision on the basis that Mr Cleverly had acted unlawfully.

More than 100,000 signed the Parliament petition against family visa wage thresholds (HoC)
More than 100,000 signed the Parliament petition against family visa wage thresholds (HoC)

Labour has vowed to review the new visa rules if the party wins the general election on July 4.

The Migration Advisory Committee will be asked to investigate the impact of preventing workers bringing dependents to the UK and increasing salary thresholds, Labour has confirmed.

The Home Office last year announced a raft of measures designed to bring down record immigration.

These included:

  • Reforms to restrict care workers from bringing family members to the UK came into force on March 11

  • Measures requiring care providers to register with the Care Quality Commission if they are sponsoring migrants began on the same date

  • An increase to the minimum salary required for those arriving on a Skilled Worker Visa, from £26,200 to £38,700, started on April 4.

  • The minimum income threshold for those bringing dependents to the UK on family visas began increasing in stages starting on April 11. From this date workers needed to be earning at least £29,000-a-year to bring a family member from abroad - up from £18,600