UPDATE: The proposals have actually been announced, and the minimum income starts at £18,600 – and rises to £22,400 if you have a child. Thereafter, it’s £2,400 for every additional child.
However, the probation time between getting further leave to stay in the UK and indefinite leave to remain in the UK has been expanded from two to five years. We were about to apply for our indefinite leave in a few months, and it remains to be seen what (if any) transitional arrangements are made.
Imagine a scenario where you had to choose between staying with your family in a country you didn’t feel safe in, or staying apart from your family?
That’s obviously been a scenario that many poor families from under-developed countries have had to deal with, but under proposals from the British Home Secretary, you too could face that dilemma if you earn under £62,600.
New proposals – which will probably get passed this week – suggest that in order to bring your family and three kids to the UK from a non-EU country (such as America, Australia, South Africa, India or Pakistan), the UK citizen would need to earn £62,600. If your family has two kids, it would be £49,300. One kid: £37,000 – and if you have no kids, it would be £25,700.
Earning £37k with a child puts you in the top 30% of UK income-earners, according to the Institute for Financial Studies. If you’re lucky enough to earn £63k with three kids, you’re in the top 15% of UK income-earners.
This particular family – with its American mom, UK-passport-holding Dad and a dual citizen son – would be relatively OK under these proposals – assuming we didn’t suddenly find ourselves with another kid, or have to find another job. From personal experience, finding a job with those higher salaries outside of London would be nigh-on impossible.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants points out many other fundamental flaws with this legislation, and examples where couples would have to move to countries that the Foreign Office advises British citizens not to travel to.
I can understand the desire to ensure that families emigrating to the UK can support themselves and not rely on state benefits (although according to the DWP. foreign-born residents account for 13% of the population but only 6.4% of benefits claimants) – but the implication that one needs £62,000 to comfortably support three kids? I look forward to increased child benefit to ensure the future of the nation’s children if that’s the case.
The trouble is, given the general belief in UK/US society that immigration is now a bad thing, I can’t see who is going to stand up and say that this needs to be stopped. Andrew Marr interviewed Theresa May yesterday morning and didn’t even challenge her basic assumptions for these figures.