The Court of Appeal handed down its long awaited judgment in MM & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 985 on 11 July 2014. Our previous coverage of the case can be found here.
The outcome is that the Secretary of State’s appeal against the earlier High Court ruling has been allowed and this will be devastating for the many families forced to live apart as a result of the minimum income rule.
The Home Office immediately released a statement in which it said:
‘Today, 11 July 2014, a major Court of Appeal judgment upheld the lawfulness of the minimum income threshold under the new family migration rules.
The minimum income threshold for British citizens to sponsor a non-EEA spouse or partner and children to come to live in the UK was introduced in July 2012. It aims to ensure that family migrants do not become reliant on the taxpayer for financial support and are able to integrate effectively. The minimum income threshold was set, following advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee, at £18,600 for sponsoring a spouse or partner, rising to £22,400 for also sponsoring a child and an additional £2,400 for each further child.
Today’s judgment overturns an earlier High Court judgment from July 2013, which was supportive of the approach but found that the impact of the minimum income threshold on family life could be disproportionate.
The judgment will mean that, from the 28 July, the 4,000 individuals whose applications are currently on hold, pending this judgment, will now receive a decision. These are cases which met all the requirements apart from the minimum income threshold and now stand to be refused unless there are exceptional circumstances.’
The next stage of the legal process is a further appeal to the Supreme Court.