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UK Supreme Court upholds minimum income policy for immigrant spouses

[JURIST] The UK Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday upheld [judgment, PDF] immigration rules that require British citizens have a certain level of income to bring their foreign spouses into Britain. The Minimum Income Requirement [text] rule mandates that a British citizen must have a minimum annual income of at least 18,600 euros in order for their foreign spouse to live with them in Britain. The rules allow for a easy way for the government to assess that the couple can support themselves without the need for governmental assistance. The suit alleged that the rule violated to their human right to a family life as specified in Article 8 of the European Convention [text, PDF]. The court ruled that it does not violate human rights. However, it should be amended to consider children and alternative sources of income such as those of the foreign spouse.

Various countries in the EU have had issues with controversial immigration laws over the past decade. In January the Slovenian parliament passed amendments [JURIST report] to the Aliens Act [text] to enact emergency measures to deny refugees entry into the country and to expel those whom did not have their asylum claims properly assessed. That same month Turkey threatened to scrap [JURIST report] an agreement with Greece on refugees and migrants. Also in January the European Court of Justice [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that those seeking asylum in the EU may be denied if they have any ties to terrorism. In June the European Court of Justice ruled [JURIST report] that non-EU immigrants who illegally enter the Schengen area across an internal border should not be jailed. In November 2015 the UK Supreme Court rejected a challenge [JURIST report] to an immigration rule requiring foreign spouses of UK citizens to speak English before relocating to the UK.

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