HomeNewsThe UK's Minimum Salary U-Turn: What You Need to Know

The UK’s Minimum Salary U-Turn: What You Need to Know

In a surprising move, the UK government has reversed its controversial plan to increase the minimum salary for British nationals bringing foreign family members to the UK. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:


The initial plan faced criticism, leading to a rethink.

Revised Proposal

The new minimum salary threshold is £29,000, a significant change from the previously proposed £38,700. However, details on the timeline for further increases are unclear.

Affordability Impact

A comparison of the old (£18,600) and new thresholds, examining the percentage of people able to afford family reunification.

Original Plan vs. New Policy

Exploring the government’s goals for migration reduction and the backlash from opposition parties and campaign groups.

Public Reaction

Reunite Families, a campaign group, expresses disappointment over the timing of the announcement before Christmas.

MIR Changes

Details on the incremental stages of the Minimum Income Requirement (MIR) and concerns about the process’s complexity.

Home Office’s Response

Examining the lack of details on future increments and the ambiguity in the government’s strategy.

Home Secretary’s Statement

James Cleverly’s attempt to provide additional details without admitting to a U-turn. Emphasis on the need to reduce annual net migration.

Renewal of Family Visas

Existing family visa holders exempt from meeting the increased threshold, with implications for renewals and children joining parents.

Political Criticism

Yvette Cooper and Alistair Carmichael criticize the government’s handling and decision-making.

Background Leading to the U-Turn

An overview of the initial crackdown and the sudden shift to a £38,700 threshold, driven by data on net inward migration.

Consequences for Skilled Worker Visas

Impact on skilled worker visas, including increased minimum salaries and the abolishment of the 20% below-market-rate rule.

Tory MPs’ Support vs. Expert Warnings

Mixed reactions within the Conservative party and warnings from experts about potential chaos in the healthcare sector.

Labour’s Call for a Proper Plan

Yvette Cooper’s call for a comprehensive immigration plan, highlighting the lack of strategy.


Summing up the unexpected U-turn and its implications for families and immigration policies.


  1. Why did the government change the minimum salary requirement?
    • A: The initial plan faced strong criticism, leading to a reevaluation.
  2. How will the new threshold affect family reunification?
    • A: The £29,000 threshold may still pose challenges for many families, limiting sponsorship.
  3. Is there a timeline for future increases in the minimum income requirement?
    • A: Unfortunately, the government has not provided a clear timeline beyond the initial increase to £29,000.
  4. What are the exemptions for existing family visa holders?
    • A: Existing visa holders renewing and children joining parents are not subject to the increased threshold.
  5. How does this impact skilled worker visas?
    • A: Skilled worker visas face increased minimum salaries, and the 20% below-market-rate hiring rule is abolished.
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