Last week saw the long awaited case of R ( MM & Others ) V SSHD 2013 EWHC 1900 at the Court of Appeal, otherwise referred to as the spousal income level case. As already well known, the Government introduced the minimum level of income for sponsoring spouses at £18600 in their July 2012 Changes to the Immigration Rules. Justice Blake last year in this very case rules that the imposition of the threshold was likely to amount to a disproportionate interference with Article 8 ( family and private life rights under ECHR ) if an applicant was earning above the national minimum wage (£13,400) and could show that the shortfall was made up of (i) savings (including those below £16,000), (ii) credible job offers and (iii) credible offers of third party support. The appeal was finally heard 4th & 5th March. Determination of the Court is not surprisingly reserved. The wonderful Brit Cit Movement were in attendance and their report of the hearing is found here. http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/weeks-roundup-and-update-on-mm-by-sonel.html .
Colin Yeo of Freemovement has issued a Blog statement which highlights the legal perspective of the hearing direct from the agents and instructed Counsel. http://www.freemovement.org.uk/2014/03/11/spouse-visa-minimum-income-case-heard-last-week/
As indicated, regardless of the decision which comes from the Court of Appeal, this will not be an end to the matter. This is definitely a matter which will end in a Supreme Court hearing which will take many more months to come.
The tragedy however, is no matter how strongly fought, the Government will continue to suspend cases for entry clearance where the financial circumstances are considered "in doubt". This cannot continue and given some of the commentary in the Court of Appeal hearing, especially in respect of Article 8 ECHR considerations, sadly litigation will prove necessary.