Court of Appeal delivers its judgment in MM minimum income level

The judgement from the Court of Appeal came out on Friday and it was indeed a sad day. The court allowed the Secretary of States appeal on all grounds resulting in what can only be described as devastation for many thousands of couples who have been waiting all these months whilst the Secretary of State held applications in abeyance. The full judgement can be read here. MM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 985.

Lord Justice Aitkens finds  that ' There is nothing in the 1971 Act or the common law that grants a "constitutional right" of British citizens to live in the UK with non-EEA partners who do not have the right of abode in the UK and who are currently living outside the UK.' [137].

In considering the proportionality of the minimum income requirement ( MIR ), he went on to find that whilst the new rules caused significant interference with the right to respect of family life, nevertheless, 'given the work that was done on behalf of the Secretary of State to analyse the effect of the immigration of non-EEA partners and dependent children on the benefits system, the level of income needed to minimise dependence on the state for families where non-EEA partners enter the UK and what I regard as a rational conclusion on the link between better income and greater chances of integration, my conclusion is that the Secretary of State's judgment cannot be impugned. She ( the Secretary of State ) has discharged the burden of demonstrating that the interference was both the minimum necessary and strikes a fair balance between the interests of the groups concerned and the community in general' [150].

The Home Office lost no time in making an official statement confirming that all applications placed on hold pending the judgment would now be processed - ' The Home Office welcomes a Court of Appeal judgment, upholding the lawfulness of the income threshold under the new family migration rules.'

Thankfully they immediately replaced the original media image they published with the article on Friday which added insult to injury....

An appeal to the Supreme Court is contemplated.