MM Majid Javed v Secretary of State: Supreme Court decides that the Secretary of State needs to change the Minimum Income Requirement for Spouse Visa

A new ruling of the Supreme Court has been given today in the case of MM Majid Javed v Secretary of State for the Home Department. The judgement provided further clarifications on the application of the Minimum Income Requirement present at £18,600 per annum in Spouse visa application. The Supreme Court has decided that the Immigration Rules themselves are not unlawful but the Secretary of State application of the rules is inconsistent and needs to be addressed immediately. The Supreme Court has left it to the Secretary of State’s discretion as to whether she would amend the Immigration Rules themselves or the Home Office Guidance on how the Immigration Rules are applied.

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Apply for a Spouse Visa with LEXVISA London Solicitors & Barristers.

MM Majid Javed v Secretary of State: Summary of Case

The case was heard by the High Court (Administrative Court) on 5 July 2013.  The claimants in the application were a refugee from Lebanon (MM) and two British citizens resident in the Birmingham area (Mr Majid and Ms Javed). The claimants contended that the financial requirements under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules that came into force in July 2012 were unlawful on various grounds notably discrimination and interference with the right to respect for private life. The court concluded that the rules were not unlawful on the basis of their discriminatory impact alone, nor were they unlawful because of a conflict with the statutory duty to have regards to the best interest of children affected by immigration decision making. Further the rules should not be quashed, the claim related only to British citizens and refugees, and the rules might represent a valid balance between the competing interests when applied to foreign nationals who had voluntarily re-located to the UK.

The court concluded that taking the Minimum Income Requirement (MIR) of £18,600 per annum along with one or more of four other requirements of the rules would amount to a disproportionate interference with family life. In particular, the Honourable Mr Justice Blake held that: “I conclude that this measure is disproportionate when applied to British citizens and recognised refugees. In particular, it is more intrusive in its restrictions on family life to ensure that couples are self sufficient at the time of the spouse’s first admission”.

The Court rejected the submission that the effect of these measures was sufficiently mitigated by the exercise of discretion in the Secretary of State to authorise departure from the rules in exceptional cases.

Supreme Court Decision on MM Majid Javed v Secretary of State – Supreme Court invites changes to the Immigration Rules

The Supreme Court on MM Majid Javed v Secretary of State today decided that the MIR of £18,600 per annum under the Immigration Rules were not themselves unlawful and were not open to challenge as they were within the Secretary of State’s wide margin of appreciation. However, the Supreme Court declared that the Immigration Rules fail unlawfully to give effect to the duty of the Secretary of State in respect of the welfare of children and that the instructions by the Secretary of State to entry clearance officers would require revision to ensure that the decisions made by them are consistent with their duties under the Human Rights Act 1998. The Supreme Court invites the Secretary of State to consider whether it would be more efficient to revise the rules themselves, to indicate the circumstances in which alternative sources of funding should or might be taken into account, rather than simply to revise the guidance.

The full Supreme Court judgement can be found at: MM Majid Javed Supreme Court Judgment LEXVISA Immigration Lawyers London.

What does the MM Majid Javed ruling mean for future Spouse Visa applications?

The High Court ruling on MM Majid Javed v Secretary of State had caused controversy and uncertainty on the impact of the MIR in Spouse visa applications by British citizens and refugees. The Supreme Court ruling has dismissed the substantive claim by the Claimant that the Immigration Rules were unlawful and disproportionately infringed on their Article 8 ECHR rights. Instead, the Supreme Court has criticised the inconsistency in which the Secretary of State has applied the Immigration Rules and has invited the Secretary of State to revise the Immigration Rules so that it is clear to both the applicants and the decision makers what the Immigration Rules are, how they should be applied and under what exceptional circumstances can the Secretary of State exercise their discretion when certain requirements are not met.

The effect of the Supreme Court ruling would mean that the MIR of £18,600 per annum remains as a requirement for a successful Spouse visa application. However, changes are likely to be made to the Home Office policy and guidance to ensure that decisions made are consistent and that in circumstances where the evidential requirements cannot be met, clear guidance is given to the Home Office caseworkers and entry clearance officers as to their discretion to consider other ways in which the applicant can satisfy the MIR for a successful Spouse visa application.

Using Legal Representations to make a Spouse Visa Application 

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a Spouse Visa application.

A Spouse Visa application can be complicated at times as the Home Office have imposed highly specific requirements for applicants to meet. Our expert immigration solicitors will provide you with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the Spouse Visa process.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

How to make a successful Spouse Visa Application

To make a successful Spouse Visa application you must meet the Home Office’s requirements, we have previously written about the stringent requirements. It is important to note that the Home Office’s requirements are a set of rigorous rules. However, you should note that there are numerous ways you can satisfy these rules. It is imperative you obtain the correct guidance before submitting any visa and immigration application. The UK immigration rules are complex and so it’s advisable to seek legal advice to avoid refusal.

In our expert experience, we have assisted clients in the past who have assumed that they do not meet the requirements but once we explore their circumstances we discover they do meet the requirements. A common question we often come across is regarding the financial requirements. The financial requirements may be satisfied through various different avenues such as salaried employment, self-employment or cash savings. You may wish to contact us if you have any questions regarding any of the requirements.

Advice from LEXVISA UK Immigration Solicitors on Submitting a successful Spouse Visa Application

Our team of solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client-tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your UK Spouse Visa application by providing you with advice from our leading team of solicitors before your matter even reaches the Home Office. We can assist you with the preparation of your visa and immigration application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

If you wish to consider your options, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your matter and if necessary advise you of the next steps you should take in a consultation.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

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