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Spouse Visa Income Threshold was upheld in the High Court.

The justices heard challenges from two British citizens, Abdul Majid and Shabana Jawed, who cannot meet the requirement to bring their non-EEA spouses into the UK, and from MM, a refugee from the Lebanon who is resident in the UK and in a similar position, and his nephew AF.

A further appeal is in the case of SS, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who is challenging a refusal of entry clearance as the spouse of a refugee who became a naturalised British citizen, but whose earnings are below £18,600.

Immigration tribunals allowed her appeal under Article 8 (right to private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. But the appeal court ruled she had not demonstrated ''compelling circumstances'' justifying the granting of entry clearance.

The Home Office has said that the aim of the minimum income threshold was to "ensure that family migrants do not become reliant on the taxpayer for financial support and are able to integrate effectively".

A Home Office spokesman said: "The court has endorsed our approach in setting an income threshold for family migration that prevents burdens on the taxpayer and ensures migrant families can integrate into our communities.
"This is central to building an immigration system that works in the national interest.

"The current rules remain in force but we are carefully considering what the court has said in relation to exceptional cases where the income threshold has not been met, particularly where the case involves a child."

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