Human consequences of Tory prejudice on family visa restrictions – Carmichael

7 Dec 2023

Orkney and Shetland MP and Liberal Democrat spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael, has today spoken out on government changes to the visa rules for family members and partners of UK citizens, with the required income threshold more than doubling.

From April 2024, British citizens or people already settled in the UK will need to show they earn £38,700 before their overseas partner can live here with them – a sharp jump from the current threshold of £18,600.

They also still need to show they are in a marriage or civil partnership when they apply for a family visa, intend to be within six months, or that they have been living together for at least two years.

The Northern Isles MP cited the local case of Shetlander Mathew Nicolson, a PhD student engaged to a Malaysian woman, Deepa, who are likely to be affected by the new income rules. Mr Carmichael said that he would challenge the proposals in Parliament and called on anyone else in the isles at risk – or those who would have been affected if the rules were in place previously – to contact his office.

Mr Carmichael said:

“Cases like Mathew and Deepa – I fear more will appear in the days to come – are the human face of the consequences of Tory prejudice. Of all the wicked proposals that the Home Secretary announced on Monday this is one of the cruellest as it targets families, partners and parents – our most important relationships.

“It is easy for this government to demonise immigrants. In the isles, however, we all know someone who is an immigrant to the UK, or who is married to one. We all know them in our shops, our health services and far more besides. They are valued members of our community, as much as anyone else.

“The government’s measures announced this week will not change that fact, but they risk discouraging future generations from joining our community. In the long term we will all be the poorer for that.

“Over the years I have helped hundreds of constituents with immigration issues, helping people to bring their families back together or secure visas for their spouses. Other Liberal Democrat colleagues have said the same. That is just a part of the job of a constituency MP but those successes, when they come, are some of the most rewarding.

“I cannot see how these plans to harm families will possibly be compatible with human rights law and I will be astonished if they are not challenged in the courts. In the meantime I shall challenge the proposals in Parliament in any way possible. I would urge anyone affected – or indeed those who would have been affected in the past or are otherwise concerned – to contact my office.”

This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.