Family Life – A human right or a privilege?


If the media is anything to go by, you would be forgiven for thinking that bringing family members to join those who are settled in the UK or those who are British Citizens is an easy process.

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) provides that everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. This is not an absolute right as public authorities such as the Home Office may interfere with this right if this is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others

However, in the past few years the Home Office have introduced increasingly complex Immigration Rules with numerous requirements that must be met by those seeking to enter or remain in the UK. Appendix FM contains the Immigration Rules which apply to family members in particular.

Arguably the biggest obstacle for most applicants will be the minimum financial threshold that they need to meet. Currently an applicant has to provide evidence that their gross annual income is at least £18,600. If the applicant has children, an additional gross annual income of £3,800 is required for the first child and an additional £2,400 for each further child.

This begs the question, is the right to a family life a human right or a privilege for only those who can afford to keep their family together? The increasingly difficult requirements which applicants have to meet would suggest that the latter is true.

However, it is possible to make an application to enter or remain in the UK outside of the Immigration Rules. This requires a technical and detailed knowledge of the current case law on Article 8.

Our team of experienced solicitors at Latta and Co can assist you with making applications to the Home Office both inside and outside of the Immigration Rules. If you would like to discuss your options, please contact our office for further information on 0141 222 2185 or email us now at

Family Life – A human right or a privilege? by SAW

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