-Fixed Fees | No Hidden Charges-


Sultan Lloyd

Welcome to Sultan Lloyd Solicitors' latest news section. This section provides you with the latest news and developments in the field of Immigration Law, Family Law and Human Rights and Asylum Law. Also, you can download our newsletter bulletin from the sub-menu on the right hand side of this page. It keeps you up to date with the latest legal news and developments throughout the UK.

R (on the application of MM (Lebanon)) (AP) v Secretary of State for the Home Department– A Summary of the Case So Far

The Supreme Court decision in MM and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department is expected to be released in the next few months.  One of the most important immigration cases in years, the case will decide the fate of many so-called ‘Skype’ families and those residing in Britain who are living in fear that they will never be reunited with their loved ones.

The case challenges the minimum income threshold introduced by the British Government in July 2012.  Under previous Immigration Rules, such a couple applying for permission for the non-EEA partner to reside in the UK had to demonstrate that they could maintain themselves adequately without recourse to public funds.  The 2012 rules stated that a person settled in the UK who wishes to bring their non-EEA national spouse or partner into the country to live with them must earn a minimum of £18,600 per annum. 

The minimum income requirement also affects those wanting to bring children to the UK.  On top of the £18,600, applicants who are also bringing dependent children to the country must earn a further £3,800 per annum for one child and £2,400 per annum for each additional child.

According to statistics, 40 percent of UK residence would not earn enough to meet the financial threshold.

Brief Facts of the Case

The Appellants, Mr Abdul Majid and Ms Shabana Javed, who have the "right of abode" in the United Kingdom and Mr MM, who has refugee status, are married to spouses who are not citizens of a European Economic Area (EEA) and who currently live outside the UK and wish to come to the country and live with their spouses.

The Appellants challenged the lawfulness of the minimum income requirement (MIR) on the grounds that it was contrary to the ‘right to family life’ under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

The High Court Decision

In 2013, the Blake J in the High Court found that the MIR was ‘unjustified and disproportionate’ where the sponsor is a refugee or a British citizen.

In his lengthy judgment he stated:

“…to set the figure significantly higher than even the £13,400 gross annual wage effectively denies young people and many thousands of low-wage earners in full time employment the ability to be joined by their non-EEA spouses from abroad unless they happen to have wealthy relatives or to have won the lottery. This frustrates the right of refugees and British citizens to live with their chosen partner and found a family unless such modest earnings could be supplemented by any reasonably substantial savings, third party support or the future earnings or the spouse seeking admission. The executive can hardly be heard to say that the minimum adult wage is a manifestly inadequate sum to provide a basic standard of living over the subsistence threshold for a household without dependent children.”

The Judge also made the point that in the case of refugees, they did not choose to leave their country, they were forced to flee for their own safety.  Therefore, to insist they make a choice between living in the same country as their partner and/or children or their personal safety is unreasonable.

The Court of Appeal

The Home Office appealed the High Court’s decision and the Court of Appeal found in their favour.

Aikens LJ stated that the right to marry and start a family in the UK is not an ‘absolute right’ but did accept that the MIR was a significant interference to the right of family life under Article 8.  However, he ultimately decided that the MIR did not disproportionately interfere with the rights of family life that are protected by Article 8 and therefore, the MIR was legal.

In Summary

The decision of the Supreme Court is highly anticipated and will decide the fate of hundreds of families currently separated by the MIR.

We will keep you posted on any updates as soon as they become available.

In the meantime, if you require immigration advice on bringing your spouse, partner or children to the UK to live with you, please contact our Birmingham office on 0121 222 7643.

Sultan Lloyd Solicitors is one of Birmingham’s best immigration law firms and our immigration team has years of experience in assisting people and businesses with immigration applications and appeals.

Spousal Maintenance – The Essentials
The First Three Steps You Should Take To Protect Y...

Online Enquiry

Our Success Stories

In the course of delivering excellent service to best serve the individual cases, we have emerged successful in a number of cases.

Here is the list

Read our latest blogs

Love conquers all; except the UK visa system. Every year, many couples endure forced separation because one party cannot obtain a UK Spouse visa. During her time in as Home Secretary, Theresa May to...
When a couple divorce, emotions can run rampant. Even if both parties vow to be as ‘amicable as possible’ and ‘get on for the sake of the children’, anger, frustration and bitterness can spill over. ...
EU citizens residing in the UK are worried. They are right to be so. The referendum result is an emotional upheaval. But politics is one thing and law another. At Sultan Lloyd we understand the fe...


'My friends, the Patel family, were referred to Harminder Meht of Sultan Lloyd in September 2013.  We met Harminder when circumstances were very challenging and Harminder explained the available options very clearly, helpfully and with evident empathy and understanding.  Thereafter she and her colleagues helped us at every step including securing legal aid despite the fact that a previous solicitor had not identified that this was possible. Harminder was instrumental in securing the release from detention of one member of the family and following a difficult judicial review process she obtained a Home Office decision that allows the family leave to remain in the UK, to work and study here for the next 30 months. We are all delighted with Harminder and Sultan Lloyd and we are very happy to recommend Harminder and Sultan Lloyd to future users of their services.'

-- Alasdair Denton

'With a track record of involvement in all kinds of business and private applications, Country Guidance cases, judicial reviews and appeals to the Court of Appeal, Sultan Lloyd have expertise both in publicly funded work and commercial immigration, making them one of the outstanding immigration specialists in the Midlands.'

-- Mark Symes, Counsel at Garden Court Chambers, London

'I have been instructed by Messrs SL for a number of years and in various asylum and immigration matters. The firm has always provided a friendly and professional service and is dedicated to achieving the most favourable outcome for their clients. The staff is both efficient and courteous and offers a valuable service to vulnerable clients. I would rate the firm as amongst the very best in this area of law, proven by their many reported cases. I would wholeheartedly recommend this firm to anyone seeking representation in an asylum or immigration case.'
-- Issac Maka, Counsel, London

'As one of SL's ex clients, I can say that they worked very accurately and hard on my case. They also used very good quality interpreters.'
-- Ismail Mohammed Nazhad, Ex asylum client, Birmingham

'SL is a very trustworthy and reliable firm, helping those people seeking asylum. I hope they continue working in this way.'

-- Kurdo Rezaie, Ex asylum client, Birmingham

'. . . a reliable, efficient firm. They explained things very clearly and did exactly what they said they would. I was really impressed with their friendly and efficient service.'-- Miss N Osman, Birmingham