Indonesia Expat

New UK Family Visa Requirements for Indonesians: What You Should Consider Before Relocating

UK Family Visa Requirements for Indonesians

The UK Family Visa is a perfect immigration pathway for Indonesians who have family members in the United Kingdom and wish to relocate to be with them.

The application process for family reunification typically involves meeting specific criteria set by the Home Office, including income, accommodation, and language requirements. 

However, the UK government recently implemented some changes to the minimum income requirement for family visas to reduce the high levels of migration into the country. 

Indonesians considering joining their loved ones in the UK should understand these requirements and plan carefully before applying for a visa. 

The New Minimum Income Requirement for Family Visas 

Applicants for the Partner or Spouse Visa, a subcategory of the Family Visa, along with their UK-based partners, were previously required to meet a combined income requirement of £18,600 annually. 

Individuals applying with or bringing over their dependent children were required to earn an extra income of at least £3,800 a year for their first child and £2,400 a year for each child they had after their first child. 

On 4 December 2023, the UK government announced that the minimum income requirement would increase in three stages between spring 2024 and spring 2025. The first increase became effective on 11 April 2024. The minimum income requirement rose by 55% to £29,000 annually, which is the 25th percentile of earnings for jobs eligible for the UK Skilled Worker Visa. 

The second increment will take effect later in the year when the minimum income requirement will be set at the 40th percentile, which is currently ​​£34,500. By early 2025, it will increase to £38,70, which is the 50th percentile of earnings for eligible skilled jobs.  

Under these new regulations, parents are no longer required to earn an additional income to sponsor their dependent children.  

Requirements for Dependents of Armed Forces Members

Indonesian nationals whose partners are members of the British Armed Forces will be required to meet a threshold of £23,496. While this is an over 20% increase from the old threshold of £18,600, it is less than the general income requirement because of the government’s obligations to service personnel and their families under the Armed Forces Covenant. 

As with the general requirement, the new threshold for the Armed Forces is fixed regardless of the number of children added to the application. 

Who Do These Changes Apply to?

The new minimum income requirement applies only to new Partner Visa applicants who submitted their applications on or after 11 April 2024. 

Are There Exemptions to the New Rules?

Individuals living in the UK on a Partner Visa before 11 April 2024 will still be assessed against the old income requirement when extending their visas. However, they must apply for an extension to stay with the same partner for which they were last granted permission. Otherwise, the new rule will apply to them. 

Additionally, those who first applied for the Partner Visa as a fiancé, fiancée, or proposed civil partner before the effective date will still be assessed against the old rules when switching to the spouse route with the same partner. 

For these two sets of applicants, if the total money they need to earn based on their dependent children exceeds £29,000, they will only need to prove that they earn a minimum of £29,000 annually. This child component is capped at £23,496 for Armed Forces Personnel. 

Furthermore, applications submitted before 11 April 2024 but were not decided by the Home Office before the effective date will be judged using the old rules. For this group, there will be no cap of £29,000 on the dependent child component unless that will place them at a disadvantage compared to the applicants assessed on new rules. 

For instance, if an applicant and their UK-based partner in this group are sponsoring five dependent children, their income requirement using the old rule will be £32,000, which is higher than the new flat rate of £29,000. 

If the applicant cannot meet the £32,000 requirement, but evidence shows that they can meet the new threshold of £29,000, the Home Office might apply the new threshold.

The Increase in Immigration Health Surcharge

The UK government also made changes to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) in 2024. 

On 6 February, the IHS fee for adult applicants rose from £624 to £1,035 per person annually and from £470 to £776 annually per person for children under 18. The new figures represent a 66% and 65% rate increase, respectively. 

Family visas are typically granted for an initial 2-year and 9-month period when applying from Indonesia. Thus, adult applicants should expect to pay £3,105, and children pay £2,328 on their first application. 

What You Should Consider Before Coming to the UK

While the new minimum income requirement is aimed at reducing dependent visa applications, it is also part of the government’s principle that individuals sponsoring dependents must be able to support them financially. 

This approach reduces reliance on public funds and ensures families can fully contribute to their new home and integrate effectively into British society. As such, only dependents who can be supported financially by their UK-based relatives will be allowed into the UK.

However, the UK immigration rules also recognise cases with exceptional circumstances. In such situations, where refusing a visa application would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant, their partner, or another family member, the Home Office might grant them a ten-year route to settlement instead of the standard five-year route. 

Since UK visa applications are typically granted on a case-by-case basis, it’s advisable for applicants to discuss their individual situations with professional immigration lawyers and get guidance before making an application. 

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