The minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring a non-EEA national partner to come or remain here applies across the UK. The level of the income threshold, which aims to prevent burdens on the taxpayer and promote integration, was set following advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee and reflects the income at which a family settled here generally cannot access income-related benefits.
The Committee, in its November 2011 report, could see no clear case for differentiation of the income threshold between UK countries and regions and noted several arguments against such an approach. These included that a family living in a wealthy part of a relatively poor UK country or region could be subject to a lower income requirement than a family living in a deprived part of a relatively wealthy one. The Government agrees with that assessment and applying a single minimum income threshold across the UK has been found to be lawful by the courts.