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Foreign wives face UK restriction

Foreign wives face UK restriction

Immigration advisers have said two-thirds of foreign wives could be banned from coming to the UK and advised a minimum salary for residents sponsoring a partner or dependent to be a citizen.

A minimum pre-tax salary threshold for residents wanting a partner from outside the EU to join them should be set between £18,600 and £25,700, said Migration Advisory Committee (Mac) chairman Professor David Metcalf.

Around 40,000 foreign wives, husbands and partners were granted visas to join their families in 2010, and the plans would cut this number by 45-63%, the committee claims.

If the proposals to reduce the burden on the state succeed, over half of the UK population would not be able to bring in a foreign partner because they would not earn enough to support them without benefits.

Professor Metcalf said: "If the Government were to choose from between the range, we're talking about quite substantial numbers."

He said the minimum salary could be higher for those who wanted their children from outside the EU to join them, adding that the Government asked the advisers to identify the salary needed by a worker to support a spouse or partner without them being a burden on the state.

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