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'My wife's not allowed in the UK'

New migration rules for people from outside the European Union are "tearing British families apart", a group of MPs and peers have claimed in a report.

They said thousands of Britons have been unable to bring a non-EU spouse to the UK since July 2012, when minimum earnings requirements were introduced.

The rules mean that any British citizen who wants to sponsor their non-European spouse's visa need to be able to show they earn at least £18,600 a year, rising to £22,400 to sponsor a child, and a further £2,400 for each further child.

One man, Douglas Shillinglaw, explained to the Today programme's Evan Davis that his wife and son were living in Nigeria and were not allowed to join him in the UK because of the rules.

Mark Reckless, a Conservative MP on the home affairs select committee responded by saying that the government had promised to bring down net immigration.

He said the reforms were designed to "ease the burden of migration" on the taxpayer.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 10 June 2013.

  • 10 Jun 2013