Thousands of British families are "being torn apart" because of new immigration rules for non-EU citizens, a parliamentary inquiry has found.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration has found that new rules on minimum earning requirements, introduced in 2012, mean that scores of Britons are unable to sponsor their spouses, if they are resident outside the European Union.
The new rules require any British citizen who wants to obtain a spouse visa to show annual earnings of at least £18,600, rising to £22,400 to sponsor a child, and a further £2400 for each additional child.
Many of the families said that their inability to meet the income requirements had led to the separation of families, including children from their mothers.
The committee also found that nearly half of the UK's working population would fail to meet the income level to sponsor a non-EU partner.
By the government's own estimate, almost 18,000 British people will be prevented from being reunited with their spouse or partner in the UK every year as a result of the new rules, it added.
A Home Office has said the new rules were introduced to ensure that those coming to the UK would not become a burden on the taxpayer.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS