In July 2012 the Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition government introduced a new set of family migration rules. These rules set a sharp increase in the minimum income threshold for people sponsoring partners and children to join them in the UK. Consequently, there has been a significant reduction in the number of visas granted through the family migration route.
The journal Critical Social Policy has just published an article I have written which examines these new rules. The article is called ‘‘All need is love and £18,600’: class and the new UK family migration rules’ and started life as a post last year on this blog. This article explores the themes of class in connection to transnational relationships and citizenship in the formulation of the new family migration rules, in the justifications that have been made for the rules and in the impact of the rules on applicants. It is argued that in the context of international migration and transnational relationships, class-based moralism and regulation has been entwined with exclusionary discourses on ethnicity, national belonging and citizenship and has been extended beyond the nation-state border towards the governing of particular kinds of family.
NB/ The quote in the title of the article is a slogan that has been used by campaigners protesting against the impact of the new rules on families living apart.