Income rules which stop thousands of British citizens bringing their foreign spouse to the UK are lawful “in principle” the Supreme Court has ruled.
But children’s welfare must be promoted in immigration decisions, judges said.
As of 2012, Britons must earn more than £18,600 ($23,140) before a husband or wife from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) can settle in the UK.
Judges rejected an appeal by families who argued that the rules breached their human right to a family life.
Seven Supreme Court justices hearing the case said the minimum income requirement was “acceptable in principle”. But they criticised the rules around it, saying they failed to take “proper account” of the duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children when making decisions which affect them.
And they ruled there should be an amendment to allow alternative sources of funding, other than a salary or benefits, to be considered in a claim.