The issue of UK spouse visas hit the headlines once again in July after a group of lawmakers submitted a petition to Parliament highlighting the need for intervention for those trapped in war torn Yemen.
Among the 1.2 million people displaced because of the bloody conflict between Houthi rebels and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's loyalist forces, many are believed to have roots in the UK. According to reports, hundreds of British Yemenis are trapped in the country and unable to find shelter from the civil war because their families don't have the necessary visas to legally enter the UK.
Compounding the problem is the closure of foreign embassies in Yemen, which means anyone looking to obtain a spouse visa is now finding it almost impossible.
To combat this problem and help British Yemeni residents bring their families into the UK, the petition has asked the government to relax current laws for those affected. Stating that it would help give the most vulnerable an escape route from the country, the petition is now being discussed by the Home Office as the war continues to claim more lives.
As it stands, anyone outside of the EU must meet a number of tough requirements if they want to obtain a spouse visa and join their partner in the UK. Set as one of the toughest in the world, prospective spousal visa applicants must earn at least £18,600 per annum or have £62,500 in savings for more than six months.
These thresholds have not only made it increasingly difficult for families to unite in the UK, but they have prevented hundreds of Yemeni nationals from escaping the civil war with their partners who hold a UK visa.
Although the government is unlikely to ease the current UK spouse visa laws in a general sense, it may draw up special exemptions in the coming weeks to ensure those most affected by the fighting can flee and find safety in the UK.