As a Brit married to a Japanese who has been back in the UK since 1998 I can fully sympathise with the indignation that many feel about being caught up in a law which has been designed primarily (as pointed out by posters above) to attempt to limit the practice of extended families coming to the UK from the sub-continent, and a lesser extent Africa, following marriage to a UK passport holder.
Given that immigration is such a genuine concern here at the moment though, the government has to be seen to be doing something and as it has it's hands tied by the EU on European immigration, it does mean that citizens of other G8 countries will be caught up in the net.
The alternative would be to have some countries somehow ringfenced from the law - but I have a feeling that it would be many of the posters who are venting their frustration at the governemnt introducing the law who would be most vocal in claiming it was racist if the countries which are the real targets of the law were so openly identified.
Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
However, one thing I would point out to all those who say that the sums involved are preventing them coming back to the UK, is that the salaries quoted are the kind of sums you are going to have to earn (backed up by savings) in order to live here now. £18,600 won't even cover your rent in London, and whilst £62,000 in savings is indeed a large sum, it will only make for a roughly 25% deposit on an average house which you won't be able to get a mortgage on if your are earning at the circa £19K level.
From the financial perspective therefore the figures make sense - you do need to have this kind of income (at least) to support your family in the UK. Where it is wrong is that the requirement for the job to be held for a year rather than a verifiable job offer - as this is what will potentially split families up. For what it's worth I would suggest that any lobbying of MPs focusses on this aspect rather than the money.
I do wish all those hoping to return to the UK with their Japanese spouses the very best of luck - but wanted to let you know how it is on the ground here.
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