The Children’s Commissioner for England points out that at least 15,000 children are separated from a parent because of income rules affecting non-EU migrants
Children’s commissioner Anne Longfield said the UK was creating “Skype families” who had been forced apart, reports BBC news.
The Home Office says the rules are lawful and compatible with rights.
Since 2012, immigration rules have barred the entry of spouses from outside the European Union unless their British partner meets the minimum income threshold .
The level rises to £22,400 if a child is not a British or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen, with an additional levy of £2,400 for each subsequent child.
The rules were created as part of the then-coalition government’s attempts to control immigration from outside Europe, with ministers arguing they would ensure no incoming families would be a burden on the UK taxpayer.
In a study, researchers from Middlesex University and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants estimated the number of children affected by examining the number of people who have been refused visas or permission to settle since the changes were introduced, points out BBC news
There are no official numbers for the number of children affected.
Ms Longfield said the policy had created families in which children could speak to one of their parents only online – leading to suffering and distress.
“We are not talking about having unrestricted access but we need to put the heart back into this policy and consider the profound impact the rules have on this group of British children and their families,” she told BBC news.