Thousands of UK couples may have already spent their last Valentine’s Day together as a result of a new Tory law coming into force this spring.

The piece of legislation will drastically increase the earning bracket required for a UK visa.

The threshold required will rise by 50% from £18,600 a year to £29,000. This limit will rise again in 2025 to £37,000 - double what it is today.

Anyone earning below this amount - estimated to be some 70% of overseas workers - will no longer be able to have their family join them to live in the country. Campaigners say it could affect nurses, teachers and police officers among other key professions.

A new campaign dubbed the 'Cost of Loving' has created an online calculator that allows international couples to see if they are affected by the plans.

The initiative is put together by creative agency Don’t Panic, and spearheaded by one of its team who is taking matters around the policy into his own hands. 

Ben Howell, 22, whose girlfriend is German and is unable to join him in the UK, said: "As a young person, it feels like I can only afford to love freely once I meet the salary threshold, and given the stagnant wages of this country it looks like I’m destined for a lonely 20's as I navigate a long distance relationship.

“It has been a real shock to have a vision of how your relationship will pan out, to then have a government policy take that away overnight. 

"But that said, I know there are people affected even worse. Families are split across borders, and kids grow up without one of their parents all because of a government policy. It’s harrowing.

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“I consider myself lucky that I’m not one of the people impacted who has children, but the heartache is all the same."

The tool is being launched via a billboard in Whitechapel this week, digital sites on Shepherd’s Bush roundabout and fly posters across London, all of which feature a QR code which links to the compatibility test. The public can take the test for themselves at

The compatibility test directs users to a live petition calling for the earning bracket not to reach its maximum. The petition needs to reach 100,000 signatures to be debated in Parliament. 

“The Conservative government is literally putting a price on love in this country"

Joe Wade, Founding Partner at Don’t Panic, says; “The Conservative government is literally putting a price on love in this country - and they’ll split up families by doing so.

“We don’t want people in Whitehall governing love, so we hope to capture the hearts of the British public this Valentine’s Day, and urge them to sign the petition calling to stop the government raising the earning bracket.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The current levels of migration to the UK are far too high. That is why the government announced a plan to cut the number of migrants coming to the UK by 300,000 a year – the largest reduction ever.

“We have a longstanding principle that anyone bringing dependants to live in the UK must be able to financially support them.

"The Minimum Income Requirement ensures that families are self-sufficient instead of relying on public funds, with the ability to integrate if they are to play a full part in British life.”

According to the Migrant Integration Policy Index, which measures how easy it is for families to reunite, the UK is second to last on a list of 56 countries