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Applying for the Spouse Visa with Self-Employed Income

If you have a partner who is self-employed and living in the UK, and you want to travel to the UK to stay with them, you may be eligible for a Spouse visa.
For more information about the Spouse visa, including more details about the eligibility criteria, how to apply, and to receive tailored advice, reach out to us today on 0333 305 9375 or contact us online.

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Overview of the UK Spouse Visa with Self-Employed Income

The UK spouse visa is also known as UK Partner Visa. It is one of the visas classified under the Family visa group. You’ll need this visa if you intend to stay with your partner in the UK for more than 6 months.

You can apply for the UK spouse visa with self-employed income if your partner is a British citizen, a refugee in the UK or a UK permanent resident.

To apply, you must meet the UK spouse visa income requirements (£29,000 as of April 2024, with further increases to come throughout 2024 and into 2025) and prove you have a genuine relationship with your partner.

What is Self-employment Under the Immigration Rules?

For Home Office to consider you as self-employed, you must be:

  • a sole trader or owner of a business
  • a part-owner of a business
  • a shareholder in a business or franchise.

The business must still be running as at the time when you applied for the spouse visa.

You are also considered self-employed if you are an employee or director of a specified limited company domiciled in the UK. Your company is a specified limited company if you or your spouse own part of the shares in the company, with the other part owned by less than 5 persons.

Meeting the Spouse Visa Financial Requirement Through Self-employed Income

You or your partner must meet the financial requirements to be eligible for the Spouse visa. Under the immigration rules, you are required to have an annual income of at least £29,000 (as of spring 2024).

There are two ways to prove self-employed income for a spouse visa:

  • Category F – where you have to show the income from self-employment for the last financial year.
  • Category G – where you have to present the average income from self-employment in the last two financial years.

How to Calculate Financial Requirements for Self-employed Applicants

UK immigration rules stipulate that financial income be verified by checking the self-assessment tax return for a financial year. The financial year runs from 6 April to 5 April of the following year. If the business is located outside the UK, the financial year must reflect the tax system of the country the business is domiciled.

If the applicant or spouse is an employee or director of a specified limited company, the home office will assess the company tax return of the limited company for the last financial year.

What Sources of Income Can You Include to Meet the Financial Requirement?

If your self-employment income alone does not meet the financial requirements, you can include other sources of income. For example, you can use salaried or non-salaried income for spouse visa applications. It is also permitted to use dividend, property rental,  allowance or pension income to meet the financial requirement.

For you to combine any other source of income with category F and G self-employment income, they must still be a current income source from the same financial year.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards obtaining your Spouse Visa.

Required Financial Documents

As part of the Spouse visa requirements, you must prove you have income of up to £18,600. The document you need to provide to prove this depends on the Category of self-employment you fall under.

If you (or your partner) are a sole trader, part owner or shareholder of a business, you’ll need to show:

  • annual self-assessment tax return (also known as SA300/SA302)
  • proof of a unique tax reference number
  • personal bank statements
  • business bank statements
  • proof that you’re registered with HMRC as a self-employed person
  • proof of  franchise agreement
  • certificate of VAT registration and return for the financial year in question (if the annual turnover of the business is over £79,000)
  • unaudited accounts of the business for the financial year in question
  • audited account of the business for the financial year in question
  • evidence that local planning authority consented to your business operating where it is.

If you (or your partner) are an employee or a director of a specified limited company, you’ll need to show:

  • proof of registration of the company with the Registrar of Companies
  • audited and unaudited accounts for the financial year in question (this must come with the accountants’ certificate of confirmation)
  • a current appointment report
  • company Tax Return (CT600) filed with HMRC
  • Personal bank statements showing cash savings
  • bank statements for the business in the last financial year showing gross income
  • VAT registration and return for the financial year if the business income exceeds £79000.
  • proof of business premises ownership or rent
  • proof of PAYE reference number
  • accounts office reference.

For salaried employment, you’ll have to show:

  • payslips
  • bank statements covering the financial year in question
  • a P60.

If you get dividends from a company, you must show your dividend vouchers for the financial year in question.

You have to also show proof of pension income for the relevant financial year.

Other Required Documents for Self-employed Spouse Visa Application

Apart from meeting the financial requirements for the spouse visa, you must prove you are in a genuine relationship with your partner. You also have to provide some other documents like:

  • passport and other travel ID
  • copy of the biometric residence permit of the spouse in the UK
  • national insurance number
  • tuberculosis test results if you are coming from certain countries
  • pictures of you and your partner together
  • social media chat logs
  • evidence you paid council tax or utility bills together
  • personal bank statements showing cash savings
  • certified translation of any document not in Welsh or English
  • passport of children, if you intend to travel to the UK with them
  • proof of English language proficiency.

Additional Spouse Visa Requirements

If you are looking to apply for a UK spouse visa, you must meet the following requirements aside from being financially eligible.

  • both you and your partner must be at least 18.
  • either of you must be permanently settled in the UK as a citizen, permanent resident or a refugee.

If you and your partner are yet to marry, you’ll need to show that:

  • the relationship is subsisting and genuine
  • you and your partner are planning on getting married within 180 days of coming to the UK
  • you and your partner have lived 2 years together or engaged to each other
  • you and your partner plan to live in the UK permanently.

Why is it Important to Know What Category I Am Applying Under?

It is essential to know what Category you are applying under because it determines how much you are required to show. For example, if you have over £29,000 from the last financial year, it automatically means you should apply under category F.

But if you have less than £29,000 in the last financial year but your average income in the last two financial years is equal to or over £29,000, then you should apply under category G.

If you’re applying for a Spouse Visa and have self-employed income, we can help you navigate the complex application process and increase your chances of success.

What are the Common Reasons Why a UK Spouse Visa Application is Denied?

There are many reasons why an application is rejected. Here are some of them:

Unable to Meet Financial Requirements

One of them is not being able to meet the spouse visa financial requirement stipulated by the home office. The benchmark is £29,000, as the home office wants to be sure you can take care of yourself and the incoming partner properly.

Inability to Prove Genuineness of Your Relationship

Another cause of rejection of a visa application is the inability to convince UKVI that your relationship is genuine. The home office has to be sure that you two are a couple. The immigration rules require that your documents be thoroughly checked for this to ensure that you two are not in a sham marriage.

Having a Criminal History

A criminal history can also make the home office reject your application. Your application will be thoroughly scrutinized to ensure you don’t constitute a problem when you head to the UK.

Ineligibility of the Applicant

It is always vital to check your eligibility before making payments and then spend time arranging your documents. When you do not check eligibility and apply, the home office will not hesitate to reject your application;

Other minor reasons are filling out the wrong online forms, submitting incomplete documents, and submitting the wrong type of bank statement.

How IAS Can Help

Applying for a UK Spouse visa can be tricky due to the many documents needed. This is why it is important to get the help of Immigration Advice Service. We will help you prepare a strong application by telling you the documents you need to provide and submit. These documents would mainly prove that you meet the spouse visa financial requirement and have a genuine relationship with your partner.

We know how important it is at IAS to be with one’s family, and our immigration experts are on hand to make that happen. We will guide you through applying for a Spouse Visa in the UK. Here are some of our services:

  • speaking with you on video calls or in person at your convenience;
  • assessing your documents to ensure they are suitable for application;
  • assessing your eligibility for the Spouse visa;
  • helping you fill your application form correctly;
  • ensuring you have enough proof that your relationship is genuine;
  • helping you with a letter of representation to attach to your application;
  • representing you during a review in case your application is rejected.

We have a formidable team who are well-versed in immigration laws and have recorded many successes. So whether you need assistance on how to meet the financial requirement, think the process is too complicated for you or wish to speak to a professional, don’t hesitate to reach out. Give us a call on 0333 305 9375 or contact us online.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You must inform the home office of the incidence of a separation. Since your visa was granted due to your relationship with your partner, you will have to either leave the UK or apply to stay. To tell the Home Office, you must mail the details of you, your ex-partner, and your children (if any). If you need further information, visit the Home Office for more details.

You can rely on self-employment income from overseas, but this is possible if your partner is a self-employed person and is applying to return to the UK with you. First, your partner must show that their employment will start within 3 months of moving to the UK.

Alternatively, they can show that migration to the UK will not stop their employment. Finally, they must prove that their self-employment will continue after going to the UK. To do this, they will need to show employment letters or contracts with full details of operations.

No one wants to be separated from their loved ones. But sometimes, spouse visa applications can be rejected. In this case, there are two things you can do. First, you can appeal the decision if you think the Home Office’s decision infringes on your human right to family life.

You have to do this appeal no later than 14 days if you are in the UK or 28 days outside the UK. If you want a hearing at the Tribunal, you pay £140 or £80 if you don’t want a hearing. Alternatively, you can reapply. But make sure you have met all the requirements that caused the initial refusal. The Home office will always specify the reason why your application was rejected.

According to the UK immigration rules, what counts as income is, income obtained from employment before tax, income from self-employment or as a director of a limited company domiciled in the UK, savings above £16,000. Non employment income like pension, dividends, allowances and property rentals. The Home Office also recognizes income from salaried and non-salaried employment as valid sources of income.

To apply for a Spouse Visa from within the UK costs £1,048, while applying from outside the UK costs £1,538. The cost also increases per dependent.

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