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UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirements

To be eligible for a UK Spouse Visa you must meet specific financial conditions.

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    What is the Spouse Visa Financial Requirements?

    If you are applying for a Spouse/Partner Visa to join your partner in the UK, unless exempt, you must meet the financial requirement for Spouse Visas in the form of a minimum income threshold.

    For a partner applying under Appendix FM, without dependent children, the threshold is a gross annual income of at least £29,000.

    The financial requirement can be met through a combination of sources. These include income from employment or self-employment, a pension, non-employment earnings like rent and cash savings exceeding £16,000 can aid in fulfilling the minimum income criterion, while savings surpassing £65,000 alone can meet the requirement.

    You are also able to use your own income if you are earning it in the UK as this will contribute to your household income. There may also be cases which exempt you from the financial requirement.

    The lawyers at IAS have decades of experience in applying for the UK Spouse Visa. Our team will check that you meet the requirements. They will make sure you have sufficient proof of your earnings and the correct documents completed in full. Receiving expert advice from a qualified immigration adviser will ensure that your chances of a successful application are maximised.

    Contact us today on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to discuss your Spouse Visa application.

    Eligible Sources of Income for the Minimum Income Threshold

    The basic minimum threshold (without any dependent children) for the Spouse visa is £29,000.

    Types of income can be informally divided into two different types: employment income, and non-employment income.

    Employment Income

    The following are eligible sources of employment income you can us to meet the Spouse visa financial requirements:

    • The Spouse visa sponsor’s UK-based salaried income from employment
      • If the sponsor is returning to the UK with the Spouse visa applicant, they may be able to use a UK-based job offer that meets the minimum income threshold to meet the requirements
    • The Spouse visa applicant’s UK-based income, only if they’re already in the UK with permission to work
    • Income from self-employment as a sole trader, a partner or in a franchise
    • Dividend income from a non-specified limited company
    • Dividend income from a specified limited company
    • Cash savings
      • Depending on the amount of cash savings you have, this may be used to either reduce the minimum income threshold or meet it fully
    • Income from state pensions, occupational pensions or private pensions
    • Income from property rentals

    Non-Employment Income

    The following are eligible sources of non-employment income you can us to meet the Spouse visa financial requirements:

    • Income from dividends or other investments, bonds, trust funds or stocks and shares (from non-specified limited companies only)
    • A maintenance grant or stipend received as a result of eligible undergraduate or postgraduate research or study
    • Certain benefits or allowances, such as the Widowed Parent’s Allowance, Bereavement Payment, Bereavement Allowance & UK Maternity Allowance
    • Interest from savings
    • Payments under the War Pensions Scheme, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and the Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme
    • Ongoing royalty payments.
    • Ongoing payments from a structured legal settlement
    • Ongoing insurance payments

    For assistance with your Spouse visa application, get in touch with us today.

    What Are the Categories of Income for the Spouse Visa?

    Overview of Categories

    Each of the sources of income listed above can be placed into one of 7 categories.

    These categories make it easier to determine what the individual requirements and eligibility criteria are for each Spouse visa application.

    This is because certain factors vary greatly across certain types of income, such as the ways in which gross annual income is calculated.

    In addition, these categories make it easier to understand which types of income can be combined in order to meet the minimum threshold, and which ones cannot be combined.

    Categories of Income

    As a general overview, the categories of income are as follows:

    • Category A: Salaried or non-salaried employment income from a non-specified limited company for at least 6 months
    • Category B: Salaried or non-salaried employment income from a non-specified limited company for less than 6 months
    • Category C: Non-employment income, such as rental income from properties
    • Category D: Cash savings
    • Category E: Pension income
    • Category F: Self-employment as a sole trader, in a partnership or franchise, or employment and dividend income from a specified limited company
    • Category G: Self-employment as a sole trader, in a partnership or franchise, or employment and dividend income from a specified limited company, but over the last two full financial years

    How Do I Calculate Income From Category A?

    Overview of Category A Calculations

    To calculate your total amount of income from Category A, you must first determine whether your income is salaried or non-salaried.

    Salaried income generally refers to when you are contracted to work a minimum number of hours and that you’re paid a minimum fixed rate.

    Non-salaried income generally refers to when you are paid in accordance with the amount of work that’s undertaken, and where your working hours may vary.

    How to Calculate Salaried Income for Category A

    To calculate salaried income for the Spouse visa financial requirement, you must take the lowest salary payment received in the 6 month period prior to the date of application and multiply this number by:

    • 12, if the salary is received monthly, or
    • 52, if the salary is received weekly

    For example, if your lowest monthly salary payment in the 6 month period prior to the application date was £1,800, you will need to multiply this by 12, which would give a total annual salary of £21,600, which means that you would not meet the basic minimum income threshold.

    How to Calculate Non-Salaried Income for Category A

    To calculate non-salaried income for the Spouse visa financial requirement, you must add up the gross income that you’ve received in the 6 month period prior to the date of application.

    You must then divide this figure by 6, and then multiply by 12.

    For example, if your total gross income in that 6 month period was £11,000, you will need to divide this figure by 6, which will give you £1833.33. You will then need to multiply by 12, which will give you £22,000, which means that you would not meet the basic minimum income threshold.

    How Do I Calculate Income From Category B?

    Overview of Category B Calculations

    To calculate your total amount of income from Category B, you must first determine whether your income is salaried or non-salaried.

    Salaried income generally refers to when you are contracted to work a minimum number of hours and that you’re paid a minimum fixed rate.

    Non-salaried income generally refers to when you are paid in accordance with the amount of work that’s undertaken, and where your working hours may vary.

    For Category B, you must pass two tests in order to fully meet the financial requirement. If you don’t pass both tests, you must make up the shortfall using another category of income to meet the Spouse visa financial requirement.

    Tests for Salaried Income for Category B

    To fully meet the Spouse visa financial requirement with salaried income from category B, you must pass two tests:

    • Your gross annual salary at the date of application must be higher than the minimum income threshold
    • You must have also received more than the minimum income threshold in the 12 month period prior to the date of application

    Your gross annual salary can be determined by referring to your latest employment payslip, or a signed contract of employment. You can double check to see if you meet the minimum threshold by multiplying your monthly payment by 12, or by multiplying your weekly payment by 52.

    Tests for Non-Salaried Income for Category B

    To fully meet the Spouse visa financial requirement with non-salaried income from category B, you must pass two tests:

    • Your average annual salary must be higher than the minimum income threshold
    • You must have also received more than the minimum income threshold in the 12 month period prior to the date of application,

    To calculate your average annual salary, you must first calculate the entire total of money earned (before tax) for your entire period of employment.

    You must then divide this figure by the total days, weeks or months that you’ve worked for your current employer, depending on whether you get paid daily, weekly or monthly, respectively, and then:

    • Multiply this figure by 365 if you get paid daily, or
    • Multiply this figure by 52 if you get paid weekly, or
    • Multiply this figure by 12 if you get paid monthly

    The final figure after this will be your average annual salary.

    How Do I Calculate Income From Category C?

    For income in Category C, you must generally tally up the total amount of income received in the 12-month period prior to the date of application.

    However, note that this guideline may vary if you’re combining Category C income with another category.

    If your income for this category is rental income from a property, you must only factor in income that is received from your share of the property if the property is owned by a third party.

    Need help with your Spouse visa? Get in touch with us today.

    How Do I Calculate Income From Category D?

    To use cash savings to meet the minimum income threshold for the Spouse visa, you must use a specific formula to calculate what proportion of the threshold you may be able to meet.

    The formula is as follows:

    1. Take the lowest monetary figure that your savings have reached in the 6 month period prior to the date of application
    2. Minus £16,000 from this figure
    3. Divide this amount by 2.5

    Using this formula means that you will need a minimum of £88,500 in cash savings in order to fully meet the minimum financial requirement for the Spouse visa.

    You may also use your cash savings to reduce the minimum income threshold and make up the difference with other sources of income.

    How Do I Calculate Income From Category E?

    In order to use income from pensions to meet the minimum income threshold for a Spouse visa, you must:

    • Include the gross annual income from the pension that is currently being received at the time of application, and
    • Have had the pension as a source of income for at least 28 days prior to the date of application

    How Do I Calculate Income From Category F?

    For employment or dividend income from a specified limited company, you must include the gross total of this income source that was stated or declared in the last full financial year.

    You may refer to your company tax return (or CT600) in order to determine this.

    Meanwhile, if you’re self-employed, you will have to put forward the total gross taxable profits from your own share of the business in the last full financial year.

    In this context, the last full financial year will be the last full cycle of the self-assessment tax period, which normally runs from 6 April to 5 April.

    This self-employment income must still be a source of income for you when you submit your Spouse visa application.

    How Do I Calculate Income From Category G?

    For employment and dividend income from a specified limited company, you must include the gross total of these income sources that was stated or declared in the last two full financial years.

    You may refer to your company’s last two tax returns (or CT600s) in order to determine this.

    You must then calculate the mean average between these two financial years. You can do this by adding up the two figures and then dividing this figure by 2.

    Meanwhile, if you’re self-employed, you will have to put forward the total gross taxable profits from your own share of the business in the last two full financial years.

    In this context, the last full financial years will be the last two full cycles of the self-assessment tax period, which normally run from 6 April to 5 April.

    Can I Combine Income Sources for a Spouse Visa?

    In most cases, you will be able to combine categories of income in order to fully meet the minimum income threshold for a Spouse visa, given that you meet the specific requirement and stipulations for each category.

    There are only certain types of categories that you will not be able to combine. As a general guide, the following is an overview of income sources you will not be able to combine to meet the minimum income threshold:

    • Category A cannot be combined with Category B
    • Category B cannot be combined with Category A
    • Category D cannot be combined with Category F and Category G
    • Category F cannot be combined with Category D and Category G
    • Category G cannot be combined with Category F and Category D

    It’s important to note that combining income sources for the Spouse visa can be an incredibly complicated process. Certain parameters and requirements may change depending on which sources you wish to combine, and there are strict rules and restrictions on how combined income sources need to be calculated.

    For more information about how to combine income sources to meet the Spouse visa financial requirement, reach out to one of our legal advisers for expert, bespoke advice on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.

    Take the first step to obtaining a UK Spouse visa. Contact us today.

    What Are the Guidelines for Financial Documents?

    You will be expected to provide documentary proof and evidence that you meet the minimum financial requirements for the Spouse visa when you apply.

    When submitting documents, it’s important to familiarise yourself with Appendix FM-SE, which has detailed guidance on what forms these documents should take, and which documents are eligible to be used as evidence.

    However, below is a brief, summative and non-exhaustive overview of some of the documents you may submit as part of your application, as well as the guidelines on what they should look like:

    • Bank statements on official bank stationery
    • Electronic bank statements, as long as they’re accompanied by a letter from the bank on its headed stationery confirming that the documents are authentic
    • Building society statements or pass books. Pass books must clearly show:
      • The account number
      • The building society’s name and logo
      • Relevant information required on transactions, funds held and time periods
    • Letters from banks, building societies or other financial institutions. Letters must be on headed stationery and clearly show:
      • The account number
      • The date of the letter
      • The financial institution’s name and logo
      • Relevant information required on transactions, funds held and time periods
    • Letters from a financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, or an international equivalent
    • Employer’s payslips. These must show the employer’s name, or be accompanied by a letter from the employer on their headed paper and signed by a senior official confirming they are authentic

    Note that all documents that are not in either English or Welsh must be submitted along with a certified translation into one of these languages.

    Are there any spouse visa financial requirement exemptions?

    You will not be expected to meet the minimum income threshold for the Spouse visa if you (the main applicant) or your spouse or partner (the sponsor) is in receipt of any of the following UK benefits:

    • Disability Living Allowance
    • Severe Disablement Allowance
    • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Personal Independence Payment
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
    • Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme
    • Police Injury Pension
    • Bereavement benefits

    If either of you receives these benefits, you will instead have to provide evidence of “adequate maintenance” for you and your dependents.

    You must also provide the following to the Home Office with your visa application:

    • Official documentation from the Department for Work and Pensions, Veterans Agency or Police Pension Authority confirming the current  entitlement of benefits and the amount currently received
    • At least one personal bank statement in the 12 month period prior to the application date, showing payment of the benefit or allowance into the account

    What If I Can’t Meet the Minimum Income Threshold?

    There may be certain exceptional circumstances that allow you to apply for a Spouse visa even if you don’t meet the mandatory minimum income threshold.

    For example, any of the following may result in a successful Spouse visa application despite not meeting the financial criteria:

    • If you have a child in the UK who is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years, it would be unjustifiably harsh or unreasonable of them to leave the UK
    • If there would be significant difficulties for you and your spouse if you were to live outside of the UK
    • If there are exceptional circumstances that would make a visa refusal a breach of your own human rights, or if it would cause unjustifiably harsh consequences for you, your spouse or your children

    However, it’s important to note that every decision is made at the Home Office’s and the individual immigration caseworker’s own discretion. There is no guarantee as to how strictly the Home Office might enforce or define these guidelines when approaching your case.

    In some cases, the Home Office may simply allow you to use other credible and reliable sources of income.

    Meanwhile, in other cases, they may lower the minimum income threshold if there is a compelling reason to do so.

    Note also that if your Spouse visa application is approved despite you not meeting the financial requirements, you will likely be put on the 10-year route to indefinite leave to remain as opposed to the standard 5-year route.

    What Are the Other Requirements for a Spouse Visa?

    In addition to meeting the financial requirement for a Spouse visa, you must also fulfil the remainder of the eligibility criteria, which are as follows:

    • You must be in a marriage or civil partnership with a British or Irish citizen, or someone who has any of the following:
      • Settled status in the UK, such as indefinite leave to remain, right of abode, or settled or pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme
      • A Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
      • Refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
    • You and your spouse must be over 18
    • Your relationship must be genuine and subsisting
    • You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK with adequate accommodation that doesn’t require recourse to public funds
    • You must meet the minimum language requirements

    How can IAS help?

    Our expert immigration lawyers can give you advice and assistance with all your needs to ensure that you meet the Spouse visa financial requirements and other UK immigration rules.

    Our services include:

    • Ensuring that your documents are sufficient for your application;
    • Assessing your financial eligibility for a Spouse Visa;
    • Preparing a Letter of Representation, which details your case and its merits, to accompany your application. This letter will support your application by detailing your financial circumstance to the Home Office;
    • Liaising with the Home Office on your behalf;
    • Completing each part of your application form with care and attention.

    The lawyers at IAS have decades of experience in applying for the UK Spouse Visa. Our team will check that you meet the requirements. They will make sure you have sufficient proof of your earnings and the correct documents completed in full. Receiving expert advice from a qualified immigration adviser will ensure that your chances of a successful application are maximised.

    Contact us today on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to discuss your Spouse Visa application. Our offices are based in LondonManchester, and Birmingham, as well as in many other locations throughout the UK. We look forward to helping you with your immigration case.

    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 will be able to combine income from multiple sources to reach the financial requirement. These include:

    • income from employment/self-employment, as long as you have been earning the wage for at least six months;
    • pension;
    • maternity, paternity, adoption or sick pay;
    • Non-employment pay, such as from rent or shares;
    • Cash savings of over £16,000 if they have been in the couple’s control for over six months.

    Your income can only be used towards your application if you are currently residing in the UK and are earning the money in the country. If you have a dependent child who turns 18 before you can apply for settlement, their income can also be used to meet the financial requirement.

    Due to recent changes to immigration law, the Home Office is required to consider specified circumstances if the UK sponsor does not meet the minimum financial requirement. Since August 10th 2017, decisions for Spouse Visa applications take into consideration a number of financial sources. We have already detailed on this page, what those exceptions or considerations may be.

    This may offer hope for some applicants who have had their Spouse/Partner Visas rejected in the past, or for some who may have been put off applying.

    It’s important to know what the difference between a specified limited company and a non-specified limited company is, as this will influence which category of income you’ll need to submit your income under.

    Simply put, if shares in the company are not held by you, your spouse, or by your or your spouse’s family, then the company is a non-specified limited company.

    Meanwhile, if you’re a director of or employed by the company, and you, your spouse, or you or your spouse’s family do hold shares in the company, then it will be classed as a specified limited company if the shares are held by fewer than five other people.

    Family members included in this definition include the following:

    • Brothers
    • Sisters
    • Children
    • Stepchildren
    • Grandchildren
    • Grandparents
    • Uncles
    • Aunts
    • Nephews
    • Nieces
    • First cousins

    If you would like to meet the UK Spouse visa financial requirement using foreign currency, you will be able to do so.

    The Home Office will convert your currency into pounds sterling using the exchange rate that appears on the Oanada website on the date of your application.

    The following sources of income are not accepted when meeting the Spouse visa financial requirement:

    • Any subsidies or financial support from third parties that don’t fit within one of the listed categories (other than eligible child maintenance or alimony payments, academic maintenance grants/stipends or gifts of cash savings)
    • Income from those who live in the same household other than your sponsor
    • Loans and credit facilities
    • Income-related benefits, such as:
      • Income support
      • Pension credit
      • Housing benefit
      • Council Tax Benefit
      • Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Certain contributory benefits, such as:
      • Jobseeker’s Allowance
      • Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
      • Incapacity Benefit
    • Child Benefit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Universal Credit
    • Unemployability Allowance, Allowance for a Lowered Standard of Occupation and Invalidity Allowance under the War Pensions Scheme

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