The financial requirement rules that apply to UK spouse visa applications can be complex and difficult to meet. In this article, senior associate Jessica Walker considers the requirements for those who are a director or employee of a specified limited UK company.
The requirements that an applicant must meet in order to obtain a spouse visa for the UK are set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. The Rules contain a minimum income requirement of at least £18,600, increasing if relevant children are to be included on an application.
There are numerous methods of meeting the financial requirement and we previously explored some of these here.
We now turn our focus to the requirements for those who are a director or employee of a specified limited UK company.
A specified limited company
The definition of a specified limited company can be found within the Immigration Directorate Instructions.
This sets out that a specified limited company is a UK registered company in which:
- the person is either a director or employee of the company, or both, or of another company within the same group; and
- shares are held (directly or indirectly) by the person, their partner or the following family members of the person or their partner: parent, grandparent, child, stepchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or first cousin; and
- any remaining shares are held (directly or indirectly) by fewer than five other persons.
It is important that those who are employees of a specified limited company as defined above, meet the above requirements in order to demonstrate their earnings, rather than relying on the less complex rules set out in Category A or B, regarding standard employment income.
The evidential requirements to be met when demonstrating income under the rules for directors or employees of a specified limited UK company can be complex. To avoid a spouse visa refusal, it is important that they are met in full.
When relying on earnings as a director or employee of a specified limited company in order to meet the financial requirement, a potentially significant volume of evidence must be provided covering the last full financial year of the company. This can cause complications where a company has been active for less than a year or where an individual was not employed throughout the company’s last financial year.
The exact evidence required to demonstrate that the financial requirement can be met is set out within Appendix FM-SE of the Immigration Rules.
Amongst other documents, this includes a requirement to provide:
- the company tax return for the last financial year;
- company accounts;
- business bank statements; and
- a Current Appointment Report from Companies House.
In addition, evidence of the individual actually receiving income will be required in the form of:
- dividend vouchers; and
- personal bank statements.
The evidence should be carefully analysed before it is submitted with the spouse visa application in order to ensure that it is consistent, complete and meets all the requirements. Failure to provide any of the required documents can lead to an application being refused.
UK spouse visa applications: How we can assist
We have a very strong record in preparing successful spouse visa applications.
If you require legal advice regarding this, or any other aspect of a UK spouse visa application, our immigration specialists are always happy to have an initial discussion and can be contacted here.