The financial requirement rule that applies to UK spouse visa applications can be complex and difficult to meet. Senior associate, Jessica Walker, considers how pension income can be used to meet the requirements.
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 or a minimum cash savings requirement of at least £62,500 (or a combination of both). The amount required increases if relevant children are to be included on an application.
There are numerous methods of meeting the financial requirement and we explored some of these here.
Within this article we will explore how an applicant can rely on pension income in order to meet the financial requirement, and how pension income can be combined with cash savings where income from pension alone falls below the relevant threshold.
Meeting the financial requirement through pension income
Where an applicant is in receipt of a pension, in the vast majority of cases, the income received from this can be counted towards the financial requirement for a spouse visa. In order for a pension to count towards the financial requirement, an applicant must be in receipt of an income from this rather than have a saved pension pot that they cannot yet access.
The gross annual income received from either a state pension (UK or foreign), occupational pension or private pension received by the applicant or their partner can be counted as income providing that the pension has been a source of income for at least 28 days prior to the date of application.
When meeting the financial requirement through pension income, the evidence required in support of this is minimal. An applicant will be required to provide official documentation from the pension provider confirming the entitlement to the pension and the amount. The applicant will also be required to provide a bank statement or similar, dated within the last 12 months, showing receipt of the pension.
Relying on pension income to meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa is arguably one of the simplest methods of meeting the requirement.
If an applicant or their partner is in receipt of a pension income below £18,600 (or the relevant amount if children are to be included on the application), then any deficit can be met through combining pension income with cash savings.
UK Spouse visa financial requirements: Meeting the requirement through combining cash savings with pension income
Calculating the amount of cash savings required to make up any deficit in pension income is fairly complex. We explore the amount of cash savings required when making up any deficit from earnings, here, and the same calculation can be used when using pension income as earnings.
UK Spouse visa financial requirements: How we can assist
The above is just one of the methods by which an applicant can meet the financial requirements with all of the options being covered in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.