The requirements that an applicant must meet in order to obtain a spouse visa are set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. These rules contain a minimum income requirement of at least £18,600 or a 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.
We explore the numerous methods of meeting the financial requirement.
In this article we explore how an applicant can rely on the proceeds from the sale of property in order to meet the financial requirement, a method that is increasingly popular for those relocating to the UK.
The main financial requirement for the proceeds from the sale of property
Many couples returning to the UK may not be able to demonstrate that they meet the minimum income requirement for a spouse visa for the non-British/settled applicant in a way which meets the requirements of the Immigration Rules. In such a case, meeting the financial requirement through cash savings is an alternative option. When relying on cash savings to meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa, funds will generally need to have been held for six months prior to the application being submitted.
However, where cash savings are a result of a property sale, the good news is that there is no requirement for the savings to have been held for six months. Instead, when relying on funds held in savings from the sale of a property, it must be shown that:
- the property that was sold was in the form of a dwelling, other building or land;
- the property (or relevant share of the property) was owned by the applicant, their partner or both jointly at the beginning of the six month period prior to the date of application;
- the funds deposited as cash savings are the net proceeds of the sale, once any mortgage or loan secured on the property (or relevant share of the property) has been repaid and once any taxes and professional fees associated with the sale have been paid;
- if the ownership of the property was shared with a third party, only the proceeds of the sale of the share of the property owned by the applicant, their partner or both jointly may be counted.
Where a couple is relocating to the UK, having sold a property overseas in preparation for their move, this can therefore be a useful method to rely on in order to meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa.
In addition to providing evidence of ownership as detailed below, the applicant will also need to be able to show that the proceeds from the sale are held in a bank or savings account that meets all the requirements of an account as set out in the Immigration Rules.
Documentary evidence regarding the property sale
The Immigration Rules do not specify exactly what evidence must be provided when meeting the financial requirement by way of a property sale as it is understood that local property laws and taxes vary, along with the owner’s circumstances. However, evidence will need to be provided which as a minimum demonstrates:
- that the property was owned by the applicant or their partner at the relevant time. Examples of such evidence include land registry documentation or the overseas equivalent;
- the sale price of the property. This could be contained within a letter from a solicitor or other relevant professional.
- that, where applicable, any mortgage or loan has been repaid. Examples of such evidence would include a letter from the bank or loan provider;
- that all relevant taxes and professional fees associated with the sale have been paid. Again, this could be included within a letter from a solicitor.
An applicant must provide evidence similar to the examples above which is sufficient to satisfy the Home Office that all requirements are met. In addition to the above, evidence of the cash savings then held must also be provided.
UK Spouse visa financial requirements: How our immigration solicitors 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.
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, please contact us or complete our enquiry form below.