The financial requirement rule that applies to spouse visa applications can be complex and difficult to meet. Carter Thomas associate Jessica Walker looks at how income and savings can be used to meet the requirements.
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.
There are numerous methods of meeting the financial requirement and we explore some of these here.
Within this article however, we explore how an applicant can calculate the amount of cash savings that will be required in order to meet the financial requirement, where their income falls below the relevant threshold.
Meeting the financial requirement through employment income
If an applicant’s partner (or an applicant if they have the right to work in the UK) has been with the same employer in the UK for the last six months, then they will be able to count their gross annual salary towards the financial requirement.
If an applicant’s partner (or an applicant if they have the right to work in the UK) has been with their current employer for less than six months prior to making the application, or if they have a variable income, then they will be able to count their gross annual salary towards the financial requirement. This is providing they can demonstrate that in the 12 months prior to the application, they received the level of income to be relied upon.
In order to demonstrate the above, an abundance of evidence will need to be provided to the Home Office including payslips, bank statements and a detailed letter from the employer.
If the earnings to be relied upon fall below £18,600 (or the relevant amount if children are included on the application), then any deficit can be met through combining employment income with cash savings.
UK Spouse Visa financial requirements: Meeting the requirements through combining cash savings with employment income
Unfortunately, calculating the amount of cash savings required to make up any deficit in this situation is fairly complex. It would not, for example, be sufficient for an individual earning an annual salary of £15,000 to show that they had cash savings of £3,600, to bring them up to the required £18,600.
Instead, if an applicant was relying on earnings of £15,000 when making an application for entry clearance or further leave to remain, they would need to demonstrate that they hold cash savings of at least £25,000.
This is due to the fact that only cash savings over £16,000 can be relied upon and, as leave will be granted for 2.5 years, the savings need to cover this timeframe. To calculate the amount of cash savings required to make up any deficit, the following calculation can be used:
(D x 2.5) + 16,000 = S
Where ‘D’ is the deficit amount and ‘S’ is the amount of savings required.
In the situation above for example, as the deficit would be £3,600, the calculation would be:
(3,600 x 2.5) + 16,000 = 25,000
Any cash savings to be relied upon must have been held for at least six months prior to the date of application in a regulated financial institution. The account that they are held in must be a current, deposit or investment account and regular bank statements must be provided. Bank statements for the six months prior to the date of application, along with a declaration of the source of funds must be provided in any application where cash savings are relied upon.
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.