Meeting the Financial Requirement for UK Visa Applications

There are a number of different requirements that must be met in order to join a British or settled family member in the UK. One of the toughest requirements is the minimum income financial requirement. There are a number of different ways in which an Applicant can satisfy the financial requirement; however, regardless of how this requirement is met, it is imperative that the correct supporting documents are submitted, otherwise, the application will be refused on a technicality. The financial requirement can be met using the Applicant and/or the Sponsor’s (individually or combined) income if the application is for further leave to remain, however, only the Sponsor’s income can be relied upon for entry clearance applications. Our Immigration Solicitors in London regularly prepare family visas where the financial requirement is not necessarily met in a straightforward way. Therefore, for assistance in dealing with complex family visas, please contact our specialist immigration team to arrange a consultation for tailored advice and a bespoke service.

How much do I have to earn to sponsor someone in the UK?

In order to Sponsor a non-EEA national family member to come to or remain in the UK under the Immigration Rules Appendix FM: Family Members, then it must be demonstrated that the Applicant can be maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds. As of July 2012, Applicants and/or Sponsors must meet the minimum income threshold of £18,600. If there are any dependent children also applying, then an additional gross annual income of £3,800 is required for the first child sponsored and an additional £2,400 for each further child.

For example, the level of the financial requirement will be:

  • An Applicant with no dependent children – £18,600;
  • 1 dependent child in addition to the main Applicant – £22,400;
  • 2 dependent children in addition to the main Applicant – £24,800;
  • 3 dependent children in addition to the main Applicant – £27,200.

The Home Office caseworkers cannot exercise any discretion or flexibility with regard to the level of the financial requirement that must be met. Therefore it is crucial that Applicant’s are aware of and can meet the applicable requirements before submitting an application.

How do I meet financial requirements for UK spouse visa?

There are several ways in which the financial requirement can be met for a spouse visa application or any other family-based application under Appendix FM. These are broken down into the categories mentioned below. Some categories may also be combined with one another in order to meet the threshold; however, others cannot. Specified evidence for meeting the minimum income requirement can be found under the Immigration Rules Appendix FM:SE Family Members Specified Evidence.

Categories A & B: Income from salaried and non-salaried employment

Income from salaried employment (salary paid at a fixed rate and subject to a contractual minimum number of hours) will count where the Applicant and/or Sponsor has been in employment with their current employer for 6 months or more prior to the date of the application earning a gross salary above the applicable minimum income threshold.

Gross income from non-salaried employment (salary paid at an hourly rate or paid an amount which varies according to the work undertaken) will be counted on the same basis as income from salaried employment where the person has been with the same employer for 6 months or more at the date of application, however, the only difference in Category A between salaried and non-salaried employment is how gross annual salary or employment income is calculated.

Where the employment income has been from different employers then evidence from 12 months prior to the application will need to be relied upon. There are also provisions for when the overseas sponsor is returning to the UK and their income from overseas may be used.

Category C: Non-employment income

This includes (but is not limited to) income from rental properties, dividends from shares, maternity allowance and interest from savings. Unless otherwise specified, the specified non-employment income received in the 12 months prior to the date of application can be counted towards the financial requirement.

Category D: Cash savings

Cash savings must be held (either jointly or individually) by the Applicant and/or Sponsor for at least 6 months prior to the date of the application and it must not go below the minimum income threshold at any point during that period. The amount of cash savings above £16,000 must be divided by 2.5 to reflect the 30-month duration of the visa to give the amount which can be used in meeting the financial requirement. Therefore, if the Applicant is relying on cash savings only and not combining with another category, then the minimum funds must be £62,500 (correct at the time of writing).

Category E: Pensions

The gross annual income from any State, occupational or private pension received by the Applicant or Sponsor can be counted towards the financial requirement. The pension must have become a source of income at least 28 days prior to the application being submitted in order for annual pension income to count towards meeting the financial requirement.

Category F & G: Income from self-employment and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK

Under Category F, where the Applicant and/or Sponsor is in self-employment or is either the director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK at the date the application is submitted, then income from the last full financial year can be used to meet the financial requirement.

Category G allows the Applicant and/or Sponsor to rely on an average income received in the last 2 financial years from self-employment or income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK.

There are also provisions for self-employment income as a sole trader, as a partner or in a franchise. The Home Office policy guidance sets out in more detail exactly how the financial requirement can be met and our Immigration Solicitors in London would be happy to assist in advising Applicants how to successfully meet the financial requirements.

Is there a financial requirement for ILR?

For indefinite leave to remain (“ILR” or settlement) applications under Appendix FM, Applicants must show a continuation of their circumstances from their prior visas on this route, and there the financial requirement will still need to be met at the same level as previously.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to meet the Financial Requirement for UK Visa Applications

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an application that meets the Financial Requirement under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully meet the Financial Requirement for UK Visa Applications with our Immigration Solicitors in London

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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