Key facts about the UK spouse visa and public funds (benefits)

The UK spouse visa is a popular visa route for non-EEA nationals to apply to join their British or settled spouse. However, as with other UK visas, there are restrictions that both Applicants and Sponsors should be aware of in respect of public funds (benefits). Our family Immigration Solicitors in London regularly prepare successful spouse visa applications, especially when there are complexities and not all of the requirements can be satisfied in a straightforward way. It is always important to seek proper legal advice before submitting an application to the Home Office, otherwise, the visa application may be rejected and thus creating further obstacles for future applications to both the UK and beyond. Please contact our team today in order to arrange a consultation with us.

What are public funds (benefits)?

In the UK, there are a number of benefits that British and settled persons are entitled to, including:

  • Carer’s Allowance;
  • Disability Living Allowance;
  • Severe Disablement Allowance;
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Allowance;
  • Attendance Allowance;
  • Housing benefits;
  • Personal Independence Payment;
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment;
  • Guaranteed income payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme;
  • Constant Attendance Allowance;
  • Mobility Supplement; and
  • War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme or Police Injury Pension.

Parents are also entitled to child benefits such as child tax credit.

Can I claim benefits on a spouse visa?

No, one of the restrictions of the UK spouse visa is “no recourse to public funds”. This means spouse visa holders are not entitled to claim any of the above benefits as they are subject to immigration control as defined by Section 115 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. They can however still access NHS services which are free at the point of access and covered by the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which is payable online before the application form is submitted.

How much funds are required for UK spouse visa?

Under the current Immigration Rules Appendix FM and Appendix FM-SE, Applicants must demonstrate that either they or their Sponsor (depending on whether the application is for entry clearance or leave to remain) earns a gross annual salary of least £18,600. This is called the “minimum income requirement” or “minimum income threshold”. If there are child dependants as part of the application then the level of funds will increase. The most common ways to meet the financial requirement are through employment or self-employment, however, there are other ways such as pensions and cash savings. We recently posted about different ways to meet the financial requirement in a lot more detail. It is also possible to apply for a spouse visa if the sponsor is in receipt of the aforementioned benefits.

Can I apply for a UK spouse visa if my partner claims benefits?

Yes, according to official Home Office policy guidance, it is possible for an Applicant to successfully apply for a spouse visa if they can demonstrate “adequate maintenance” instead of meeting the minimum income threshold. The evidential requirements for adequate maintenance are specified in Appendix FM-SE.

Does universal credit affect a spouse visa?

It is possible for the British national or settled Sponsor to claim Universal Credit if they are sponsoring their non-EEA national spouse on a UK spouse visa. However, the Sponsor must claim Universal Credit as a single person and the non-EEA partner’s income and capital may be taken into account. The Sponsor’s claim for Universal Credit may also be affected if both partners are listed on the tenancy for example. It is therefore important to contact our specialist Immigration Solicitors in London in order to advise on the restrictions of a spouse visa as it can be confusing to understand how the visa can also affect the Sponsor’s entitlements.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a Spouse Visa application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on the law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a spouse visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject spouse visa applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Immigration & Visa application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Spouse 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 prospects of submitting a spouse visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a spouse visa application and are able to advise you in respect of your prospects and to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

Our offices 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 to discuss a Spouse Visa application.

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

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