Spouse visa applications and extensions can be a complicated matter. They involve much time, proof and supporting documentation.
The hardest part for most candidates is knowing the financial necessities and understanding how to prove their economic position.
Read on for everything you need to know about the monetary parameters of applying for or extending a UK spouse visa.
What are the requirements for my UK spouse visa?
Several prerequisites need to be met when applying for a UK spouse visa.
However, the majority of applicants will need to demonstrate that:
- They have a combined income with their partner/spouse of at least £18,600
- They have not breached any UK law or immigration condition
- They have a certain level of English
- They meet character suitability necessities
What are the financial requirements for a UK spouse visa?
You and your partner must have a combined income of at least £18,600 per annum if:
- You want to apply for your initial UK spouse visa
- You want to apply for a UK spouse visa extension
- You want to settle in the UK (or get indefinite leave to remain) within five years
Besides, you must:
- Earn your revenue from either a permitted source or from savings
- Earn this salary in a specific period
- Include precise evidence to support your application
What is the minimum income requirement for children?
When children are involved in the submission process, you will need to meet a higher financial parameter.
These parameters are applicable when your children are not:
- British citizens
- EEA nationals
- Permanently settled
For children, you will need to have a higher income. The current required amounts are:
- £3,800 for your first child
- £2,400 for any children after that
Therefore the current calculations are as follows:
- If no children are applying with you, then the financial necessity is £18,600.
- If you have one child who is applying with you, then the monetary requirement will be £22,400.
- If you have two children who are applying with you, then the economic need will be £24,800.
- If you have three children who are applying with you, then the financial requirement will be £27,200.
What counts as an ‘income’ for my application?
Income means different things to different people. However, you and your partner can use the following when making your request:
- Income from employment earned in the UK. The amount is before tax and National Insurance
- Revenue from self-employment or as the director of a limited company in the UK.
- Cash savings above £16,000
- Money from a pension
- Non-work incomes such as renting out a property or from dividends
How can I prove where my income comes from?
Your application will need to include documentary proof of your financial position.
If you are employed, then this could mean:
- Providing bank statements showing your salary
- Offering 6 or more month’s payslips
- Submitting a letter from your employer on headed and dated paper
I am asking my employer for a letter proving my employment. What should it contain?
A letter from your employer is a great way to prove your income. Ask your employer to include the following information about you:
- Confirm that you are employed
- The job title or position you hold
- How long you have worked for the business
- The type of contract you hold (for example, permanent or fixed-term)
- Your earnings before tax and National Insurance
- How long your current salary has been applicable
- Confirm that the submitted payslips are genuine
What evidence or income sources are not permitted?
It is always best to check with an experienced immigration lawyer, but generally, the following sources cannot be used to count towards your total income:
- Loans and credit facilities
- Child benefits
- Working tax credits
- Universal credit or any income-related benefits
- Any subsidy from a third party, except for alimony or child maintenance payments
Can I use my savings towards the financial requirements?
Yes. If you have cash savings of £16,000 or more, then this can be used to reduce the monetary requirements that apply to you. Therefore you may not need to achieve the full £18,600 threshold for income.
However, if you or your partner have cash savings of £62,500, then this could meet your financial requirement alone.
What about exceptional circumstances?
Other instances can make an application more difficult. There is a detailed guidance pamphlet available from the government; however, it is very lengthy and wordy.
If you are in doubt, then we recommend always seeking further advice from an immigration solicitor.
Moreover, you should always ask for guidance if:
- You or your partner’s salary is more complicated
- You or your partner have taken maternity or paternity leave within the last six months
- You want to combine your different income sources to meet the constraints
What if I cannot meet the minimum financial requirements?
You need to demonstrate that you and your partner meet the minimum income requirements if you want to settle in 5 years.
If you do not meet the constraints, then you may be eligible to settle in 10 years as a partner.
You may be able to settle within five years without meeting the minimum monetary obligations if:
- You are applying as a parent
- You receive certain benefits such as Disability Living Allowance or Carer’s Allowance
However, you will still need to show that you and your family have enough money to adequately support yourselves without asking for access to public funds.
Gaining a spouse UK visa is an essential requirement for many family units who want to remain together in the UK. However, it can be a complicated and time-consuming process.
If you have any questions, concerns or need to appeal a decision, get in touch with one of our immigration legal experts today.
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