UK PARTNER VISA FINANCIAL REQUIREMENT
The U.K. government has announced significant changes to the financial requirements for applicants who wish to join their settled partners in the U.K.
However, there is time between now and spring 2024 to make an application.
This short blog is to explain what is required to meet the financial requirements as a partner.
In order to demonstrate that you can be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds, you will need to satisfy the Partner Visa financial requirement.
The financial requirement for a UK Spouse Visa application states that, unless exempt, you will need to demonstrate that your spouse (or both of you jointly if you are in the UK with valid leave to remain) has a gross annual income of at least:
£3,800 for a first child (who is not British, holds indefinite leave to remain in the UK, has pre-settled status or settled status, or is an EEA national with a right to reside in the UK); plus
£2,400 for each additional child (who is not British, holds indefinite leave to remain in the UK, has pre-settled status or settled status, or is an EEA national with a right to reside in the UK).
Spring 2024 Changes:
The amount for gross annual income is changing for new applications from spring 2024 from £18,600 to £29,000.
The Home Office has confirmed that starting Spring 2024, children will no longer have to show separate child element to the Minimum Income Requirement (MIR) of £29,000.
This leaves a single rate for any family members being brought to the UK.
All other elements of the MIR such as how it can be met, and exceptional circumstances will remain unchanged. (Source: Government Response to MIR petition, 10th January 2024)
How to Satisfy the UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirement
- The UK partner Visa financial requirement can be satisfied in a variety of different ways, including by relying on:
- Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of your partner (and/or you if you are in the UK with permission to work);
- Non-employment income, for example, income from property rental or dividends from shares;
- Cash savings of your partner and/or yourself, above £16,000, held by your partner and/or you for at least 6 months and under their / your control;
- State (UK or foreign), occupational, or private pension of your partner and/or yourself;
- Income from self-employment and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK of your partner (and/or you if you are in the UK with permission to work).
- In certain circumstances, it is possible to rely on a combination of the above sources of income to satisfy the financial requirement.
Spouse visa financial requirement exemptions
Where your partner is in receipt of certain benefits or allowances in the UK, you may be exempt from meeting the financial requirement for the spouse visas by providing evidence of “adequate maintenance.” These include:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement, or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme
- Police Injury Pension
Meeting the requirements as an employee
Appendix FM-SE sets out that the evidence required to demonstrate that an applicant is in salaried employment will need to cover a certain time frame, usually a period of 6 months prior to the date of application if that applicant has been employed by their current employer for at least 6 months.
If the applicant has been employed by their current employer for a period of less than 6 months, they will need to submit evidence for the previous 12 months.
Appendix FM-SE states that the applicant will need to submit both payslips and bank statements covering the relevant period, as well as a letter from the employer who issued the payslips confirming their employment and salary, the type of employment, and how long they have been employed.
What specified evidence do I need to provide to show self-employment?
There are two ways to prove self-employed income for a spouse visa:
Category F – where you have to show the income from self-employment for the last financial year.
Category G – where you have to present the average income from self-employment in the last two financial years. This option is used when the last financial year is not up to £18,600.
Appendix FM-SE sets out very specific requirements as to the documentary evidence that must be provided with an application in order to rely on income generated through self-employment.
For the sole trader, partner, or franchise route, you will need to provide annual self-assessment tax returns (SA300/SA302), proof of registration with HMRC as self-employed, evidence of your Unique Tax Reference number, business and personal bank statements for the full period relied upon (either one or two full financial years).
Further evidence showing that your self-employment is ongoing must also be provided. You must also provide one of the following:
Audited accounts, if the business is required to produce these, for the financial year(s) relied upon;
Unaudited accounts, if the business is not required to produce audited accounts for the financial year(s) relied upon;
A certificate of VAT registration and the VAT return for the financial year(s) relied upon if turnover is in excess of £79,000 or was in excess of the threshold that applied during the last full financial year;
Any evidence of planning permission/local planning authority consent to operate the type/class of business at the trading address, where this is required; or
A franchise agreement must be provided, if applicable.
Directors or employees of Limited Liability Companies
For a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, you will need to provide: a Company Tax Return (CT600) for the financial year(s) relied upon and evidence that this has been filed with HMRC (i.e., an electronic or written acknowledgement); evidence of registration with the Registrar of Companies at Companies House; annual audited or unaudited accounts (as required) for the financial year(s) relied upon and an accountant’s certificate of confirmation; corporate/business bank statements covering the same 12-month period(s) as the CT600(s) relied upon; and a current Appointment Report.
Further evidence will be required including one of the following documents:
A certificate of VAT registration and the VAT return for the financial year(s) relied upon if turnover is in excess of £79,000 or was in excess of the threshold which applied during the last full financial year;
Proof of ownership/lease of business premises; or
Original proof of registration with HMRC as an employer for the purposes of PAYE and National Insurance, proof of PAYE reference number and Accounts Office reference number.
If you receive a salary, you will be required to provide payslips and a P60 (if issued) for the relevant period, and personal bank statements showing receipt of the salary. Likewise, if you receive dividends from the company, you will need to provide dividend vouchers for all dividends declared during the period of the Company Tax Return CT600.
For expert advice and assistance in relation to a UK visa application as a skilled worker or family member of a British citizen or settled person, contact our specialist lawyers:
UK: +44 20 8493 7340
Ghana: +233 50 462 2794
Emergency: +44 77 1276 1884
or complete our enquiry form below: https://bwfsolicitors.com/consultation/
About the writer:
Bennard Owusu is an accredited member of the Law Society Family Law Accreditation Scheme and a member of the Ghana Bar Association. Family Law Accreditation is a recognised quality standard for family law practitioners in the U.K.