what exactly is the financial requirement? Well, that often depends on your specific circumstances. There are three routes to fulfilling this aspect of the visa, which we will break down as much as possible here.
1. Salaried Employment
The first, and easiest, route to fulfilling the financial requirement of the UK fiancé and spouse visas are through salaried employment. If you are opting to take this route, then your sponsor must prove that they earn over £18,600 before tax per year. If you are moving to the UK with dependants (i.e. children under the age of 18) then this minimum threshold will rise accordingly.
- Applicant + one dependant = £22,400
- Applicant + two dependants = £24,800
- Applicant + three dependants = £27,200
- Applicant + more than three dependants = £27,200 + £2,400 for each additional dependant
To do this, your sponsor must provide three documents that are to be included in the visa application – 6 months worth of bank statements, 6 months worth of payslips, and a letter from their employer on headed paper stating that the payslips are genuine and correct. These payslips can be from multiple employers, if you have had more than one job in the six month’s prior to applying, so long as they total more than the required minimum.
It is worth noting that you only need to provide six months worth of evidence, not a full year’s worth. Therefore, over the six month period, your sponsor’s salaried income must total 50% of the yearly requirement. For example, £9,300 or more (assuming you are applying without any dependants). However, if your sponsor is self employed, then they must provide 12 months worth of bank statements and payslips. Further, the threshold must be met by their personal income from self employment, not the income of the business.
2. Personal Savings
If you are not in salaried employment, and cannot meet the financial requirement through this method, another available option is to have substantial personal savings that you are able to rely on.
While cases that rely on personal savings vary on an individual basis, the basic concept is that your sponsor must have £16,000 + 2.5x the difference between your salaried income and the £18,600 minimum threshold in savings. Thus, your personal savings (if you were to rely on this alone) would have to total £62,500.
However, if your sponsor earned £10,000 in salaried income, you would need £16,000+ 2.5x(£18,600-£10,000)=£33,200 in savings to apply.
In addition to this, the source of all personal savings must be declared. Cash savings must have been in possession of the sponsor for at least six months prior to the date of the application. The following sources of non-salaried income may contribute towards the savings total:
- Rental income
- Dividends or investments
- Interest from personal savings
- Trust funds, bonds, stocks and shares
- Maintenance payments from a former partner
- Maternity allowance or maintenance grants
- Bereavement payouts
Of course, other sources of personal savings are also permitted, such as ‘gifted’ money from family members – provided it has been in the possession of the applicant and/or sponsor for the six months preceding the date of the application. The UK government currently does not count personal loans or promises from third parties as cash savings. There is also no current legislation that would allow for a third party to waive the financial requirement. This means that the savings must be in the possession of the applicant and/or sponsor, and cannot be held by a family member, business or such.
3. Employment & Savings
Another way of meeting the financial threshold for the fiancé or spouse visa is by combining income from employment, and personal savings. This is the perfect option for couples who may miss the salaried employment threshold, but still want to pursue the visa. To calculate how much you need in savings is done by a simple equation:
£18,600 – Employment income p.a. = Deficit
£16,000 + (2.5 x Deficit) = Required savings
If we break this down, it is easy to see that essentially the amount you require in savings is £16,000 + 2.5 x the difference between your earnings and the £18,600 threshold. For example, if you earn £17,000 per year, then in savings you would need to hold £16,00 + (2.5 x £1,600) = £20,000 in savings. The same rules apply to the savings as in part two of this guide.
There are a few rare exceptions to the financial requirement of the visa. You will not need to meet these requirements if you receive any of the following during the time the application is submitted.
- Carer’s Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
If you receive any of these benefits, then rather than prove you earn the required threshold, you are instead required to prove your partner will be able to live adequately in the UK without access to public funds. The procedure for this is significantly more difficult, and we would highly recommend seeking advice from a legal expert on how best to advance with your application.
So, those are the four options for the UK fiancé or spouse visa financial requirement. Remember to submit sufficient proof of every method you use to fulfil this requirement, including bank statements (of all accounts in your name), payslips, P45/P60 forms if available, and anything else you think may be appropriate. This must all be recorded in Appendix 2 of Form VAF4A (the visa application).
If you want more information on the financial requirement and all supporting documents, then we recommend reading the UK Border Agency’s guide to the supporting documents. A more detailed breakdown of exactly how to fill out Appendix 2, and what constitutes sufficient evidence is provided in Appendix FM-SE of the UK government immigration documents.
If you have any questions on the fiancé or spouse visa process contact us
Immigration Lawyers | Immigration & Visa Specialists | Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm | firstname.lastname@example.org | 020 7237 3388