Financial Requirements for Partner Visas
Are you wondering what are the financial requirements for partner visas? For most Partner Visa applications under the 5-year route, we often find that the most difficult and time-consuming preparation surrounds the financial documents.
Understanding the Appendix FM financial requirements can be quite daunting and complicated. Strict criteria must be met and prescribed evidence must be provided. Each application may differ slightly due to the uniqueness of each individual case, and occasionally there are exceptions.
However, the Home Office financial requirements are rigid and failing to fulfil this requirement usually results in the refusal of visa applications. Below is a breakdown of all the key points for the financial requirements of family members’ applications.
Who does this apply to:
- Spouse visa applicants
- Unmarried Partner visa applicants
What type of applications does this apply to:
- Entry Clearance applications
- Leave to Remain (Initial or Extension) applications
- Indefinite Leave to Remain applications
You are usually applying as a dependant (e.g. a partner or child) of a Sponsor who is already a British citizen, or is present and settled in the UK, or is in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection. ‘Partner’ means an applicant’s fiancé(e), civil partner, proposed civil partner, spouse, unmarried partner or same sex partner.
How much do you need?
The minimum threshold under Appendix FM is £18,600. However, this can increase depending on whether any children are sponsored in the application:
- Partner with no children: £18,600
- Partner plus 1 child: £22,400
- Partner with 2 children: £24,800
- Partner with 3 children: £27,200
(An additional £2,400 for each additional child).
How do you meet the requirements?
- Income threshold (£18,600)
- Specified savings (starting from £16,000)
- Adequate maintenance e.g. carer’s allowance, disability living allowance, severe disablement allowance
What financial resources can you show?
- Income from salaried or non-salaried employment (category A – with current employer for 6 months or more, or category B – less than 6 months with current employer)
- Non-employment income e.g. dividends from shares (category C)
- Cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held for at least 6 months and under their control (category D)
- State (UK or foreign) occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant (category E)
- Income from self-employment, and income from as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of their partner (category F, or category G depending on financial year)
Can we combine financial resources?
Category A and category B income can be combined with income from categories C, D and E in order to meet the financial requirement.
Which financial resources cannot be used?
- Third party financial support (other than child maintenance, academic funding, gifts)
- Income from others who live in the same household (except any dependent child who has turned 18 and continues to be counted towards the higher income threshold the applicant must meet before qualifying for settlement
- Loans and credit facilities
- Income-related benefits and contributory benefits e.g. job seekers allowance, unemployability allowance
- Child benefit, child tax credit, working tax credit, universal credit
What if we simply cannot meet the financial requirement, are there any exceptions?
Exceptions may apply when the minimum income threshold cannot be met but the refusal of an application could result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant, their partner or a relevant child(ren). This can result in decision maker considering other credible and reliable sources of income.
We may consider applying under the 10-year route instead if the application does not meet the financial or English test requirements. However, each case must be assessed based on its own merits and the human rights legal arguments it may rely upon. For example, if there are settled children involved or compassionate circumstances. Please book a confidential consultation with us to discuss further.
Compiled by guest blogger, Taran