Combining Employed and Self-Employed for A Spouse Visa Application
The Spouse Visa is a great option for those who are looking to come to the UK to join their eligible partner (either a British citizen, someone who has gained Indefinite Leave to Remain or a person who has humanitarian protection/refugee status). The visa offers an initial leave period of 2.5 years and the option to extend as necessary. Eventually, you can even settle in the UK on a Spouse Visa by gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain. This visa is a great option for those who are eligible, and in this article, we will look at it in a little more depth. We are going to look with particular interest at the earnings requirement, which makes up an important part of the eligibility criteria.
How Much Do You Need To Earn To Apply For A Spouse Visa? (Requirements)
In order to be eligible for a Spouse Visa, you will need to prove that your combined earnings will be at least £18,600 per year. As the spouse will be applying from outside of the UK, it is incumbent upon the sponsoring partner to be earning at least this amount of money. Also, the minimum £18,600 is only applicable for a couple - if you have children, you will need to be earning an extra £3,800 for the first child and an extra £2,400 for each additional child.
You will, of course, need to prove these earnings as part of your Spouse Visa application. You will prove these with the appropriate documentary evidence as laid out below:
- P60 or payslips from your employment - if you are employed
- Your tax return if you are self-employed
- Bank statements - if you intend to use your savings as proof of eligibility (if you have more than £16,000 in savings, you can use these to prove your ability to support a partner)
- Pension income statement (if you are retired)
- Your accounts if you are using non-working income for eligibility (such as rental property income or income dividends)
During your application, you will be informed which of these methods is required and the format in which they need to be provided. If you need any help with this, get in touch and we can help you to get your documentary evidence together for a Spouse Visa application.
Can You Apply For A Spouse Visa If Your Partner Is Self-Employed?
Yes, you can absolutely apply for a Spouse Visa if your UK based partner is self-employed. You will, of course, need to be able to prove that they meet the income requirements as laid above (at least £18,600 - and more if you have children). The biggest issue that self-employed people face with this kind of application is proof of income. In this instance, you will need at least 6 months of accounts to be available in order to prove that the business is making the required income. UKVI will help to guide you as to the required format that you need to present the accounts, conversely, we can help you to prepare accounts for a visa application.
As well as income from self-employment, you can also add on additional income from other work, investment income and even rental income from rental properties if you are a landlord.
Can You Combine Self-Employed Earnings With Employment Earnings To Satisfy Spouse Visa Criteria?
Yes, you can combine income as long as you meet the minimum requirement. The only issue that you may have is proving that this income will be regular for the long-term (especially if you are self-employed). This is why it is best to offer up as much previous accounting as possible.
Other Important Spouse Visa Application Criteria
As well as the obviously important financial requirements that we have covered above, there are other significantly important areas of the Spouse Visa application criteria. The main one being the proof of relationship. Clearly, UKVI wants to be sure that those who use the Spouse Visa as a route into the UK are genuine. As the route is one of the most beneficial in existence, it is clearly open to abuse. So, in order to prove that the relationship is genuine, UKVI require the following:
- You are in a marriage or a Civil Partnership that is recognised in the UK
- You have been living together for at least 2 years
- You are a fiance, fiancee or intended civil partner who will either marry or enter a Civil Partnership within 6 months of entering the UK (this is the Fiance Visa which can be upgraded to Spouse Visa later on).
As well as the relationship criteria, the applicant (the spouse or partner coming from outside of the EEA) must also have a good level of English language skill (to CEFR Level B1). In order to meet this requirement, you must either come from a majority English speaking country, have gained a degree taught in English or passed an exam demonstrating your English skill level.
Getting More Help
If you need more help with the UK's Spouse Visa route then please get in touch. Our team of immigration solicitors have years of experience helping partners to come to the UK and can certainly help you to succeed in your application. So, for more information, call today and speak to a member of our team to get started.