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Spouse Visa Financial Requirement and Exemptions in 2023

If you plan to apply for a UK spouse visa, one of the main eligibility criteria you will need to meet is the spouse visa financial requirement. The spouse visa financial requirement also referred to as the “minimum income requirement”, states that you must have a combined income with your partner of at least £18,600 per year. Importantly, you will need to continue to meet the financial requirement when applying for a spouse visa extension after 2.5 years.

How to meet UK Spouse visa financial requirement

The financial requirement for a spouse visa can be met in a number of ways, but typically, this is either through income or cash savings, or a combination of the two.

In addition to the base requirement of £18,600 per year, if you have children, you will need an extra £3,800 per year for your first child and £2,400 per year for each further child. For example, if you have 3 children, you will need an income of £18,600 + £3,800 + £2,400 + £2,400 = £27,200.

If you have enough savings, you may be able to reduce or even fully meet the annual income requirement. For more detailed information, please find below the section “Cash savings for spouse visa”.

Everyone’s circumstance is different. Our immigration lawyers will provide advice and guide you on how to meet the requirement if you need help applying for a Spouse Visa. Contact us for a free consultation by calling at 020 3744 2797 or email info@reissedwards.co.uk

Income requirement for Spouse visa

The minimum income requirement for a spouse visa (income threshold for spouse visa) is £18,600, plus any additional amount if you have children (as explained above).

When applying for a spouse visa, you and your partner can include any of the following types and proof of income to meet the financial requirement:

Acceptable forms of income

Acceptable proof of income

Income from employment

  • Payslips covering the last 6 months (if employed for at least 6 months) or
  • Payslip covering at least 12 months (if employed for less than 6 months with your current employer), and
  • P60
  • A letter from your employer confirming your employment, annual gross salary, and other key details

Income from self-employment

For the last financial year:

  • An annual self-assessment tax return sent to HMRC
  • Statement of Account (SA300 or SA302).
  • Proof of registration with HMRC as self-employed
  • Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR).
  • Personal bank statements for the 12-month period showing that the income from self-employment has been paid into your account
  • Audited accounts – if required to produce audited accounts
  • Unaudited accounts – if not required to produce audited accounts
  • VAT certificate if your business turns over is in excess of £79,000
  • Planning permission/local planning authority consent
  • Franchise agreement

Income received as the director of a limited company in the UK

For the last full financial year:

  • Company Tax Return CT600 and evidence of filing with HMRC
  • Evidence of registration with the Registrar of Companies at Companies House
  • Annual accounts for the last full financial year
  • Corporate/business bank statements covering the 12-month period as the Company Tax Return CT600
  • A current Appointment Report from Companies House
  • A certificate of VAT registration and VAT return for the last full financial if applicable
  • Proof of ownership or lease of business premises

Cash savings in excess of £16,000

  • Personal bank statements showing cash savings in your name and of your partner, held for the last 6 months, and
  • a declaration by the account holder of the source of the savings

Money received from a pension

Official documentation from:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions, overseas pension authority, or pension company
  • At least one personal bank statement in the 12-month period prior to the date of application showing payment of the pension into your account

Non-employment income (e.g. property rental or dividend income)

Rental income:

  • A copy of the title deeds of the property
  • Personal bank statements showing the rental income for 12 months prior to the application

Dividend income:

  • Certificate showing proof of ownership and the amounts of any investments
  • Portfolio report or a dividend voucher
  • Personal bank statements for 12 months prior to application

Cash savings for Spouse visa

You can use cash savings as a way of meeting the spouse visa financial requirement, as long as:

  • The money is held in a bank/savings account in a current, deposit, or investment account
  • The money has been held for at least 6 months prior to applying, as evidenced by your bank statements
  • The account is with a properly regulated financial institution
  • Regular bank statements are provided
  • The savings are held in cash and can be immediately withdrawn (with or without penalty)
  • The savings are under your control and/or of your partner and have been for 6 months
  • The source of the funds is legal
  • The source of the funds has been declared

Savings held in a term deposit or ISA can be used as long as you can access them immediately.

One of the benefits of using savings to meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa is that if you have enough funds, you will not need to show evidence of ongoing income. If you are relying solely on savings to meet the spouse visa financial requirements, you will need at least £62,500 in cash savings. To calculate the effect of your savings on meeting the financial requirement, you will need to:

  • Minus £16,000 from the amount of savings you hold
  • Divide the remaining sum by 2.5 (2.5 is the number of years that your initial spouse visa will be granted for)

For example:

Savings

Amount of savings that can be used

Amount of annual income from other sources needed

£62,500

(62500 – 16000) ÷ 2.5 = £18,600

£0

£40,500

(40500 – 16000) ÷ by 2.5 = £9,800

£8,800

£33,000

(33000 – 16000) ÷ 2.5 = £6,800

£11,800

£25,000

(25000 – 16000) ÷ 2.5 = £3,600

£15,000

£17,500

(17500 – 16000) ÷ 2.5 = £600

£18,000


Based on the table above, if you have £33,000 in savings, this will reduce the annual income requirement by £6,800 (i.e. £18,600 - £6,800 = £11,800), meaning you will only need £11,680 per year from other sources of income. If you have £62,500 in savings, you will fully meet the income requirement of £18,600.

Spouse visa financial requirement exemptions

Some spouse visa applicants are exempt from meeting the financial requirement; these include individuals;

  • Applying as a parent
  • Who receives certain benefits – e.g. Disability Living Allowance or Carer’s Allowance

Even if you are eligible for the spouse visa financial requirement exemption, you will still need to prove that you have sufficient funds for your stay in the UK without needing access to public funds and that you can adequately accommodate yourself.

In addition, if you do not meet the financial requirements or qualify for an exemption, you may still be eligible for a spouse visa if you can prove that exceptional circumstances apply. Exceptional circumstances may apply, for example, if you can prove under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) that there will be “unjustifiably harsh consequences” for you and/or your family if your spouse visa is refused. In this scenario, the UKVI decision-maker may take into account other sources of income (e.g. a guarantee of financial assistance from another person).

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