£62,500 Spouse Visa Savings
The UK's Spouse Visa is an excellent option for those who are looking to marry their partner who is either a British citizen, or has gained settled status, and is currently residing in the UK. While the visa is an excellent option, there are stiff eligibility criteria attached to the visa due to the potential for fraud. Among these criteria is a set of financial requirements which specifically govern how much you need to either earn or have in savings to support your lives in the UK. In this article, we're going to look at the eligibility criteria for a Spouse Visa from a financial point of view, and look at your options depending on your current financial situation.
What Is The Income Requirement For A Spouse Visa?
To satisfy the financial requirements of the Spouse Visa, you will need to prove that you can support your spouse upon their arrival to the UK. To meet this requirement, you will need to meet either the income requirement of £18,600 per year or be able to support yourselves with cash savings of at least £62,500. This latter option is rarely used but is an option for those who have a large amount of savings and can use it to support yourselves in the UK for the required period (the initial visa period is 2.5 years which can be extended).
You will be required to prove that savings that you intend to use to support yourselves are freely available, and have been held for at least 6 months prior to your application. You will require documentary evidence of this and the following may be considered:
- Bank statements
- 6 months of payslips (if using income)
- A letter from your employer (if using income)
As well as employment income and savings routes, there is also the option to use the income from property and investments to satisfy the requirements.
What If Neither Of Us Are Working But We Have A Large Amount Of Savings?
While the ideal situation is that you have an income when applying for a Spouse Visa in the UK, you can actually use your savings as a means of proof that you can support yourselves during your stay in the UK. As long as there is at least £62,500 available to you in your savings accounts, you'll be able to use this to prove that you can support your stay rather than having to show a minimum salary.
Another option is income from alternative sources. You can satisfy the requirements by using the income from property and investment to also satisfy the income requirements of the Spouse Visa. For those with savings that are tied up in investments, this is an ideal option as long as you are drawing an income from your investments. Of course, if you are not drawing an income from your investments, you may not be able to use it to support your application.
Can My Spouse Gain Indefinite Leave To Remain If We Use Savings As Our Income?
Yes, your ability to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain is not affected by the way in which you prove your ability to support yourselves during your spouse's stay in the UK. Just the same as any other Spouse Visa holder, your spouse will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years continuous residence in the UK (as long as the remaining eligibility criteria are met). These 5 years will consist of the initial period of 2.5 years and an extension of a further 2.5 years.
After gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain, your spouse may want to gain British citizenship. Many migrants opt to do this, especially those from countries allowing their citizens to hold dual nationality (like the UK does). To gain British citizenship, your spouse will need to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain and then reside in the UK for a further 12 months. At the end of this period, your spouse can apply for British citizenship as long as they have passed the Life in the UK test and meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. Once they gain British citizenship, they will then be able to apply for a British passport if required and hold dual nationality.
Will We Need To Maintain Our Savings After Gaining Indefinite Leave To Remain?
No, you will not need to maintain your current level of savings after gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain as you will now also have settled status. You will be free to live and work in the UK as you please, and you will no longer have visa restrictions to worry about. Therefore your financial situation will no longer be of interest to UK Visas and Immigration.
As the Spouse Visa is one of the more generous of the UK's visa routes, there are actually fewer benefits to gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain compared to most other visa routes. The main reason for gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Spouse Visa holder is the certainty of settled status. You will always have been free to work in the UK, that being one of the reasons the visa is so sought after.
Where Can I Get More Help?
Our expert team of experienced Immigration solicitors can help in all areas of Britain's immigration law. So, if you need more help with the Spouse Visa or any other UK immigration queries, then please get in touch with our team of lawyers.