Act now – Changes to the Maintenance Requirement in Immigration Applications

Changes to the Maintenance Requirement in Immigration Applications

What is referred to as the Statement of Changes to the immigration Rules HC 813 not only provides more information on the new UK points based immigration system but within the 500 page document there are changes to the maintenance requirement. This is important news if you are planning on making an immigration application and need to meet the maintenance requirement.

 

UK immigration solicitors  

Whatever the nature of your immigration law query or visa application our specialist immigration lawyers can help you. For expert friendly immigration law advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. Appointments are available by video conferencing, Skype or by telephone. 

 

What is the maintenance requirement? 

When some visa applicants apply for a visa to enter the UK they have to meet what is referred to as a ‘maintenance requirement’ as part of the visa eligibility criteria. The maintenance requirement is the amount of funds required by the visa applicant to be able to show that they can support themselves whilst in the UK. The Home Office set the amount of the maintenance requirement for different visa categories.

 

In order to meet the maintenance requirement a visa applicant has to be able to show that the funds are available to them and provide the relevant supporting paperwork. Immigration solicitors say that a common reason for visa refusal is applicants not being aware of the complexity of the immigration Rules on the maintenance requirement. If you are in any doubt about the maintenance requirement or the evidence you need to produce to support your visa application it is best to take expert legal advice from UK immigration solicitors.  

 

What is the finance appendix in the statement of changes to the immigration Rules?

The finance appendix to the statement of changes to the immigration Rules HC 813 sets out how the maintenance requirement must be met for various visa routes, specifying the amount of the maintenance requirement and length of time the maintenance requirement funds must be held by the visa applicant before the date of their visa application. 

 

The finance appendix applies to maintenance requirements for the following visa applications:

 

Increases and reductions in the maintenance requirement 

Some immigration applications will see a rise in maintenance requirement fees and some will even see a reduction as a result of the 22 October statement of changes to the immigration Rules. The financial appendix to the statement of changes to the immigration Rules says that visa applicants for the following visa applications will now need a maintenance requirement of:   

Type of visa application 

Maintenance requirement 

Student 

£1,023 per month up to a maximum of nine months (£1,334 if inside London) and an additional £625 a month for any child other than the Child Student who will be under their care in the UK

Skilled Workers, Intra-Company Workers, sport persons, Innovators and Start-Ups, Tier 5 (Temporary Workers), including seasonal, religious, charity, creative and sporting , International Agreement and Government Authorised Exchange Workers

£1,270 (an increase from £945) and applicants now need to show they have held the maintenance requirement funds for 28 days

For most dependant visas

 

£285 (a reduction from £630) for a dependant partner and £315 for the

first child applying and £200 for each subsequent child

Youth Mobility visas 

£2,530 (an increase from £1,890) and visa applicants are now required to show they have held the maintenance requirement funds for 28 days

 

The maintenance requirement and the twelve month rule

The October 2020 statement of changes to the immigration Rules introduces a positive change to the financial requirement rules as the financial appendix says that if you have been in the UK for more than twelve months you don’t need to meet the financial requirement if you are in the UK on one of these types of visa:

 

Evidence that an applicant meets the maintenance requirement

The statement of changes to the immigration Rules says that some visa applicants will be able to rely on electronic bank statements as evidence of maintenance requirement funds without needing to ask the bank to stamp every page of the relevant bank statements. This bank statement concession doesn’t apply to those visa applicants applying for family visas under appendix FM-SE applications.

 

Currency and the maintenance requirement 

If the funds for the maintenance requirement are held in foreign currency then the fund amount in the account or accounts must be converted into sterling when completing the application form, using the specified exchange rate in the finance appendix but the funds don’t actually have to be converted to sterling.

 

What funds can be used to meet the maintenance requirement?

 The finance appendix says that a relevant visa applicant can't use funds held in a financial institution where:

  • The Home Office official can't make satisfactory verification checks or
  • The institution isn’t regulated by the appropriate regulatory body for the overseas country where the institution is operating or
  • The institution doesn’t use electronic record keeping. 

 

Immigration solicitors are asked if an overdraft facility can be used to meet the maintenance requirement but the finance appendix makes it clear that an overdraft can't be used. However, a visa applicant can use funds, savings, or income earned or acquired whilst the applicant was in the UK provided the applicant was able to work under their visa conditions.

 

The maintenance requirement funds can be held in any type of personal bank or building society account. This includes current, deposit, savings, pension and investment accounts provided that the funds can be withdrawn and accessed immediately. Money held in shares, bonds, credit cards, and pensions from where money can't be withdrawn immediately, regardless of notice period, won't be accepted by a Home Office caseworker as evidence of funds for the maintenance requirement. 

 

The maintenance requirement and dates of financial evidence 

 The statement of changes financial appendix states that the most recently dated piece of financial evidence must be dated within thirty one days before the date of the visa application and the maintenance requirement financial evidence must cover the whole period of time for which the funds must be held. 

 

UK immigration solicitors  

Making sure that you meet the maintenance requirement and provide the right evidence in support is complicated. If you need advice on how the maintenance requirement rules are changing or advice on your planned immigration application then call the immigration law team at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123.

 

Whatever the nature of your immigration law query or visa application our specialist immigration lawyers can help you. For expert friendly immigration law advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. Appointments are available by video conferencing, Skype or by telephone. 

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For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

 

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