How Much do I Need to Earn to Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
London immigration lawyers think the lyrics to the ABBA song ‘money, money, money’ say it all really when they say ‘All the things I could do if I had a little money’. One of the things you can do is apply for indefinite leave to remain. It is a financial ‘no brainer’ for sponsored employees living and working in the UK on the Tier 2 (General) visa or the new style skilled worker visa or if you are in the UK on a spouse visa. That’s because once you have secured indefinite leave to remain you are free of immigration controls and repeat visa application fees. The stumbling block for some indefinite leave to remain applicants is the minimum salary threshold. In this article we look at how much you need to earn to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
UK Online and London Immigration Solicitors and Indefinite Leave to Remain Lawyers
Visa to indefinite leave to remain
Whether you have to satisfy a minimum salary threshold to apply for indefinite leave to remain, and the amount of the minimum salary requirement, depends on the nature of your visa. The immigration rules on salary requirements can lead to confusion on the part of ILR applicants. Immigration solicitors say that it is best to check the minimum salary threshold for indefinite leave to remain when you first apply for a visa. Whilst the immigration rules may change whilst you are waiting to meet the residence requirement, and before you can apply for ILR, you will at least have an idea of the minimum salary threshold that you are likely to need to meet to successfully apply to settle in the UK.
The skilled worker visa to indefinite leave to remain status
If you are in the UK on a skilled worker visa or a work visa then your employers are likely to be keen to end your sponsored employment as soon as practicable as moving from sponsored employee to a non-sponsored employee means that not only is there less red tape and paperwork for them to complete but less cost. However, if you are in the UK on a skilled worker visa or Tier 2 (General) visa you will need to meet the ILR salary threshold of:
- An annual gross (before tax) salary of £25,600 per year or
- An hourly rate of pay of £10.10 an hour or
- The going rate for your job.
The salary you need to meet is the highest option out of the above three. So, if you are in employment and you earn £28,000 per year you still won't meet the financial eligibility criteria for an ILR application if the going rate for your particular job is £35,000 per year. The going rate for your job isn’t set by your employer but by the government and there is no London or regional salary weighting applicable.
If you don’t meet the above minimum salary threshold then all may not be lost as the immigration rules provide for a number of exceptions. For example:
- If you are in the UK on a health and care worker visa or
- You earn at least £20,480 per year or £10.10 per hour and your job is on a shortage occupation list or was on a shortage occupation list at the time you applied for your work visa or
- You are in the UK on a Tier 2 (General) visa and you meet one of a few specific job occupation codes, such as code 2311 for higher education teaching professionals or code 2112 for biological scientists and biochemists.
If you aren’t sure if your job falls within one of the exceptions then it is best to ask immigration solicitors.
The spouse visa or family visa to indefinite leave to remain status
Sometimes immigration solicitors are asked if it is easier to secure indefinite leave to remain if you are in the UK on a spouse visa or family visa rather than a work visa. Even if you have a family visa as the spouse or partner of a British citizen or a person with settled status, you will still need to meet a financial requirement to successfully apply for indefinite leave to remain.
With the spouse visa things are straight forward as if you want to apply for indefinite leave to remain you will need to meet the same financial requirement as when you first applied for your spouse visa or family visa or when you applied to extend your visa. The immigration rules do not say that you need to meet the financial requirement from your income alone but instead that you need a family income that meets the minimum specified amount.
In essence, that means you will need a family income of at least £18,600 gross per year and if you have a child who is not a British citizen you will need an extra £3,800 of income per year to meet the financial requirement. For each additional non-British citizen child, you will need an extra £2,400 per year in income.
Some spouse visa holders despair about meeting the spouse visa to ILR financial requirement but there are exceptions to the immigration rules. For example, if your sponsoring partner is in receipt of one of a list of specified state benefits.
Evidencing how you or your partner meet the financial requirement for indefinite leave to remain can sometimes be complicated if you or your partner is self-employed or if your salary fluctuates. If you are worried about how best to prove you meet the minimum salary threshold to move from spouse visa to indefinite leave to remain status it is best to speak to Spouse Visa Solicitors about the evidence you need to provide to settle in the UK.
Whilst part of your indefinite leave to remain application may be about money, you should not focus solely on the financial requirement as you also need to consider the general eligibility criteria for ILR and whether you meet the continuous and lawful residence requirement to successfully secure indefinite leave to remain status.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors and Indefinite Leave to Remain Lawyers