In the words of the Beatles classic song ‘Can't buy me love’, money can't buy you love but money is part of the UK spouse visa’s financial requirements and money is therefore an essential factor in successfully applying for a UK spouse visa.
London based OTS Solicitors are experts in Immigration
law and in securing spouse visas
. Our specialist Immigration
solicitors can advise you on how best to secure a spouse visa
. For fast, friendly advice from UK spouse visa
solicitors call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or compete our online enquiry form.
A spouse visa
allows the married partner or civil partner of a UK citizen or person with settled status in the UK to enter or remain in the UK. Currently you do not need a spouse visa
if you or your partner are from the EEA
. However, after Brexit
the rules on the requirements for spouse visa
nationals are likely to change because the government is committed to ending free movement.
If you are not from an EEA
country then you will need a spouse visa
(or other appropriate visa depending on your personal and financial circumstances) if you want to enter or remain in the UK with your spouse or civil partner.
It is commonly assumed that you cannot apply for a spouse visa
if you are already living in the UK but the Immigration
Rules on spouse visas
are slightly more complicated than that.
An applicant for a spouse visa
can apply for the spouse visa
whilst they are living outside the UK. You can also apply for a spouse visa
whilst you are living in the UK provided that:
• You are not in the UK on a visit visa; or
• You are in the UK and have a visa of over six months duration.
If you are in the UK on a visit visa or on a visa of less than six months duration you will not be able to switch to a spouse visa
whilst visiting the UK. Your best option to secure a spouse visa
may be to leave the UK and apply for a spouse visa
from outside the UK.
For many couples when it comes to obtaining a spouse visa
their main worry is whether they will meet the financial criteria for a UK spouse visa
. Although the Beatles song lyrics say you ‘Can't buy me love’, money is required to qualify for a spouse visa
The spouse visa
rules say that a spouse or civil partner has to be in receipt of a minimum income or have sufficient savings to meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa
The spouse visa financial requirement
If you need a spouse visa
then the spouse or civil partner living permanently in the UK (who is a UK citizen or settled in the UK) needs to earn or receive a minimum gross income per year. If the spouse applying for the spouse visa
is already in the UK and is in Employment
then their gross income can be taken into account when assessing whether a couple meet the spouse visa
The amount of the spouse visa
financial requirement depends on family circumstances, namely:
• If the spouse visa is for a spouse alone (as you have no dependent children) the minimum income to satisfy the spouse visa financial requirement is £18,600 per year gross (before tax); or
• If the spouse visa is for a spouse and one dependent child then the minimum gross income rises to £22,400. If there are two dependent children the minimum income figures increases to £24,800. For each extra dependent child you need to earn an extra £2,400 gross per year.
The spouse visa
financial requirement is the same whether or not a spouse or civil partner and any dependent children are currently living in the UK or are living overseas waiting for the spouse visa
application to be processed by the Home Office. However, the advantage you have if a spouse or civil partner is already in the UK and working is that their earnings count towards the spouse visa
Income and the spouse visa financial requirement
Most applicants for spouse visas
think of the financial requirement as salary but spouse visa
solicitors will tell you that it is best to check the Immigration
rules on the financial requirement as other sources of income can be used to meet the financial requirement, such as:
• Earnings from self-Employment; or
• Pension income; or
• Rental income; or
• Share dividends or investment income; or
• Sick pay from an employer.
If these various sources of income are not relevant to you and you do not meet the income financial requirement you may still be able to meet the spouse visa
financial requirement if you have capital or savings or you spouse or civil partner has cash.
Savings and the spouse visa financial requirement
You can use cash savings to meet the financial requirement if you do not meet the income financial requirement. The Home Office rules say that the cash or savings must have been held in your name for at least six months. That means if family members are giving you money to help you reunite with a loved one then their gift needs to be made well in advance of the spouse visa
If a spouse or civil partner is overseas then although their overseas income and salary cannot be taken into account when assessing the spouse visa
financial requirement their cash can be looked at when calculating if you meet the spouse visa
financial requirement criteria.
The financial requirement rules on income and savings can be complicated and difficult to understand so if you are in any doubt about whether you meet the spouse visa
financial requirement it is best to get expert legal advice from a spouse visa
Exceptions to the spouse visa financial requirement
There are some circumstances where you do not need to meet the financial requirement to secure a spouse visa
. They are:
• If you have refugee status in the UK; or
• If you have humanitarian protection in the UK; or
• If you are in receipt of specified allowances namely Attendance Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, Carers Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Carers Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Pension under the War Pensions Scheme or Police Injury Pension.
If you meet the benefits criteria set out above, you still need to be able to show Immigration
officials that you can maintain your spouse or civil partner and any dependent children. This is called ‘adequate maintenance’. The amount that you need in adequate maintence will depend on your circumstances.
Accommodation spouse visa financial requirements
It is easy to assume that the spouse visa
financial requirement start and end with a requirement that you must earn at least £18,600 gross per year, but spouse visa
solicitors will tell you that there are extra costs, such as being able to meet the requirement that you have adequate accommodation with sufficient space for any family.
Applying for a spouse visa
and ensuring that you and your partner properly state and evidence your means is not as easy as you might think. That is why many couples chose to use a spouse visa
solicitor to ensure the best and speedy spouse visa
If you want to apply for a spouse visa
, extend your spouse visa
, or if you have had a spouse visa
application refused then our expert UK spouse visa
solicitors can help you with your spouse visa
application or questions. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.
OTS Solicitors are Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession recommended immigration solicitors. Our friendly and approachable team of spouse visa solicitors can advise you on the best way to secure your spouse visa.