What Happens if I Cannot Meet the Financial requirement for a Spouse Visa?
Spouse Visa Solicitors say that worry over whether you will meet the financial requirement for the spouse visa is one of the most common fears of family visa applicants. Unless your financial circumstances, or those of your husband, wife or partner, are very straightforward the financial requirement can be a real concern. Alternatively, your finances may be clear cut but you may be worried about whether you have the right supporting financial paperwork for your spouse visa.
UK Online and London Based Immigration and Spouse Visa Solicitors
The spouse visa financial requirement
You will meet the spouse visa financial requirement if:
- Your British or settled husband, or wife or partner who is sponsoring you has an income of at least £18,600 per year. This is gross income before tax is paid. OR
- You or your spouse or partner has at least £62,500 in savings that meet the criteria to be counted as ‘savings’ under the immigration rules.
You will need more in income or savings if you have children who are not classed as British. If you are not sure about the status of your children and whether they are classed as British or not call the Spouse Visa Solicitors on 0203 959 9123.
The spouse visa financial requirement can get complicated where your partner does not earn £18,600 per year but has some savings because , in some cases, the Home Office will take into account a combination of income and savings so that you can meet the financial requirement that way.
It can also be a bit difficult to prove that you meet the financial requirement where your spouse or partner is self-employed. For example, where your husband or wife has only recently started a business or where their finances are complicated because they have lived off director loan accounts and not declared company dividends or only drawn a very modest salary from their company. Complex finances do not mean that you will not get your spouse visa but it does mean that your spouse visa application will need to be prepared very carefully and supported with the right paperwork.
Meeting the spouse visa financial requirement if your husband or wife receives benefits
Many couples despair that they cannot be reunited in the UK as they know that their British or settled spouse earns less than £18,600 per year. However, that does not mean that you will not meet the spouse visa financial requirement. Spouse Visa Solicitors advise that the immigration rules list a number of state benefits which are termed ‘qualifying benefits’ to meet the financial requirement. They are:
- Attendance Allowance.
- Carer's Allowance.
- Disability Living Allowance.
- Severe Disablement Allowance;
- Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit.
- Personal Independence Payment.
- The Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
- Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme.
- Police Injury Pension.
If your husband or wife or partner receives one of these qualifying benefits you will need to evidence this and you will also still need to meet the accommodation requirement and other eligibility criteria for the spouse visa. If you are worried about meeting the accommodation requirement speak to Spouse Visa Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 as there are various ways you can meet the accommodation requirement; your partner does not need to own his or her own home.
What happens if I cannot meet the spouse visa financial requirement?
First, you should only conclude that you cannot meet the spouse visa financial requirement after you have taken immigration legal advice from Spouse Visa Solicitors as there are many alternate ways that you can meet the financial requirement.
If a Spouse Visa Solicitor has told you that you do not meet the spouse visa financial requirement then you still have options. For example:
- Specialist Spouse Visa Solicitors can look at whether you qualify for a spouse visa because of your exceptional circumstances as specified in Home Office guidance to the immigration rules.
- Expert immigration solicitors can look at whether you have any alternate visa options , such as the skilled worker visa or the graduate visa.
What are exceptional circumstances for a spouse visa if you do not meet the spouse visa financial requirement?
The immigration rules say that a spouse visa can be granted to a spouse visa applicant in exceptional circumstances where refusal of the spouse visa application could be unjustifiably harsh to either you, your child or your husband , wife or partner.
Most visa applicants who have had their family visa application turned down think the decision is very harsh. In addition, many spouse visa applicants think their circumstances are exceptional. That is why, if you are asking the Home Office to use their discretion and accept that your circumstances are exceptional, it is best to get specialist legal advice from Spouse Visa Solicitors before you make your application so that they can apply your circumstances to the immigration rules and make as compelling a case as possible.
The exceptional circumstances test is complicated because if the refusal of your spouse visa application could be unjustifiably harsh the Home Office may accept other types of financial support ( such as a new job offer or family help) to assist you in meeting the spouse visa financial requirement. If the spouse visa refusal would (rather than could) be unjustifiably harsh then you do not need to meet the financial requirement.
If you cannot meet the financial requirement and you get your spouse visa based on exceptional circumstances this will mean it will take longer before you can apply to settle in the UK through obtaining indefinite leave to remain. Normally you need to meet a five-year residence requirement but the residence requirement can be extended to ten years before you can apply for indefinite leave to remain if you have not met the financial requirement (and still do not meet the financial requirement). Therefore, it is best to evidence that you can meet the financial requirement if at all possible so your settlement plans in the UK are not delayed.
If your partner or spouse is in receipt of a qualifying benefit this means you meet the financial requirement ( even though your income may be less than £18,600 per year) so you are not penalised if your spouse is on benefits and you do not have to wait longer before you can apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Can I appeal against a spouse visa refusal because I have not met the financial requirement
Potentially, you can appeal against the refusal of a spouse visa application or appeal against an application to extend your spouse visa based on the fact you have not met the financial requirement. There are strict time limits for appeals, depending on whether you made your spouse visa application from within the UK or from overseas. It is best to get urgent legal advice from Spouse Visa Solicitors if you want to appeal a spouse visa decision based on not meeting the financial requirement. This is because your immigration lawyers can advise on the prospects of success, the evidence you need and if there are any alternate visa options for you to explore.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Lawyers and Spouse Visa Solicitors