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Combining sources of income to satisfy the spouse visa financial requirement

November 2019 - Immigration. Legal Developments by Richmond Chambers.

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Under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules, family members applying for entry clearance or leave to remain must provide evidence of an annual income of at least ÂŁ18,600, which is known as the minimum income requirement (“MIR”), plus an additional ÂŁ3,800 for the first child and ÂŁ2,400 for each additional child.

We have published previous blog posts on the meaning of partner and how to meet the financial requirement when your sponsor is not working.  This blog focuses on which sources of income can be combined to meet the MIR.

Ways of meeting the financial requirement

Definitions

Salaried employment means employment paid at a minimum fixed rate (usually annual) and is subject (usually) to a contractual minimum number of hours to be worked (paragraph 18(d), Appendix FM-SE).

Non-salaried employment means a salary which is paid at an hourly rate and where the level of work is not guaranteed. This includes, for example, zero hours contracts. 

Categories of income

Category A: employment for more than 6 months

The sponsor (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK and permitted to work) has been employed for 6 months or more for the same employer and has earned the MIR in this period.

Category B: employment for less than 6 months

The sponsor and/or applicant has worked for less than 6 months in either salaried or non-salaried employment and/or has not earned the income level relied upon in the application for at least 6 months prior to the date of application.

Category C: non-employment income 

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Property rental;
  • Dividends or other income from investments, stocks and shares, bonds or trust funds; and
  • Interest from savings.

Income from these sources received in the 12 months prior to the application can be relied on. 

Category D: cash savings 

Please see our previous post on how to calculate cash savings here.

Category E: pension

The gross annual income from any State (UK Basic State Pension and Additional or Second State Pension, HM Forces Pension or foreign), occupational or private pension received by the applicant’s partner or the applicant can be counted towards the financial requirement under Category E.

Category F: self-employment and directorships

Where the applicant’s partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work) is in self-employment, or is either the director or employee (or both) of a specified limited company in the UK, at the date of application, they can use income from the last full financial year to meet the financial requirement.

Category G: self-employment and directorships

This is essentially the same as Category F, but allows you to use an average of the income received over the last two full financial years to meet the financial requirement. 

Which sources of income can be combined with each other?

If your total Category A income is below the MIR, it is possible to combine it with Category C, D and E (non-employment income, cash savings and pension) to meet the requirement. Category A can also be combined with Categories F and G,  but only for the period of the relevant financial year(s).

Category B income can be combined with the same sources as Category A. However, as explained below, Category B cannot be combined with cash savings (Category D) in certain circumstances.

>Which sources of income cannot be combined with each other?

Income from Categories A and B cannot be combined with each other. So, if you and your partner are both in employment in the UK, you can only combine your income if you both fall under Category A or you both fall under Category B.

As stated above, there is an exception to combining Category B income with cash savings. Specifically, at stage 2 of Category B, where the income which you have actually earned over the last 12 months is assessed, you cannot rely on cash savings.

Finally, cash savings cannot be combined with self-employment income, or with income from employment as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, under either Category F or G.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For assistance with family member applications contact our specialist immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.