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May 10, 2019 87

If you want to apply for a visa as the spouse (wife or husband) or partner of a person who is British or settled or who holds refugee leave, one of the requirements that has to be met is the financial requirement.

If you are applying from outside the UK it is in most cases your partner in the UK who will have to meet the financial requirement. But if you are applying from within the UK – because you are switching visas or because you are extending your spouse/partner visa – either you or your partner will be able to do so, and it might be possible to combine your and your partner’s financial resources.

The financial requirement can be met by working and earning sufficient money. Earnings either as an employee or as a self-employed person may be acceptable.

In some cases earnings from other sources may be acceptable: for example pension earnings, share dividends or investment earnings.

If the earnings are not high enough the requirement can be satisfied by savings in the bank if they are sufficient. So, in some cases, the financial requirement can be met by a combination of earnings and savings.

The amount of earnings required varies: if only the partner is applying for a visa the earnings must be at least £18,600 per year but if there are children involved the amount is higher.

In a straightforward application the rules are only moderately complex but in some cases they are very complex.

For example, if a person has been in employment but for less than six months the rules are more difficult than it is for someone who has been in employment for more than six months.

And someone who works in self-employment (as opposed to employment) cannot combine their earnings with savings.

And someone who is a director or employee of a small family business face various additional restrictions about which earnings they can rely on.

And where earnings are associated with two differing financial years (for example where one financial year is the official tax financial year April to April and the other financial year is a company financial year which covers a different period) then the two sources of earnings cannot be combined, and a different solution has to be found.

And in a few cases people can rely on income from state benefits but the rules about this are very restrictive.

Why are the requirements so complicated? And do they need to be so complicated?

Up until 2012 these requirements were far simpler but the Home Office has “modernised” them and, like everything else that the Home Office has modernised, they are far more complicated than they were before. The rules about the financial requirements now cover many pages and are formidably difficult to engage with. The Home Office admits this and says that it has plans to simplify the immigration rules but it has not happened yet.

In the meantime, you may find that you need a good lawyer to guide you through this subject.

We at Get UK Visa have a great deal of experience in dealing with financial requirements for family visas, and we will be able to help you.

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