For individuals applying under Appendix FM to enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family life as the spouse or partner of a British citizen or settled person, there is a financial requirement.
Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules sets out the minimum financial threshold of £18,600. The financial requirement will increase if non-British children are involved in the application, as set out in this blog post.
The financial requirement can be met in several different ways. In this post we will look at how to meet the spouse or partner visa financial requirement based on savings, investments and pension income.
For information on how to combine forms of income and savings in order to meet the financial requirement, please refer to this blog post.
Cash Savings to Meet the Appendix FM Financial Requirement
Cash savings held over £16,000 can be used count towards the spouse or partner visa financial requirement. This is because £16,000 is the minimum income tax threshold. Savings can be held by the applicant, the applicant's partner, jointly or by a child dependent relative over the age of 18. These savings must be held for at least the six month period prior to the date of application and must be under the control of the same individual(s).
Savings can be held in a UK bank account or abroad. If the savings are held in a different currency, they will be converted into GBP using a conversion website called Oanda.com.
Calculating the Cash Savings Requirement
The formula to calculate the amount of cash savings required is as follows:
Income tax threshold + (general financial requirement x period of leave granted in years)
(£16,000) + (£18,600 x 2.5) = £62,500
Therefore, to rely solely on cash savings, with no other combined source(s) of income, £62,500 in cash savings is the required amount of cash savings.
Further examples of calculating the cash savings requirement, such as when combined with another source of income, is set out in this blog post.
Evidence of Cash Savings to Meet the Financial Requirement
The following evidence of cash savings must be provided:
- Personal bank statements evidencing at least the retained funds relied upon held in an account(s) in the name of the person or their partner jointly for a period of 6 months prior to the application. These should be dated no earlier than 28 days prior to the date of application
- Declaration as to source(s) of cash savings from the account holder(s)
The bank account or savings account can be a current, deposit or investment account. This can include a stocks and shares ISA account if all the requirements are met. The financial institution must be regulated by the appropriate regulatory body and not be excluded under paragraph 20 of Appendix FM-SE. The key requirement is that the funds can be immediately withdrawn and are therefore under the individual's control.
Cash Gifts as the Source of Cash Savings
Savings can come from any legal source. This includes an irrevocable gift from a third party. A gift needs to be held for the same six month period. A signed declaration is required which confirms the funds and states that they are under the control of the applicant, their partner or under joint control.
Investment Income to Meet the Financial Requirement
Income from investments, stocks and or shares is included as a form of non-employment income and can be used to meet the financial requirement.
Whilst this form of income does not need to have been owned by the applicant or the applicant's partner for the whole 12 months prior to the application, it needs to have been a source of income for some of the 12 month period.
If in the 12 month period, the income was earned prior to application and then sold, it can still be counted towards the financial requirements if:
- The investments, shares and/or stocks of an equivalent amount have been purchased since by the same company, and
- These are held at the date of application
Evidence of Investment Income to Meet the Financial Requirement
The following evidence of investment income must be provided:
- Certificate evidencing ownership and amount of investment(s)
- Portfolio report for a financial institution which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) or dividend voucher evidencing the company, the individual's details and their net dividend amount
- Personal bank statements covering the 12 months period prior to the application which the income was paid into
Pension Income to Meet the Financial Requirement
If an applicant or the applicant's partner receives any State, occupational or private pension, the gross annual income from the pension can be counted towards the financial requirement. A state pension includes UK Basic State Pension and Additional or Second State Pension, HM Forces Pension or foreign.
To rely on pension income, this must have been a source of income at least 28 days prior to submitting the visa application.
Evidence of Pension Income to Meet the Financial Requirement
The following evidence of pension income must be provided:
- Official documentation from: DWP, other government departments or agencies, an overseas pension authority or a pension company. This document should confirm the pension entitlement, as in name the pension, and the amount of pension received
- At least one bank statement from the 12 months period prior to the date of submission of application
If relying on pension income as well as cash savings liquidated from the pension pot on which the income is based, the evidence from the pension provider will need to demonstrate that withdrawal of cash from the pension pot.
Paragraph 21 of Appendix FM-SE excludes certain types of pensions. Schemes which do qualify include War Disablement Pension, War Widow's/Widower's Pension and any other pension or equivalent payment for life made under the War Pensions Scheme, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.