Understanding the Financial Requirements for a Spouse Visa in the UK

Do you want to apply for a spouse visa, so you can join your partner in the UK, or maybe you want to switch visa categories to remain in the UK? Do not worry, we are here to help you meet your goal. As you already know, one of the crucial criteria is meeting financial requirements, so in this article, we are going to focus on that when applying for UK family visa.

Let’s get familiar with the financial requirement for a spouse visa


If you are a non-UK resident partner of someone who is a British citizen, has settled status in the UK, or is in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection, you will need to meet a financial requirement outlined in the Immigration Rules. To obtain a spouse visa, you must meet a minimum income threshold unless you are exempt. This threshold is a gross annual income of £18,600 if you are applying without dependent children. However, if you are applying with dependent children, you will need to prove an additional £3,800 for the first child and an increase of £2,400 for each additional child. This additional financial requirement is applicable if the child is not a British or Irish citizen, does not have pre-settled status, or is not permanently settled in the UK.

Proving that you fulfill the spouse visa financial requirement

In order to meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa, there are several ways you can do it, such as through income from salaried or non-salaried employment of you or your partner. If it’s your income, you must have the Right to Work in the UK and be legally employed. Another way is through income from self-employment, or income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of you or your partner. You also need to have permission to work in the UK. Non-employment income from sources like property rentals, child maintenance, dividends/income from investments, stocks, and shares, or money from a state or private pension in your name or your partner’s name can also be considered. However, income-related benefits will not count towards the financial requirement.

If you or your partner have saved over £16,000 in cash for at least six months, you can also use this as a source of income along with other sources to meet the minimum income threshold.

Exemptions to the financial requirements for a spouse visa


If your partner receives specific benefits or allowances in the UK, you might not have to meet the financial requirement for spouse visas. You can show “adequate maintenance” as evidence to qualify. This includes:

  1. Carer’s Allowance
  2. Disability Living Allowance
  3. Severe Disablement Allowance
  4. Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  5. Attendance Allowance
  6. Personal Independence Payment
  7. Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  8. Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement, or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme
  9. Police Injury Pension

To be eligible, you need to demonstrate that you and your partner can support yourselves and any dependents without relying on public funds while living in the UK. This evidence is crucial to your application.

After you meet the financial requirement for a spouse visa, will you be able to take time off?

If you meet the financial requirement for spouse visas, you may be eligible to live in the UK for up to 2.5 years. To extend your stay, you must meet other eligibility criteria, such as demonstrating English language proficiency. After being granted leave to remain in the UK, you can apply to settle after five years of continuous residence.

What if you don’t meet the financial requirement for spouse visas?


If you can not meet the financial requirement for spouse visas, you still have opportunities to apply for a visa, do not worry. If you and your partner would face significant difficulties living together as a couple outside the UK that cannot be overcome, you may also be eligible. In case you have a child in the UK who is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for at least seven years, it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK, so you can stay there as well. Additionally, if exceptional circumstances exist that would make it a violation of your human rights to refuse your application, you may be eligible. It’s worth noting that your application may still be considered even if you don’t meet the minimum income requirement as long as credible and reliable sources of income or financial support are taken into account.

Additional spouse visa requirements

If you’re planning to apply for a spouse visa, you must meet all the eligibility criteria in addition to the financial requirements. To qualify, both you and your partner should be 18 years or older. Furthermore, your partner must be a British citizen living in the UK, present and settled in the UK (which means they have indefinite leave to remain or a permanent residence card), or currently residing in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection.

If you are not married yet, you will need to provide evidence that your relationship is authentic and ongoing. You must have been residing together in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for a minimum of two years before applying. Alternatively, if you are engaged or planning to form a civil partnership, and the purpose of your trip is to get married or become a civil partner, you may also apply. You must intend to get married or enter into a civil partnership within six months of arriving in the UK, and both you and your partner must plan to live together permanently in the UK.

Additionally, in order to obtain a spouse visa, it is necessary to demonstrate proficiency in English, either through an academic qualification or by taking a test, and to show that you can financially support yourself and any dependents.

Common mistakes to avoid when applying for a spouse visa

When applying for a spouse visa, meeting the minimum income threshold can be a challenging task. To prove your eligibility, you must provide specific documents that show your level of income and/or savings. If you plan to combine various sources of income, including your partner’s, the process can become even more complex. Additionally, some sources of income cannot be combined when calculating your total income.

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