Partner applying for a visa under the Immigration Rules after 09/07/12

Partner applying for a visa under the Immigration Rules after 9th July 2012


What is meant by a Partner:-

The Applicant’s Spouse, the Applicant’s civil partner, the Applicant’s fiancé or proposed civil partner or a person who has been living with the Applicant in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application.  We will refer to the Applicant as the person making the application to come to theUKto join their partner who we will refer to as the Sponsor.

Source of these rules

The rules are contained in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules called “Statement of changes in Immigration Rules HC194.”   These were updated in July 2012 and are available on the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) website.  Reference should also be made to the Immigration Directorate instructions, the Immigration Rules Appendix FM: Family members and Appendix FM-SE: Family members – Specified evidence.

NB:  You will not be able to complete the entry clearance application form VAF4A for this category and Appendix 2 of the financial requirement form which accompanies the application form by relying upon the application form and guidance contained there.  The application itself refers to UKBA policy guidance and the most useful document is Appendix FM-SE – Specified evidence which is reproduced here.


(a)            These rules do not apply to EEA nationals or their partners/children.

(b)           The tariff for children only applies where they are an applicant for entry clearance purposes.                                               

(c)            These rules do not apply to applicants who have a right to live in theUK, i.e. The Applicant is a British Citizen, a person with indefinite leave to remain (ILR), a returning resident (a person who has ILR and is returning to theUKfor settlement within 2 years)

(d)           They do not apply to spouses/partners of persons here under the Points Based System.

This leaflet concentrates on the financial requirements of the Immigration Rules from 9th July 2012.  We are only covering the maintenance requirements due to the complexity of the new rules and in an attempt to present information in a user friendly manner. These parts of the rules have raised the most questions and there is a greater possibility of confusion about the finances required.

NB:  It is important to realise that Applicants will need to satisfy suitability and eligibility requirements including completing the English language test in speaking and listening.  Please do not assume that if you meet the financial requirements you meet all the other requirements of the Immigration Rules.  You must consider the rules which are contained under Appendix FM: Family members – Section EC-P: Entry clearance as a partner.

If you do not meet the compulsory financial requirements then your application for a visa will be refused.  The Visa Officer has no discretion in this regard.  The onus is upon the Applicant to provide the evidence required in the format specified by the Immigration Rules and policy guidance.

Watch out for legal challenges and clarifications of the requirements. We will post any such changes on our website


 All Applicants must provide evidence in the format required by UKBA of a gross annual income of at least: 

  1. £18,600
  2. An additional £3,800 for the first child
  3. An additional £2,400 for each additional child.

This income can also be made up of salary alone or in combination with savings or by savings alone.  The rules state that account will be taken of income or savings from specified sources – this refers to sources which are named in the Immigration Rules and Immigration Directorate instructions – family members under Appendix FM-SE: Evidence of financial requirements.  The required income can come from employment, self-employment and non-employment income.

We have reproduced in full paragraphs 1 – 12 of Appendix FM-SE: Family members – Specified evidence. It is difficult to summarise these requirements and we want to give you as much information as possible about the type of income/savings to cover the variety of sources of income/savings you may wish to reply upon depending upon your employment status or if you are relying on non employment income.

NB:  Where relying on employment the evidence required includes monthly personal bank statements corresponding to the same periods as wage slips and showing that the salary has been paid into a specified bank account. UKBA will not accept cash payments/deposits.   Cash payments are accepted where reliance is placed upon self-employment.

The financial requirements will be reviewed annually and are likely to rise each year!

If you are relying upon income less than the requirement then your savings must meet a minimum threshold of £16,000.


The entry clearance application is for a partner and two children, the application will need to satisfy the gross annual income of:

 £18,600 for the partner

 £3,800 for the first child

 £2,400 for the second child

So in this example for the application to meet the financial requirements they will need to show a gross annual income of £24,800.

Where you are relying on income plus cash savings above £16,000

The cash savings have to be held by the Applicant or their partner for at least six months prior to the application.  The savings must not be a loan but can be a gift and must be under the control of the Applicant or their partner – i.e. in their name or in joint names.  The funds must be immediately accessible. Where relying upon a gift the monies must be ‘clean’, must be a genuine gift (does not have to be returned to the giver) and held in the Applicants/Sponsors bank account/joint bank account.

Following our above example, say the partner in the UK has a gross annual income of £14,000 – for the application to meet the financial requirements the calculation is as follows:-

£16,000 is your starting point

         £10,800 (shortfall of gross annual income)

 +      x 2.5 of the shortfall


 +      £16,000  


For the application to meet the maintenance requirements this couple need to show the income plus the level of cash savings to make up the deficit, £14,000 (gross income) + £43,000 (cash savings) = £57,000

This example demonstrates how tough it can be to satisfy the financial requirements of the Immigration Rules.


In entry clearance cases the income of the Applicant or prospective employment in theUKwill not be taken into account. 

Where relying upon the Sponsor’s employment in theUK, the Sponsor must be in employment at the point of application and continue to be for at least six months or have earned the required salary level throughout salaried employment in the twelve months prior to the application.  You do not have to be with the same employer over the period of 6-12 months but you must have earned the required salary.

You can satisfy the financial requirement by relying upon more than one source of finance, e.g. you can rely upon a combination of you Sponsor’s salaried employment and self-employment, and a private pension held by the Sponsor and/or by the Applicant.


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