To secure a UK Spouse Visa approval, you must be able to satisfy the Appendix FM financial requirement by showing that the sponsor (or applicant if in the UK with the right to work) has an income of more than £18,600 per year or held savings higher than £62,500 for the last 6 months.
Should you be a British citizen or ILR Visa holder that lives outside the UK, and you are looking to bring your spouse with you to the UK as a returning resident, please note that only the sponsor can claim for income outside the UK to satisfy this requirement.
The sponsor will also need a job offer starting in the UK within 3 months of their intended return date (unless using £62,500+ in savings to satisfy the Appendix FM financial requirement). While your spouse cannot claim for their overseas income when moving to the UK, they can claim for their savings, so bear this fact in mind, as it is a common mistake made by returning residents.
Should you be living in the UK on a visa that allows you to work, and wish to switch in-country to a Spouse Visa after marrying a British citizen or someone holding an ILR Visa, you are allowed to claim for your earnings (or a combination of your earnings and your sponsor’s earnings).
The Appendix FM rules provide you with 7 different ways of satisfying the financial requirement (named Categories A – F), and you can combine some of the following categories to demonstrate sufficient earnings/savings to satisfy the financial requirement:
Category A – Employed earnings higher than £18,600 per year – you can claim for earnings under this category if the sponsor or applicant (or both combined if permitted) has been working for their current employer for longer than the last 6 months.
You will also need to demonstrate that the annual earnings are higher than £18,600 per annum, and note that the Home Office will take the lowest gross salary amount on the last 6 months payslips (or 26 weeks’ payslips if paid weekly), and multiply the amount by 12 to work out the lowest average earnings (or by 52 (weeks) if paid weekly). If the result of this calculation comes to more than £18,600, you will be able to satisfy the Appendix FM rules via Category A.
Category B – Employed earnings higher than £18,600 in the last 12 months for those people that have been working for their current employer less than the last 6 months.
There are two different ways you can claim for Category B earnings – 1) If you have been working for your current employer for less than 6 months, and the total gross earnings on your payslips adds up to more than £18,600 (e.g. you earn £100,000pa and three months gross earnings = £25,000) – 2) You can claim up to a maximum of the last 12 months payslips from your last 2 or more employers, and the gross salary on the payslips must add up to more than £18,600. Please note that via Category B of the Appendix FM rules you must show that your current employer is paying you more than £18,600.
Category C – non-employment income higher than £18,600 per year – You can claim for this category of income if you receive income from non-employment sources such as property rental, dividends from investments, maintenance payments from a former partner, etc.
Under this category, you can claim for any non-employment income received in your bank account in the 12 months before the date of application and need to have received £18,600 in the last 12 months to satisfy the Appendix FM rules. Alternatively, you can combine this category of income
with another category if needed.
Category D – Cash Savings – to use this category, you will need to show a daily closing balance in your bank account, your partner’s bank account, or a joint account you hold together (or combination of accounts) higher than £62,500 every day for the last 6 months before applying.
Please note that the Home Office will take the lowest balance held in your bank account(s) in the last 6 months when assessing the funds you have held. Therefore, your total bank account balance must never go below £62,500 on any given day in the last 6 months. You should also note that the amount of funds needed increases depending on the number of applicants applying (for example, you need funds of £74,000 for two applicants instead of £62,500 for one applicant).
Category E – Pension Income – you can claim for this category if you or your sponsor is currently receiving pension income higher than £18,600 per year. You can also combine this income with the other categories to demonstrate income higher than £18,600 per annum.
Category F – Self-employed income as a sole trader or director of your own Limited company – claiming solely for the last full financial year. If the sponsor is self-employed in the UK, then they can claim for the taxable income stated on their last FULL financial year (which runs from 6th April to 5th April each year in the UK), and the amount declared must be higher than £18,600. Should the sponsor be a Director of their own Limited company, they can claim for the gross salary and/or gross dividends paid to them during their company’s last CT600 financial year. The amount received before tax must be higher than £18,600, and you can only claim for the salary and dividends paid into the sponsor’s personal bank account. Due to the complexity of the self-employed earnings rules under Appendix FM, if you have any queries about claiming for this category, we recommend you speak to one of our Spouse Visa Experts.
Category G – Self-employed income as a sole trader or director of your own Limited company – claiming solely for the last full financial year. This category is virtually the same as Category F, but was designed for self-employed people that did not earn enough net profit (if a sole trader) or pay themselves enough salary/dividends in the company’s last financial year (if a Director), BUT whose earnings are high enough if you take an average of the last two full financial years.
For example, the sponsor is a sole trader that declared £15,000 in net profit (i.e. taxable income) on their last year’s tax return but declared £45,000 in taxable income (net profit) in the previous year’s tax return. The average of the taxable income for the last two years, in this case, would be £30,000 (£45,000 + £15,000 divided by 2 (Years)), which satisfies the financial requirement as the average earnings (taxable income) is higher than £18,600 per year. The same logic would apply to a company Director that paid himself the same amounts as stated above in salary and dividends over the company’s last two financial years in line with the company’s CT600 financial year.
As we have mentioned above, you can combine most of the categories above, but be warned that you cannot combine self-employed income (Categories F & G) with savings (Category D) to satisfy the Appendix FM financial requirement.
If you have any doubts about how you and your partner can satisfy the complicated Appendix FM rules, request a call-back and discuss your case with one of our Spouse Visa experts? We can work out in minutes the simplest way you can satisfy the rules and give you the best option for your application.