The Minimum Income Requirement (MIR) under the Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules states that family members, such as spouses or children applying for entry clearance from outside the UK or leave to remain from within the UK must provide documentary evidence of an income of at least £18,600 per annum. In case of a shortfall when meeting the MIR, certain categories may be combined to meet the criteria.
For each additional child dependent the MIR goes up by £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child. However, some categories may not be combined. The financial requirement does not apply to a child who is a British Citizen, EEA national, holds indefinite leave to remain or qualifies under Part 8 or Appendix Armed Forces of the Immigration Rules in a category to which the financial requirement does not apply.
There are two main means of income defined under Appendix FM – Salaried Employment paid at a minimum fixed rate where a minimum number of hours is usually contracted, and Non-Salaried Employment paid at an hourly rate where the level of work is not guaranteed.
Further, income has been divided into seven categories based on the nature of how it is earned.
Permitted Financial Sources for Appendix FM
Category A: sponsor’s income from salaried or non-salaried employment (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work).
Category B: income from the same sources as category A, in case the sponsor (and/or applicant if in the UK with permission to work) has not been working for the same employer for at least six months.
Category C: non-employment income, for example, income from property rental or dividends from shares.
Category D: cash savings of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least six months.
Category E: State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant.
Category F or G: income from self-employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). The category depends on which financial year/years are relied upon.
Sources of income that can be combined
If your total Category A income is below the MIR, it is possible to combine it with Category C – non-employment income, category D – cash savings and category E – pension to meet the requirement.
Category A can also be combined with Categories F and G, but only for the relevant financial year(s) period.
Category B income can be combined with the same sources as Category A.
Sources of income that cannot be combined
Income from Categories A and B cannot be combined. So, if you and your partner are both employed in the UK, you can only combine your income if you fall under Category A or Category B.
As stated above, there is an exception to combining Category B income with cash savings. Specifically, at stage 2 of Category B, where the income you have earned over the last 12 months is assessed, you cannot rely on cash savings.
Finally, cash savings cannot be combined with self-employment income or income from employment as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK under either Category F or G.
How can we help
Our Immigration Advisers regularly assist foreign national partners in relocating to and settling in, the UK with their families. Whether you require expert advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules for a Partner Visa, an independent assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a Partner Visa or professional assistance with preparing a Partner Visa application, our immigration team can help. Call us to discuss your application on 02087575751 or use our contact form.