New Spouse Visa Financial Requirement 2024

by | May 22, 2024 | Fiancé Visa, Partner & Family Visa, Spouse Visa, UK Immigration, Unmarried Partner Visa

Starting 11 April 2024, significant changes to the financial requirements for UK spouse, fiancé, and partner visas have taken effect. This update is crucial for anyone planning to apply for a UK family visa. In this post, we discuss the recent changes to the Spouse Visa financial requirement and its impact on new applications. 

As previously mentioned, the UK government announced at the end of last year that the minimum income requirement will increase from £18,600 to £29,000.

Key Changes to the Financial Requirement

Increase in Minimum Income Requirement

The minimum income requirement for a UK family visa has increased from £18,600 to £29,000. This change is part of the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 590), which was laid before Parliament on 14 March 2024.

The increase aims to ensure that visa holders can support themselves without relying on public funds and to align with the UK government’s goal of reducing net migration.

Removal of the Child Element

Previously, applicants with dependent children had to meet a higher income threshold and were required to demonstrate an additional £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child. This has been updated, meaning the new £29,000 requirement applies uniformly, regardless of the number of dependent children.

Where the parent meets the requirements to benefit from the transitional arrangements, the child will also benefit and must be assessed against the lower threshold of £18,600 (plus child component, capped at £29,000). 

Impact on Cash Savings

The amount of cash savings required as an alternative to income has also increased. Applicants now need £88,500 in savings, up from £62,500. Under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, this amount is calculated as follows: (£29,000 x 2.5 years) + £16,000.

Who Is Affected?

New Applicants

The new requirements will affect those applying for the family route for the first time, including spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, fiancés, and proposed civil partners. First-time applicant’s applying after 11 April 2024, must meet the new £29,000 income threshold.

Existing Visa Holders

If you already hold a visa under Appendix FM and are on the five-year partner route before 11 April 2024, you will continue to be assessed against the current £18,600 income threshold for any subsequent applications. This provides some certainty for those already within the visa system or who apply before the changes take effect.

Why the Increase?

The increase in the minimum income requirement comes after more than a decade without a change. The government believes the previous threshold no longer reflects the cost of living and aims to ensure families can be self-sufficient. Additionally, this measure supports the broader goal of reducing net migration and promoting a high-wage, high-skill economy.

Preparing for the Change

Switching Visa Categories

Those already in the UK on a different visa and planning to switch to the five-year partner route after the increase will need to meet the new £29,000 requirement.

Alternative Routes if You Can’t Meet the New Threshold

Applicants unable to meet the new financial threshold might need to apply under the ten-year route to settlement. This route is more demanding and is based on human rights principles, requiring proof of exceptional circumstances that prevent the family from living outside the UK. Applications on this route often need professional legal assistance and substantial evidence.

Future Increases

The government has indicated plans to further raise the minimum income requirement, up to £34,500 later this year and finally up to £38,700 by early 2025. However, the timeline for these additional increases has not yet been announced.

Meeting the Financial Requirement

The financial requirement can be met through various sources, including:

  • Salaried or non-salaried employment of the applicant’s partner or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work (Categories A and B).
  • Non-employment income such as rental income or dividends from shares (Category C).
  • Cash savings above £16,000, held for at least six months (Category D).
  • Pensions (Category E).
  • Self-employment income or income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK (Categories F and G).

Certain income sources may be combined with one another to satisfy the financial requirement.

Important Considerations

When applying for an initial visa from outside the UK, only the sponsor’s income can be counted towards the financial requirement. For extensions and permanent residence applications, both the applicant’s and the sponsor’s incomes can be considered. Typically, applicants need to provide evidence of having earned the required income for the past six months.

Contact our team

The financial requirements for spouse, fiancé, and partner visas represent a significant shift. It is crucial for prospective applicants to understand these changes and prepare accordingly. 

To discuss your Spouse or Partner visa application with an experienced professional, contact our team on +44 208 757 5751 or use our contact form.

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