Spouse Visa UK Non-Employment Income Requirement

by | Dec 27, 2022 | Fiancé Visa, Partner & Family Visa, Spouse Visa, Spouse Visa Extension, UK Immigration, Unmarried Partner Visa

In this post, we look at the financial requirement for a UK Family visa when relying upon income derived from non-employment sources. This minimum income requirement applies to Spouses and Civil Partners, Fiances and Unmarried Partners under the Appendix FM five-year route. 

Non-employment income must be derived from permitted sources as specified under the Immigration Rules. These permitted incomes may belong to either the applicant or the sponsoring partner or be held jointly. It may include various types of earnings, such as rental income, income from dividends, maintenance payments and interest from savings. 

The minimum income requirement can be met by combining non-employment income with cash savings, employment income earned in the UK or abroad, directorship or pension income. 

The Immigration Rules set out the general financial requirement of a gross annual income of at least £18,600. Where the applicant and their partner have children, the income threshold is increased by £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child. The financial requirement does not need to be demonstrated for children who hold Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK or have British Citizenship.

To discuss your Family Visa application with an experienced immigration adviser, contact our team on 0208 757 5751 or complete our contact form.

Non-employment income for a Family Visa UK

The list of permitted sources of non-employment income is listed within the Home Office UKVI guidance and is as follows:

Property rental

Property rental is the most common non-employment income used for UK family visas. The rental property must be owned by the sponsor or the applicant and should not be the main residence. The property can be situated in the UK or overseas. If the ownership of the property is shared with a third party, then only the income received from their share can be counted as income. 

For rental properties in the UK, the property cannot be the main residence where you are planning to reside as a family, as that income will no longer be available once you move into the property. 

The exception to the main residence rule is where the applicant relies on employment income under either Category A or B, and the sponsoring partner is in employment overseas and returning to take up a job in the UK. In those circumstances, the property rental income can be relied upon in calculating the gross annual income. However, the sponsor’s UK job offer must still be at or above the minimum income threshold. 

Any management fee for the property discounted from the gross income may be counted to meet the financial requirement. Equity in a property cannot be used to meet the financial requirement. 

To rely on the rental income, you will need to provide evidence of ownership of the property in the form of a copy of the title deeds of the property or the title register, a mortgage statement (if applicable), a rental/tenancy agreement and personal bank statement for the 12 months before the date of application. This should show the rental income relied upon being paid into the applicant’s account or the sponsor.

Dividends or other investment income 

Income earned from investments, shares or stocks, bonds or trust funds in the 12 months before the date of application will be considered if they are still held at the date of application. 

To rely on investment income, you will need to show evidence of a certificate showing proof of ownership and evidence of the amount of any investment, including a portfolio report (for a financial institution regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in addition to personal bank statements for the the12-month period before the date of application.

If dividends are received from a specified limited company, they cannot be counted under non-employment income but under self-employment income. 

Interest from savings 

Interest on a person’s savings, whether held in a permitted account in the UK or overseas, can be relied on as non-employment income. Permitted accounts are those held in a bank or building society in the UK that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

The appropriate regulatory body must regulate overseas accounts for the country where the institution operates, and the funds are located and not be on the list of excluded financial institutions set out in the Immigration Rules. 

Maintenance payments 

Like grants and stipends, maintenance payments are listed in the Immigration Rules as one of the exceptions to the general prohibition on third-party support. The Immigration Rules were amended in April 2014 to permit maintenance payments received from a former partner of the sponsoring partner to be counted, as well as payments received from a former partner of the applicant partner concerning the applicant partner or their children.

UK Maternity Allowance, Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment and Widowed Parent’s Allowance

Appendix FM refers to the ability to rely on ‘any specified maternity allowance or bereavement benefit received by the partner in the UK’ or on any ‘specified payment relating to services in HM Forces’.

The acceptable types of maternity allowance and bereavement benefit are then identified through the specified evidence under the Immigration Rules as

  • UK Maternity Allowance
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Bereavement Payment
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance.

War Pensions Scheme, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and the Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme Payments

For payments relating to service for HM Forces, the Immigration Rules identify payments under the followings

  • War Pensions Scheme
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme.

These payments can only be relied upon as non-employment income, where they are not treated as pension payments.

Undergraduate or postgraduate maintenance grants or stipends

An academic maintenance grant or stipend may be counted towards the financial requirement under the Immigration Rules. The stipend is usually non-taxable and does not need to be paid back. The grant or stipend must be associated with undergraduate study, postgraduate study, or research. The person must be currently in receipt of the grant or stipend or will be within three months of the date of application. The grant or stipend must be payable for at least 12 months, for at least one full academic year, from the date of application or from the date on which payment of the grant or stipend will commence. 

Ongoing insurance payments

Payments from an insurance company, including payments received under an income protection policy, are acceptable under the Immigration Rules. Specified evidence will need to confirm that payments will continue for at least 12 months following the date of application.

Ongoing payments from a structured legal settlement

Other than maintenance payments from a former partner of the applicant or sponsor, payments arising from a structured legal settlement can be used to meet the UK Family Visa minimum income requirement. Specified evidence will need to confirm that payments will continue for at least 12 months following the date of application. The example given in the Rules is a structured legal settlement arising from a personal injury claim.

Ongoing royalty payments

Ongoing royalty payments received by the applicant or the sponsor can be counted towards the non-employment income to prove that you meet the minimum income requirement. 

These will need to be accompanied by a letter from a solicitor, accountant or business manager setting out the contractual terms on which the royalty income is received and the frequency of such payments.

Excluded non-employment income

Under the Immigration Rules, the following sources of income are not permitted as non-employment income

  • Loans and credit facilities
  • Income-related benefits: Income support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Support (or any equivalent) and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Contributory benefits: contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance and Incapacity Benefit
  • Child Benefit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Any other source of income not specified under the Immigration Rules. 

UK Family Visa Advice

Our immigration advisers regularly assist foreign nationals in relocating and settling in the UK with their families. The financial requirement rules are complex and include mandatory requirements in the documentary evidence that must be provided to demonstrate access to the relevant funds. Failure to demonstrate that you meet the Family Visa application criteria may result in the application being delayed or even refused. 

Our UK Family Visa advisers can provide a no-obligation assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a Family Visa or professional advice or assistance with preparing a Family Visa application. 

At Whytecroft Ford, we know that accurate and timely advice could make all the difference in the world. We are a highly driven professional team that provides clear and reliable immigration advice to individuals applying for a UK Family Visa. We apply our extensive knowledge and expertise to our client’s needs.

Frequently asked questions 

What amount of non-specified income can I count towards the minimum income requirement?

The calculation of non-specified employment income is based on the actual income received from the specified source in the 12 months before making the application.

Does the source of non-employment income need to be in my name?

The source of income or relevant asset must be in the name of the applicant, the sponsor or held/owned jointly at the date of application.

Do I need to own the asset for 12 months before applying?

The asset does not need to have been owned for the full 12 months before the date of application but must have been a source of income for at least part of those 12 months.

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