The Immigration Rules specify a financial requirement to be met by a partner or dependant child of a British citizen or permanent resident when looking to apply for permission to stay in the UK. The financial requirement can be met solely from cash savings or by combining cash savings with other forms of permitted income. Under Appendix FM a ‘partner’ means an applicant’s fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner.
The financial requirement, also known as the minimum income requirement, is set out as a gross income of at least £18,600 per annum. This requirement can generally be met in several ways, each specified under different categories. This post explores how financial requirements can be met by relying on Category D cash savings.
What counts as cash savings for a UK Partner Visa?
The savings can be from any legal source, such as a gift from a family member, income earned over time from employment or the sale of a property. You will need to provide a declaration confirming the source of the cash savings in your application and prove that the funds have been in your and/or your partner’s control for six months before the application date.
Cash savings must be in the name of the applicant, their partner or jointly in a personal, savings or investment account and can be held in one or a combination of different accounts. The account must immediately allow access to the savings, with or without penalty for withdrawing funds without notice. This includes a pension savings account which can be withdrawn at any time. If a penalty would be deducted from the cash savings if they were to be withdrawn from the account without notice, the penalty amount should not be deducted from the level of savings held at the date of application.
The appropriate regulatory body must regulate the financial institution in which the funds are held for the country in which it operates.
Under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, cash savings cannot be in the form of borrowed money such as a loan or a credit card, a brokerage account in which stockbrokers use funds to purchase shares for the account holder or a betting account held with a bookmaker or gambling operator will also not meet the requirements for Category D cash savings.
How is the level of cash savings calculated?
Any amount of cash savings above £16,000 held by the applicant, their partner, or both jointly for at least six months before the date of application and under their control can count towards the financial requirement under Category D Cash Savings.
You can rely solely on cash savings to meet the financial requirement, which means the required funds will be £62,500. This amount will increase depending on the number of dependants applying.
The exact level of cash savings required in your application will depend on your circumstances. As the Home Office decision-makers cannot exercise any flexibility concerning the level of financial requirement that must be met, it is important to ensure that you meet the criteria for a successful application.
How to calculate cash savings for UK Partner Visa
At the entry clearance/initial leave to remain stage and the further leave stage, the amount of cash savings above £16,000 must be divided by 2.5 (to reflect the 2.5-year or 30-month period before the applicant will have to make a further application) to give the amount which can be used in meeting the financial requirement. Cash savings are calculated to meet this amount using the following basic formula:
(Amount of cash savings – £16,000) ÷ (the period of the grant of leave: 2.5 years) = must equal at least £18,600
If you hold less than £62,500, you may still partially rely on those savings, as long as they exceed £16,000, and make up the shortfall in other permitted sources of income, for example:
If you hold £30,000: (£30,000-£16,000) ÷ 2.5 = £5,600. Requiring an additional £13,000 in another source of income to meet the minimum income requirement of £18,600.
The cash savings required will increase if additional dependent children are not British or settled in the UK. The minimum financial requirement increases by £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each subsequent child. For example, an applicant with one child must show £22,400 (£18,600 + £3800). We calculate the shortfall required as follows:
If you hold £50,000: (£50,000-£16,000) ÷2.5 = £13,600. Requiring an additional £8,800 in another source of income to meet £22,400.
The £62,500 requirement reduces to £34,600, where the application is one for Indefinite Leave to Remain or settlement.
Combining cash savings with other income sources
You can combine cash savings with the following categories:
- Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work (referred to as Category A or Category B depending on employment history)
- Non-employment income, for example, property rental income or dividends from shares (Category C)
- State (UK or foreign), occupational or private pension of the applicant’s partner and/or the applicant (Category E)
- Income from self-employment and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK of the partner (referred to as Category F or Category G, depending on which financial year(s) is or are being relied upon.
Cash savings cannot be combined with past earnings, such as income from self-employment (Category F or Category G) or part (2) of Category B. The logic is that this does not provide an accurate picture of the financial resources available to the couple and allows income to be effectively counted twice.
Cash Savings Evidence
Appendix FM-SE sets out specific requirements for the required evidence in paragraphs 11 and 11A. Any bank statements provided must be dated no earlier than 28 days before the date of application. When relying on cash savings held in a personal bank account, the following evidence must be provided:
- Personal bank statements showing that at least the level of cash savings relied upon in the application has been held in an account(s) in the names of the person and their partner jointly throughout 6 months before the date of application, and
- A signed declaration by the account holder(s) specifying the source of the cash savings.
Cash Savings Example for UK Partner Visa
The applicant and her British partner own a house in the USA, where they have been living and working for the past five years. They wish to sell their house before returning to the UK. The property is sold four months before the date of application. They sell their house, and the net proceeds (after professional fees and taxes) are the equivalent of £120,000 (GBP). The applicant provides sufficient evidence supporting the transaction, such as a lawyer’s letter confirming ownership, details of the financial transaction, confirmation from mortgage lenders, and bank statements evidencing the payment of proceeds from the sale (the specific evidence required will depend on the applicant’s circumstances).
The cash savings now held at the date of application meet the requirements of Appendix FM-SE because, taking account of the period they were held as property, the funds have been held by the applicant and under their control for at least six months before the date of application. In addition, the specified evidence required for the period the money has been held as cash savings has been provided.
The financial requirement is met through Category D cash savings.
UK Partner Visa Advice
Our immigration advisers regularly assist foreign national Spouses 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 Spouse Visa application criteria may result in the application being delayed or even refused.
Our UK Spouse Visa lawyers can provide a no-obligation assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a Spouse Visa or professional advice or assistance with preparing a Spouse 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 Spouse Visa. We apply our extensive knowledge and expertise to our client’s needs.
Frequently asked questions
The requirements that an applicant must meet to obtain a spouse visa are set out in Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. These rules contain a minimum income requirement of at least £18,600 or a cash savings requirement of at least £62,500 (or a combination of both).
Savings must be held by the applicant/partner/couple jointly for at least six months before the date of application. Failure to provide evidence of funds held for this period of time will mean the requirements are not met, and the application will be refused.
The bank or savings account can be a current, deposit or investment account, providing that the following requirements are met:
– the account is held in a financial institution regulated by the appropriate regulatory body
– the financial institution is not on a list of excluded institutions set out within the Immigration Rules;
– the funds have been held for six months before the date of application;
– regular bank statements are provided for the necessary time period;
– the savings are held in cash, or their cash value is clear and can be withdrawn immediately;
– the source of the funds is legal and has been declared;
Savings accumulated from legal sources can be counted as cash savings, such as :
– A gift from a parent
– Cash earned from employment saved over time
– Proceeds from the sale of property
– Liquidated stocks, shares or bonds
Income from the following sources will not be counted towards the financial requirement:
– Any subsidy or financial support from a third party other than specified payment/grants/stipends
– Income from others who live in the same household (except any dependent child over 18 and continues to be counted towards the higher income threshold
– Loans and credit facilities
– Income-related benefits such as Income support, pension credit, housing benefit, etc
– Any other source of income not specified in Appendix FM-SE as counting towards the financial requirement
To rely solely on cash savings, you must show £62,500. The funds can be held in GBP or in another currency, provided that the level of funds did not drop below £62,500 in the relevant period using the closing exchange rate at the date of application, using the currency conversion rate published on Oanda.com.