To apply for a visa to enter the UK, leave to remain in the UK, or indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a partner, it is necessary to meet the financial requirements specified in Appendix FM of UK immigration law.
These financial requirements are in place to ensure that individuals who come to the UK as partners will not rely on public funds and will be able to support themselves and any dependents financially. Failure to meet these requirements may result in a rejection of the visa application.
It is essential to carefully review and understand the financial requirements outlined in Appendix FM before applying for a UK visa as a partner. This blog post delves into self-employment income and successfully applying for a UK family visa. We’ll cover topics such as the documents you’ll need to provide as proof of your income and how to demonstrate your ability to support your family in the UK financially.
Partner Visa Minimum Income Requirement
Under the minimum income requirement, the sponsoring partner must have an income of at least £18,600 per year. This threshold is higher for sponsors with children: the income requirement is £22,400 per year for the first child, plus an additional £2,400 per year for each additional child.
To meet the requirement through self-employment, you will need to provide evidence of your income, such as self-assessment tax returns, business accounts, and a letter from an accountant or other professional confirming your self-employment status and income.
The self-employed income can belong to you as the applicant if you are legally able to work on a self-employed basis in the UK or belong to your sponsoring spouse or partner. If your income as a sponsor comes through self-employment, it is not your turnover that is relevant or your retained profit but the income you (or your sponsoring partner) draw from the business.
Types of Self-Employment Income That Can Be Used for a UK Partner Visa
Under immigration rules, the self-employment business must be ongoing at the time of the application, and the documentation required for a visa application will depend on the form of self-employment. The following types of self-employment are permitted under the rules:
- Self-employment as a sole trader, partnership, or franchise can be used to meet the financial requirements of a UK visa application, or
- Being a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK can also be used to meet financial requirements. A specified limited company is one in which the applicant, their partner, or listed family members hold shares (directly or indirectly) and any remaining shares are held by fewer than five other people.
Self-employed income evidence to meet the financial requirement
According to the spouse visa immigration rules, there are two ways to demonstrate that the financial requirement has been met through self-employment:
- Category F – using the last full financial year of self-employment income before the application to evidence that you meet the financial requirement or
- Category G – using the average of the last two full financial years of self-employment income to evidence that you meet the financial requirement. You would choose Category G, where your income in the year before applying falls shorts of the minimum income requirement.
In most cases, the financial year may be the same as the HMRC tax year, which runs from 6 April to 5 April each year. The financial year may also be the company’s accounting year, which may differ from the HMRC. Overseas self-employment income will usually fall within the tax year of the country in which it was earned and taxed.
To discuss your UK Partner Visa application with an experienced immigration adviser, contact our team on 0208 757 5751 or complete our contact form.
Combining Self-Employment Income with Other Forms of Income for a UK Partner Visa
You cannot combine income from different financial years, and you can’t combine savings to meet the minimum income requirement. You may combine Income under Category F or Category G with income from salaried and non-salaried employment, non-employment income and pension income to meet the financial requirement.
Using Overseas Self-Employment Income for a UK Partner Visa
Self-employment income from overseas may be accepted as evidence of meeting the financial requirement for a spouse visa if it is the income of the British national partner and they are returning to the UK with the applicant. In this case, the partner must demonstrate that their self-employment will continue in the UK or that they have a confirmed offer of employment starting within three months of arriving in the UK. Supporting evidence may be required, such as a signed employment contract or partnership/franchise agreement. The applicant will also need to provide details of any purchase or rental of business premises.
Evidence of Self-Employment Income for a UK Partner Visa
For self-employment income as a sole trader, partner, or franchise, you will need to provide a few documents to show your income. These documents include annual self-assessment tax returns (SA300/SA302), proof of registration with HMRC as self-employed, and evidence of your Unique Tax Reference number. Additionally, you will need to provide business and personal bank statements for the relevant period, which could be either one or two full financial years.
To demonstrate the ongoing nature of your self-employment, you may need to provide audited or unaudited accounts, a VAT returns if your business has a VAT registration and a turnover over £79,000, evidence of planning permission or local planning authority consent if required for your business, or a copy of your franchise agreement.
To demonstrate self-employment income as a director or employee of a limited company in the UK, you will need to provide a Company Tax Return (CT600), evidence of registration with the Registrar of Companies at Companies House, audited or unaudited accounts, an accountants’ certificate of confirmation, corporate/business bank statements, and a current Appointment Report.
To further demonstrate the ongoing nature of your self-employment as a director or employee of a limited company in the UK, you may need to provide a certificate of VAT registration and the VAT return for the relevant financial year(s), proof of ownership or lease of business premises, or original proof of registration with HMRC for PAYE and National Insurance.
To demonstrate self-employment income as a salary or dividends from a company, you will need to provide payslips, a P60 (if issued), personal bank statements, and dividend vouchers (if applicable). These documents will help verify your self-employment income.
It is important to note that the specific documents required to demonstrate self-employment income will depend on your situation.
How can we help
If you are planning to apply for a UK visa, it’s essential to ensure that you have a strong understanding of the requirements and the necessary documentation. An experienced immigration adviser from our team can help you navigate the application process and increase your chances of success.
A dedicated adviser can provide expert guidance on the documentation you will need to provide and help you prepare your application and supporting documents. They can also help you to understand the eligibility criteria for the visa you are applying for and advise you on the best course of action for your situation.
We can provide the support and guidance you need to navigate the UK visa application process confidently and increase your chances of success. If you are considering applying for a UK visa, we encourage you to get in touch with our team to learn more about how we can help. To discuss your application, call our team on 0208 757 5751 or use our contact form.
Frequently asked questions
Whilst on a UK Spouse Visa, you are free to take up any work or business in the UK. However, if you plan to use your UK earned self-employment income for your visa application, you must ensure that you satisfy the minimum income requirement.
The Home Office UKVI are strict regarding the documentary evidence, so you must ensure you satisfy all of the spouse visa requirements otherwise, your application may be refused.