UK Spouse Visa Cash Savings £88,500 Requirement

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Partner & Family Visa, UK Immigration

In 2024, significant changes have marked the UK Spouse Visa landscape, notably the adjustment of the minimum income requirement. From its inception in 2012 at £18,600, this threshold has increased to £29,000 in 2024. This shift has inevitably impacted the cash savings requirement for new applicants, increasing to £88,500, if not supplemented by other income sources. Understanding these changes is crucial for anyone navigating the intricate process of applying for a UK Spouse Visa. In this post, we discuss the cash savings requirement for new Spouse Visa applicants.

What is the UK Spouse Visa?

A UK Spouse Visa allows the spouse or partner (including a fiancée, proposed civil partner, or an unmarried partner) of a British citizen or someone settled in the UK to live in the UK for 2.5 years. After 5 years of residency, the applicant can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain and subsequently British Citizenship. To qualify, applicants must meet several criteria, including relationship requirements, English language proficiency, accommodation and financial requirements.

New Financial Requirement for UK Spouse Visa

Effective from 11 April 2024, the minimum income requirement for first-time applicants increased to £29,000 per annum. This requirement is planned to increase to £34,500 later in 2024 and £38,700 in early 2025, bringing the salary threshold on par with migrants on a Skilled Worker Visa.

Unlike the previous minimum income requirement, the £29,000 amount does not increase for families with dependent children. Children applying under Appendix FM must meet the same financial requirements as their parents.

Applicants must demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves and their partners by satisfying the minimum income requirement. This can be met through the following sources:

  • Income from employment or self-employment
  • Non-employment income (such as rental income or dividends)
  • Cash savings (solely or combined with other specified sources)
  • State Pension (UK or foreign, occupational or private).

Cash Savings Amount Required for 2024: £88,500

Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules permits applicants to utilize cash savings to meet the financial requirement. Any sum exceeding £16,000 can be combined with specific income sources or used solely to fulfil the minimum income requirement. This threshold typically marks the point at which an individual no longer qualifies for income-related benefits.

For new applicants relying solely on cash savings, the following amounts are required, depending on the minimum income requirement at the date of applying:

Current Minimum Income Requirement as of 11 April 2024 at £29,000:

  • To satisfy the minimum income requirement with cash savings alone, applicants need £88,500.

Increase to £34,500, later in 2024:

  • Required cash savings increase to £102,250.

Further Increase to £38,700, expected in early 2025:

  • Required cash savings rise to £112,750.

Calculating the Cash Savings Requirement

Appendix FM specifies that the amount of cash savings above £16,000 must be divided by 2.5 (to reflect the duration of leave in years) to determine the usable amount. For example, to meet the minimum income requirement of £29,000 solely through case savings: over 2.5 years, this amounts to £72,500. Adding the base amount of £16,000 gives a total of £88,500.

Combining Income and Savings

For those in paid employment, cash savings may be combined to make up any deficit in the income of that employment (or in the confirmed employment to which they are returning, in the case of overseas sponsors). For instance, if the applicant and/or sponsor has £25,000 in savings, they need an employment income of at least £24,500 to meet the £29,000 requirement.

Cash Savings Criteria

To meet the UK Spouse Visa cash savings requirement, the savings must be:

  • Held in the applicant’s or their partner’s name, either in a joint account or solely.
  • Consistently held for at least six months before the application.
  • In an accessible and regulated financial institution.
  • Free of debt or other financial obligations.

Demonstrating Cash Savings

Applicants must provide clear evidence of their cash savings:

  • Bank statements: Official statements showing the balance over the required six-month period.
  • Declaration of the source of savings: Explanation of the origin of the savings, especially for large deposits.
  • Evidence of financial transfers: Documentation proving any money transfers into the account during the six months prior to applying.

Failure to sufficiently demonstrate that the financial requirement is satisfied is one of the most common reasons for refusals. Applicants must ensure that their financial evidence is accurate, complete, and submitted according to the relevant Immigration Rules. 

Other Requirements

In addition to the financial requirement, Spouse Visa applicants must also satisfy the following requirements:

  • Minimum age: both the applicant and sponsor must be over the age of 18 on the date of applying.
  • Genuine and subsisting relationship: Proof that the relationship is real and ongoing.
  • Accommodation: Evidence of adequate accommodation for the applicant and their family in the UK.
  • English language proficiency: Meeting the required level through an approved test or qualification.
  • Tuberculosis test: Required for applicants from certain countries, conducted at a Home Office-approved clinic.
  • Previous relationships: any prior relationships should have permanently broken down.

How We Can Help

Navigating the UK Spouse Visa application process can be challenging. Consulting with an experienced immigration firm can help ensure your application is prepared accurately. Legal professionals can guide you in meeting the financial requirements, compiling necessary documentation, and addressing potential issues.

For expert advice, contact our team at +44208 757 5751 or use our contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use savings held in foreign currency?

Yes, foreign currency savings will be converted to pounds sterling using the exchange rate from oanda.com on the application date. Fluctuations prior to this date are disregarded.

How long do I need to hold the savings before applying?

Savings must be held for at least six months before the application date.

Can rental income be combined with savings to meet the financial requirement?

Yes, rental income can be combined with savings to meet the requirement. Both sources of income must be documented and verifiable.

Which income requirement applies to applicants seeking an extension within the 5-year partner route?

Applicants already within the 5-year partner, fiancée, or proposed civil partner routes, applying for an extension with the same partner after 11 April 2024, benefit from transitional arrangements. They must meet the lower threshold of £18,600 plus an additional amount of £3,400 for the first child and £2,400 for each subsequent child.

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