Financial Requirements for UK Spouse Visa Applications

The financial requirements for a partner or spouse visa under Appendix FM are one of the crucial points to satisfy for a successful application. However, this is a very complex area of immigration rules, especially with the latest updates. This article aims to make the process clearer and outlines the key points to take into account.

Who Needs to Meet the Financial Requirement?

The financial requirement must be met by individuals applying for entry clearance, permission to stay, or settlement in the UK as a partner or dependent child of a person who is:

  • A British Citizen
  • Present and settled in the UK
  • In the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection
  • In the UK with permission under Appendix EU, as a worker or business person under Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay, or as a stateless person

What is the Minimum Income Requirement?

In April 2024, significant changes were introduced to the minimum income requirement. The minimum income requirement is the income threshold that must be met to sponsor a family member. The combined gross annual income for applicants under Appendix FM increased from the current threshold of £18,600 to £29,000. This threshold is set to gradually rise further, reaching £38,700 by early 2025.

Calculating the Minimum Income Requirement

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

  • Salaried and Non-Salaried Employment (Categories A and B)

Income from employment where the sponsor has been with the same employer for at least six months.

  • Non-Employment Income (Category C)

Income from sources such as property rental or dividends.

  • Cash Savings (Category D)

Savings above £16,000 that have been held for at least six months.

  • Pensions (Category E)

Income from state, occupational, or private pensions.

  • Self-Employment or Director Income (Categories F and G)
    Income from self-employment or as a director of a specified limited company.

Meeting the Financial Requirement in Great Detail

Category A: With Current Employer for 6 Months or More

If you or your partner have been employed with the same employer for at least six months, you can use this income to meet the financial requirement. The gross annual income must be equal to or exceed the level required for the minimum income requirement - £29,000.

  • Salaried Employment: You must have been paid at a level that meets or exceeds the minimum income requirement during the last six months.
  • Non-Salaried Employment: Income from hourly or variable work rates is annualised. Calculate by dividing total income over six months by six, then multiply by twelve to get the annual equivalent.

For instance, this is how you can calculate the non-salaried income:

Firstly, calculate total Gross Income for the Last 6 Months:


Secondly, calculate Average Monthly Income:

£15,100 : 6=£2,516.676

Then quantify annual Equivalent of Average Monthly Income:


In this example, your annual equivalent income from non-salaried employment is £30,200.04, which exceeds the financial requirement of £29,000.

Category B: Less Than 6 Months with Current Employer or Variable Income

If you have been with their current employer for less than six months or have variable income:

  • Current Employment Income: Use the total income from the last twelve months.
  • Previous Employment: Combine with income from previous employment within the last twelve months to meet the minimum income requirement.

Category C: Non-Employment Income

Income from non-employment sources can be used to meet the financial requirement.

  • Rental Income: Income from rental property.
  • Dividends: Income from dividends on investments.
  • Interest: Interest from savings or investments.
  • Other Sources: Any other regular income that can be documented and verified.

Category D: Cash Savings

In addition to the income changes, the savings requirement has also been revised. As the applicants have the option to use their savings instead of income to meet the financial requirement, it is crucial to understand this change.  

  • Threshold: Only savings above £16,000 are considered. To meet the minimum income threshold using cash savings, a couple with no children would now need £88,500 in cash savings, up from the previous requirement of £62,500 for the same route. This increase reflects the broader changes in the financial requirements aimed at ensuring applicants have sufficient resources to support themselves without recourse to public funds.
  • Duration: Savings must be held for at least six months.
  • Where does the amount of £88,500 comes from?

Example Calculation

  • For initial applications, divide the amount above £16,000 by 2.5. For settlement applications, the entire amount above £16,000 can be used.
  • Total Cash Savings: £88,500
  • Savings Above Threshold: £88,500 - £16,000 = £72,500
  • Contribution from Savings for Initial Application: £72,500 ÷ 2.5 = £29,000

In this example, the savings contribute £29,000 towards meeting the financial requirement.

Category E: Pension Income

Pension income can also be used to meet the minimum income requirement:

  • Types of Pensions: State, occupational, or private pensions are eligible.
  • Evidence: You are required to provide documents showing the pension amount and regularity of payments.

Category F: Income from Self-Employment

For those who are self-employed, the financial requirement can be met using income from self-employment:

  • Last Financial Year: Use income from the most recent full financial year.
  • Documents Required:
    • Tax Returns: Provide the most recent tax return submitted to HMRC.
    • Business Accounts: Provide annual accounts for the most recent full financial year. These accounts should be certified by an accountant.
    • Bank Statements: Provide bank statements showing income from the business.
    • Invoices and Receipts: Provide evidence of income through invoices and receipts.
  • Calculation: The income is based on the total income generated from self-employment, including profits after business expenses.

Category G: Income from a Specified Limited Company

For directors or employees of a specified limited company:

  • Average Income: Use the average income from the last two full financial years.
  • Documents Required:
    • Company Accounts: Provide full company accounts for the last two financial years.
    • Tax Returns: Provide the most recent tax return submitted to HMRC.
    • Salary and Dividends: Evidence of salary and dividends paid by the company.
  • Calculation: Combine the salary and dividends received over the two-year period to calculate the average annual income.

Combining Income Sources

If necessary, you can combine income from certain categories to meet the MIR. For example, income from salaried employment can be combined with non-employment income, cash savings, or pension income. By understanding these financial requirements and preparing accordingly, you can greatly increase the chances of a successful application for family migration to the UK.

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