Since 9 July 2012, the Immigration Rules have contained a financial requirement to be met by a person applying for entry clearance to, leave to remain in and indefinite leave to remain in the UK as the non-EEA national partner or dependent child of a person who is:
a British Citizen; or
present and settled in the UK; or
in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection
Unless exempt there is a minimum income threshold that must be met. The minimum income threshold for a Partner applying from 9 July 2012, without dependent children, is £18,600.
However, where the application includes sponsorship of a child at the same time (or at any time before the applicant reaches settlement), the minimum income threshold increases and there is a higher financial requirement to be met.
The level of the financial requirement to be met in cases involving dependent children varies and is determined by the number of children who already have leave, or are applying for leave, at the date of application.
An additional gross annual income of £3,800 is required for the first child sponsored in addition to the Partner and an additional £2,400 for each further child. The level of the financial requirement will therefore be for example:
Partner with no children – £18,600.
1 child in addition to the partner – £22,400.
2 children in addition to the partner – £24,800.
3 children in addition to the partner – £27,200.
Promises of support from a third party cannot be counted towards the financial requirement. The applicant and their partner must have the required resources under their own control, not somebody else‟s. Promises of support from a third party are vulnerable to a change in that person‟s circumstances or in the applicant‟s or partner‟s relationship with them.
Exceptions to the Financial Requirement
Where the applicant‟s partner is in receipt of any of the following benefits or allowances in the UK, the applicant will be able to meet the financial requirement at that application stage by providing evidence of “adequate maintenance” rather than meeting an income threshold:
Disability Living Allowance.
Severe Disablement Allowance.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
Personal Independence Payment.
Ways of meeting the Financial Requirement
Where the applicant has to meet the minimum income threshold, the financial requirement can be met in the following 5 ways:
Income from salaried or non-salaried employment of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category A or Category B, depending on the employment history.
Non-employment income, e.g. income from property rental or dividends from shares. This is referred to as Category C.
Cash savings of the applicant‟s partner and/or the applicant, above £16,000, held by the partner and/or the applicant for at least 6 months and under their control. This is referred to as Category D.
State (UK or foreign) or private pension of the applicant‟s partner and/or the applicant. This is referred to as Category E.
Income from self-employment, and income as a director of a specified limited company in the UK, of the partner (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). This is referred to as Category F or Category G, depending on which financial year(s) is or are being relied upon.