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:
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:
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:
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:
The immigration rules allow for applications to be made to enter or remain in the United Kingdom on the basis of relationships where the couple are not married or in a civil partnership. Opposite sex couples who are not married are referred to as "unmarried partners", same sex couples who are not in a civil partnership are referred to as "same sex couples". The rules are the same whether an unmarried or same sex partner. The immigration rules require that the couple must be living together in a relationship "akin to marriage or civil partnership" which has continued for two years or more. This is interpreted by the Home Office and Embassies abroad to mean two years' cohabitation and strong evidence of this cohabitation will be needed. If you plan to make an application yourself you must read the rules and the Home Office policy section thoroughly as this page only provides a very brief overview. The partners of EEA nationals should follow the European guidance specific to them. The particular circumstances of a couple will dictate the appropriate place to make the application (in the UK or outside), the form to be used, and the length of stay to be granted.
Entry clearance is given for six months, during which time you will not be allowed to work. You must show the following:
that you plan to marry or register a civil partnership within six months of arrival in the UK (though in exceptional circumstances an extension of this time-limit is possible) there must be a place for you to stay before your marriage / civil partnership (this can be with your prospective partner, or elsewhere) there must be sufficient funds to maintain you without working and without access to welfare provisions. Once you are married you can apply for leave to remain on that basis. You will be granted an initial period of two and a half years, after which you must extend your leave to remain for a further two and a half years before you are eligible to apply for settlement. There are no restrictions on working after you have been granted leave to remain as a spouse of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom.
A marriage can form the basis of an application to remain in or enter the United Kingdom. Applications can be made by the spouses of British citizens, UK permanent residents, European Economic Area nationals who are living in the United Kingdom and of other nationals who have certain types of limited stay in the United Kingdom.
if you are in the UK and want to extend your leave or apply for settlement in the UK you will need to meet the suitability requirement.
*An applicant whose sponsor is in receipt of any of the following disability related benefits will be exempt from the financial requirement in respect of that application stage:
If you plan to make an application yourself, you must read the Immigration Rules relating to marriages and the Home Office policy section thoroughly as this page only provides a very brief overview. The partners of EEA nationals should follow the European guidance specific to them. Many applications may be straight forward, but some people will find it difficult to meet the requirements of the immigration rules or they may have a difficult immigration history. It is also good practice to have your documents checked by a solicitor to ensure you are providing the necessary documents/information, which is required as a shortcoming in documentation, can lead to a refusal of your application thus incurring further expense and delay in obtaining entry clearance