Changes to the spouse visa financial requirements
Following the decision in MM (Lebanon) & Others v SSHD  UKSC 10, the Home Office have amended the Immigration Rules to help family members satisfy the financial requirements of Appendix FM.
£18,600 per annum remains the same
Although the Home Office have amended the rules for spouses and family members to satisfy the financial requirement of Appendix FM, the minimum financial requirement of £18,600 to sponsor your partner and the requirement of £22,400 to sponsor a partner and child will remain the same.
However, the new rules have now allowed additional forms of financial sources which can be used in order to help satisfy the financial requirements of Appendix FM.
Additional sources of income
The new rules can however, only be taken into consideration when there are “exceptional circumstances” e.g. best interest of the child.
The sources of income which will be acceptable are:
- Credible guarantee of sustainable support to the applicant or their partner from a third party e.g. from family members;
- Credible prospective sustainable UK earnings from employment or self-employment of the applicant or their partner; and
- Any other credible and reliable source of income which is available to the couple.
It is important to note that loans will not suffice and ‘sustainable’ means that there must be sufficient evidence of how much money is available, who is providing the support and the length of time of the support.
As the onus will be on the applicant to provide all the relevant information, it is advised that the more supporting documents which you provide, the more likeliness of the application being granted under “exceptional circumstances”.
Eligibility for settlement
If the application is granted under “exceptional circumstances”, the new rules set a 10 year route to permanent settlement instead of 5 years. .
It will therefore result in the applicant being required to submit additional leave to remain applications over the 10 year period which will turn out to be quite expensive in the long run.