DRSI LAW

UK SPOUSE VISA Concessions During COVID focusing on the “minimum income requirement”

The Immigration Rules regarding a UK spouse inviting his/her/their partner to join them in the UK, have contained a financial requirement which is to be met by the Petitioner. This is the person responsible for applying for a Visa for their partner either at entry level, remaining in the UK or at the final stage of Permanent residency ( ILR).  The request can be made for a spouse partner or a dependent child. 

The requestor can be either:  

  • a British Citizen;
  • someone who is present and “settled” in the UK 
  • someone in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection. 
  • someone in the UK with limited leave under Appendix EU, in accordance with paragraph GEN 1.3.(d) 
  • someone in the UK with limited leave as a worker or business person under Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay, in accordance with paragraph GEN 1.3.

Who is a Dependent? A dependent ‘partner’ means an applicant’s fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner or either gender.

A dependent ‘child’, should be read as appropriate to refer to the applicant’s parent.

Calculating the financial requirement 

The applicant must meet the financial requirement in the form of a minimum income requirement. 

The minimum income requirement for a Partner applying without dependent children, is £18,600. 

The minimum income requirement for a Partner applying with dependent children, requires an additional gross annual income of £3,800 for the first child – in addition to the partner and an additional £2,400 for each further child. 

The level of the financial requirement will therefore be: 

  • partner with no children or no children who are subject to the income requirement – £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 

Who are not required to be sponsored by the financial requirements?

The financial requirement does not apply to a child who: 

  • is a British Citizen (including an adopted child who acquires British citizenship) 
  • is an Irish Citizen 
  • is a European Economic Area (EEA) national resident in the UK with free movement rights under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 for as long as those rights remain in force until the end of the grace period on 30 June 2021 
  • has been or is being granted leave to enter or remain under the EU Settlement Scheme (including settled status in accordance with paragraph EU2 or EU2A and pre-settled status in accordance with EU3 and EU3A of Appendix EU) 
  • is settled in the UK or who qualifies for indefinite leave to enter 
  • qualifies under Part 8 or Appendix Armed Forces of the Immigration Rules in a category to which the financial requirement does not apply

Coronavirus Concessions

During the Pandemic, families have fallen short of the financial requirements whilst losing their jobs or taking pay cuts in their salaries. This has seriously affected those applying for their spouses entry clearance or extension applications.

Immigration did not focus on this issue, until 8 June 2020 and there were no published guidelines on the UKVI website regarding people who fell short of the financial requirements and could not sponsor their loved ones to join them any longer. 

Today, 24 March 2020 (Link to HomeOffice), a new Legal publication seen here is now published specifying the concessions available: 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents#if-youre-applying-to-enter-the-uk-or-remain-on-the-basis-of-family-or-private-life

Changes to the minimum income and adequate maintenance requirement. It says:

If you’ve experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus up to 31 May 2021, we will consider employment income for the period immediately before the loss of income, provided the minimum income requirement was met for at least 6 months immediately before the date the income was lost.

If your salary has reduced because you’re furloughed we will take account of your income as though you’re earning 100% of your salary.

If you’re self-employed, a loss of annual income due to coronavirus between 1 March 2020 and 31 May 2021 will usually be disregarded, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications.

This concession has been extended to 31st  May 2021. 

Example: 

Jack works for Boots as a Pharmacist assistant in Brent Cross and was earning “  £25,000 a year. He has worked there for 3 years before Corona Virus. He met Sally from Ghana and they had got married in January 2020 and was preparing his paperwork to file for a Spouse visa. He has read the rules and seen that the financial requirements require evidence to show an annual income of over  £18,600 since Sally had no kids. 

Unfortunately in March 2020, a week prior to submitting the case, Jack’s salary was halved. In April 2020 Kack was was put on furlough and sent home! 

In June 2020, Jack read the new Concession Laws and followed the rules:

  1. Since Jack experienced “a loss of income due to coronavirus up to in March 2020, which was before 31 May 2021”, the UKVI will consider employment income for the period immediately before the loss of income, and he can show the salary that he earned since he can provide that the minimum income requirement was met for at least 6 months immediately before the date the income was lost. 
  2. In June 2020, Jack was furloughed , but the UKVI will take account of an extra 20% income as though he is earning 100% of his salary and not 80% as is received in furlough.

Please always consult with an experience British Immigration Solicitor for the updated and correct and accurate information for your families future – www.drsi-law.com

Written by Daliah Sklar, UK Solicitor and Immigration Expert

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