Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Do I have to use the same method of meeting the Financial Requirement (£18,600) as I used in the previous Spouse/Partner application?

For example, if you used employment income when your spouse/partner was coming to the UK,  does it mean you have to keep the same job? Do you have to keep working at all for the duration of the Spouse/Partner visa? Or, if you used a Savings Category (D) and held £62,500 for 6 months, does it mean you have to keep the money until the next application?

The above are very common questions in our practice. The answer is: every application is considered based on the financials at the time of that application, so you can certainly vary the method of achieving the Financial Requirement threshold (£18,600 income or £62,500 savings). So, if you used savings of £62,500 when your spouse secured his/her initial Spouse visa, then after 2.5 years you can use a different method, such as earnings from your job – as long as it meets the Financial Requirement and you can provide the Specified Evidence (specified documents in the format the UK Visas and Immigration wants them).

Moreover, it can be either spouse’s income, as long as it meets the requirements. For example, if the initial visa was based on the British partner’s job in the UK, extension after 2.5 years can be based just on the foreign partner’s job in the UK. As long as the foreign partner is earning enough. Since the foreign partner has had a right to work in the UK while on the initial Spouse/Partner visa (but not a Fiancée visa), he/she can use those earnings to meet the Financial Requirement for an extension or even for Indefinite Leave after 5 years.

It can also be a combination of both partners’ earnings, if required to reach the minimum £18,600 (as long as the foreign partner has had a right to work in the UK). This will include switching from, say, a Tier 2 or even a Tier 4 visa if the foreign partner was working in the UK legally.

If both partners work and each can reach £18,600 individually, then the application can be based on only one partner’s earnings, does not matter whose. You may be tempted to add the other partner’s financials anyway – and there if no harm in doing it! Well, apart from having to deal with 2 piles of paperwork instead of one. In terms of meeting the Rules, it won’t make any difference, however. Whether you are meeting the threshold ‘just’, ie just over it; or whether you are meeting it very comfortably, the only thing that matters is whether you meet it or not!

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