Thursday, 10 September 2015

Another interesting post on The Telegraph website, a comment that foreign spouse’s pension can’t be counted for his UK Spouse visa. It can be! Plus solution for a (fictional) Serena Williams and her (fictional) British husband's visa.

In the article below it was one of the comments that attracted our attention. It was from a person who had a British wife and said that his British wife was expected to meet the £18,600 Financial Requirement whilst his foreign pension could not be counted.

Article link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/expat-money/11713544/Expat-families-torn-apart-by-UK-visa-requirements.html#disqus_thread

We wanted to post this because the above opinion is incorrect, according to the UK Immigration Rules (immigration law). There is indeed a requirement that only the British spouse’s income can be counted at the entry clearance stage (application from outside the UK) but it only applies to income from employment or self-employment. This rule does not apply to pension or savings or most of non-employment income, such as rental income. So, if a foreign spouse receives pension in any country, then he/she can use it to meet the Financial Requirement. It does need to be looked in properly, though, as there are some exclusions to the types of pension (the standard, retirement pension is usually allowed, as our successful visa applications proved).

It is also common to combine foreign pension with either UK employment of a British spouse (when the spouse is already in the UK) or with savings. With pension, the amount of savings will be lower than £62,500 depending on how much pension is.

The above can be found on the Appendix FM of the Rules (which is not easy to read, though): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-rules-appendix-fm

As there are many comments from the residents in the USA, another comment says that if Serena Williams (presumably, the American tennis star) marred a Brit she couldn’t come here unless her British husband has a job in the UK earning £18,600. This is also not true because Serena could meet the Financial Requirement via Savings category, she could easily afford savings of £62,500, which can be on her name only, without “her” British husband’s money even mentioned on the visa application.

If she did marry Alan Sugar’s son, as was also suggested in the comments, his (Lord Sugar’s) support would indeed make no difference. However, Sir Alan could transfer £62,500 on his son’s bank account, the couple could wait for 6 months and apply for Serena’s visa using the Savings category.

The law does provide many ways to meet the Financial Requirement (the issue of fairness aside, as it is up to the Government to write the rules, we can only advise on them). As a firm of experienced immigration advisers, we deal with such applications every day and can advise on various solutions within the Rules. It does not address the unfairness of this process (particularly when it comes to a spouse being an EEA national, rather than British), but with our help you could plan the clear point in the future when you become eligible for a Spouse visa.

For a professional advice or a UK visa application please visit 1st 4Immigration website www.1st4immigration.com or email info@1st4immigration.com