Solution for Margaret on how to secure a visa for a non-EEA spouse if the British sponsor earns below £18,600.

The article below, dated last year (but the visa Rules are still the same) was about Margaret, a British woman from Wales, who couldn’t bring her Tunisian husband to the UK because of the Spouse visa rules introduced on 9 July 2012. The Rules require a minimum income of £18,600 per year while Margaret’s salary as a legal secretary was £13,500. Margaret was in a solid employment for the last 10 years, in a respectable occupation in the region where it is not easy to secure a job paying £18,600.
Article link:

Based on the Rules, here is what would have been a possible solution. As immigration professionals (regulated by the OISC), we work with spouse visa applications on the daily basis, with a 100% success rate so far.

At this stage, initial application from outside the UK, only the British spouse’s income from employment can be taken into account, so we would suggest Margaret to find a 2nd job, such as on the weekends. Any type of work, just to make up the difference between £18,600 and £13,500. After 6 months she can sponsor her Tunisian husband for a UK Spouse visa, meeting the Financial Requirement on the basis of “working for the same employer in the UK for the last 6 months”. In this case it would be 2 employments but it is permitted by the Rules. Margaret doesn’t have to stay in the 2nd job after her husband has secured his visa. A Spouse visa allows working in the UK, so once the husband arrived here, he could also work. At the next visa stage – extension for further 2.5 years – the couple can combine their incomes to meet the £18,600 threshold, which is achievable even if both are working were to earn no more than the minimum wage. If the husband happens to earn at least £18,600 pa then only his income alone can be counted at the next visa stages.

Another alternative would be for Margaret’s family to help, if they can find savings of £28,750  (£18,600 - £13,500 = £5,100 the difference, so need savings of £5,100 x 2.5 +£16,000 = £28,750). This amount of £28,750 has to be transferred to Margaret’s own account and held for 6 months, then she will meet the Financial Requirement and will be able to bring her husband to the UK. Savings can also be on the husband’s account or on several accounts belonging to the couple.

Yes, it means 6 months of waiting but it also means there will be a clear point in the future when a foreign spouse can finally arrive in the UK to be with his wife; this will make planning easier.

As for the English language, it only requires the most basic A1 level in Speaking and Listening, which is not a problem for a basic speaker (especially if the couple communicate only in English). If you were told it was a higher, B1, level, we have a post on our Blog explaining why there was a confusion and that there were 2 meanings of the term “settlement”:

As for the Life in the UK Test, that’s only for permanent residency after 5 years in the UK.

For a professional advice or a UK visa application please visit 1st 4Immigration website or email or visit our Blog:

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