5 sure ways to meet the Financial Requirement £18,600 when both partners are returning to the UK together.

It is a common scenario in our practice: a British/foreign couple returning together to the UK (often with children) after living /working abroad. Most commonly from the USA, Australia/NZ or Asia. Although most our clients have been working there for years, they often find it challenging to find a job offer in the UK before coming back, meaning their non-British spouse/partner would find it difficult to secure a UK visa. 

Here are top 5 solutions from our experience: 

Option 1: Savings.

This is most common. The couple needs savings of £62,500 held for 6 months. Can be in any currency or country. If your family want to help, they have to deposit money on your and/or your partner’s account. You have to wait for 6 months. 

Option 2: British partner coming to the UK alone and working for 6 months.  

This may not sound like a god option at first glance, being apart for 6 months, but it is a realistic option and it often ends up being the only option. 6 months may sound like a long time but at least you are able to pin down a point in the future when you will be eligible for a UK Spouse/partner visa. We often see couples spending months trying to work out how they get around the £18,600 income rule, or even applying anyway and getting a refusal (and losing money), only to revert to this option in the end. It can be particularly difficult to face this if the foreign partner is the one with in-demand skills and with better-paid job prospects (yet we can’t use their work income at this stage). 

So, a British partner moves to the UK on their own, finds a job paying £18,600 per annum, works there for 6 months. During that time, a foreign partner can come here as a visitor and stay for up to 6 months, (but only if non-visa national, such as American). If you require a visitor visa, i.e. visa stamp before travelling, you are unlikely to get it under these circumstances, although nothing ‘s stopping you from trying. It won’t affect your future spouse/partner visa chances. 

If you can’t wait to be together after these long 6 months – get your visa application prepared well before the end of 6 months and submit it as soon as, using he priority service. The priority service takes 1.5 - 2 months (standard service - 3 months). 

We often start working on the case before the British partner comes to the UK in search of a job.  The coupes benefit from our guidance during the whole 6 months. We get the application ready by the end of 6 months and minimise the time you spend apart!

Option 3: Pension or pension/savings together. 

Unlike employment income, pension can be from either partner (not just the British sponsor), from any country and it doesn’t have to have been paid for 6 months. We often see couples with a combination of UK and foreign pensions.

Important! We are talking about pension as income, not the value of the pension pot and not the balance on the pension account. 

If your pension(s) income is below £18,600 per annum, you can add savings. The amount is not the difference, however, but based on the special formula. For example, if your total pension is £10,000 per annum, you need £37,500 in savings. 

Option 4: rental income from a UK property. 

This is common where a British spouse/partner went to work abroad and rented out their UK home. Then they met their non-British partner and at some point, are considering returning to the UK together. 

With a London property, the rent can often be as much as £18,600 per annum. Bizarrely (but true), the Immigration Rules take into account gross rent before any deductions, so one London property can often meet the whole threshold. If not, you can also add savings. 

There is a catch! It cannot be a property that will become your home when you return to the UK – it will stop being a source of income. It could work, however if you are able to provide alternative arrangements (for the visa purpose).  

Option 5: selling a property.   

This comes under the Savings category. The value of a property cannot be used for the Financial Requirement £18,600, but the proceeds of a sale can be. If you sell a property and put the net proceeds to a cash bank account, you can use it as savings. If it’s the only source – you need net proceeds of £62,500. You don’t need to hold the funds in the bank for 6 months! 

For individual advice or to make an application, please visit our website: Spouse Visa page or contact us: info@1st4immigration.com. We respond emails on the same working day.

1st4Immigration is one of the most experienced and prominent UK immigration law companies, accredited by the OISC at the highest Level 3. We have been in business for over 10 years, our OISC reference is 200800152, in which 2008 stands for the year accreditation. Office address: Tower 42 (NatWest Tower), 25 Old Broad Street, City of London, London, EC2N 1HN.


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