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What you need to know about the changes to the UK Spouse Visa

22 January 2024
What you need to know about the changes to the UK Spouse Visa

How much do I need to earn?

The UK government has been revising its proposals to raise income threshold for family visa (spouse/dependants) in recent months. Initially, the government said the partner in the UK must earn a minimum of £38,700 per year to bring their partner to the UK, which takes effect from Spring 2024. Subsequently, presumably due to public pressure, the government modified the plan. At present, the anticipated timescale for the change is likely to be:

Minimum income threshold for the UK partner:

Currently                                                     £18,600 per annum

From Spring 2024                                     £29,000 per annum

Later in 2024 (time unspecified)           £34,500 per annum

Early 2025                                                   £38,700 per annum

The leap in income threshold could become a significant obstacle for family reunion where the UK partner is earning below the threshold. Overseas partners who have been relaxed in making applications to come to the UK should consider making their application earlier than later to avoid having to show a higher income

What incomes counts?

At the first application when the overseas partner is applying for entry clearance to the UK, only the UK partner’s income can be counted. At applications for extension and settlement (permanent residence), the incomes of the couple can be combined.

Incomes can be one of the following:

  • From employment
  • Sustainable non-employment income (such as from rental property, ongoing allowances)
  • Self-employment
  • Pension
  • Cash savings

Applicants are required to submit evidence showing sustainable incomes covering the past 6 or 12 months, depending on the type of the incomes, such as payslips, tax returns, self-employment business accounts, etc.

In terms of cash savings, funds held by the couple can be combined. Under the current rules, the couple need to have at least £62,500 where there is no other countable income. The government has not indicated how the figure will change with the forthcoming increased income threshold. If the same calculation formula remains, the figure would be pushed up to £88,500 to meet the income threshold of £29,000.

Will the change affect my extension or settlement application?

The answer is no. The Home Office has announced that the change will only apply to first-time applications. If you have already been granted a visa/permission to stay as a partner under family route or you apply before the change comes into effect, you would only need to meet the current income requirement which is £18,600 for your application and subsequent applications for extension/settlement.

The UK Immigration Rules undergo continuous changes. Our dedicated immigration team at Davenport Solicitors is committed to offering comprehensive advice tailored to your individual circumstances.

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