UK Family Visa Requirements

How to Meet UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirements with Savings in 2024

Getting a UK Spouse Visa requires you to meet several requirements. One is proving you can support yourself financially. This requirement ensures you and your spouse can live in the UK without relying on public funds. Usually, you meet this requirement by showing a certain income. But you can also fulfil this using savings and other ways.

Let’s look at how you can use savings to meet the UK spouse visa needs in 2024.

Understanding UK Spouse Visas in 2024

If you’re a non-UK national looking to settle in the UK for an extended period with your spouse, the spouse visa is your getaway. This visa is specifically for those planning to join their loved ones in the UK for over six months, covering various relationships like spouses, partners, children, parents, or even relatives who provide long-term care.

Holding a UK spouse visa not only allows you to live with your loved ones in the UK, but it also grants you the opportunity to work. Moreover, after meeting certain residency requirements, which typically involve living in the UK continuously, spouse visa holders can apply for ILR. This status marks a significant milestone as it awards them permanent residency in the UK.

Eligibility Requirements for UK Spouse Visa

When securing a UK Spouse visa, the requirements can vary based on your individual circumstances. However, there are some standard criteria that you’ll need to meet, regardless of the visa category. Let’s take a look at these key requirements:

  • Relationship Proof: You must provide proof of your connection with your partner in the UK. This could be a wedding certificate for a partner visa, a birth certificate for a child, or other relevant documents proving your familial connection.
  • Financial Requirement: Your UK spouse must demonstrate that they can economically sustain your you without depending on public funds. This could be through income, savings, or a combination of both.
  • English Language Proficiency: For most family visa applications, you, as the foreign spouse, must show that you can speak and understand English to a certain level. This usually involves passing an approved English language test.
  • Accommodation: Proof of adequate accommodation is required. You need to show that when you come to the UK, you will have a suitable place to live that accommodates you and your family without overcrowding.
  • Tuberculosis (TB) Test Results: If you’re coming from a country where TB tests are required, you’ll need to provide a certificate to show you’re free from tuberculosis.
  • No Major Criminal Record: Applicants must not have a serious criminal record and should not pose a threat to the UK’s national security.

Each of these criteria plays a vital role in the application process, and they collectively ensure that the spouse visa system aligns with the UK’s immigration policies and standards. 

Financial Requirement for UK Spouse Visas – Important Updates in 2024

UK spouses or partners must establish their ability to cover the costs of themselves and their foreign spouse in the UK. This need can be accomplished via a variety of methods, including earnings, cash savings, or a mixture of the two.

The financial prerequisite for a UK family visa is undergoing significant updates in 2024. As of April 11th, 2024, the minimum income requirement for all UK family visas is £29,000. Additionally, there are more anticipated increases coming into place – first to £34,500, later in 204 and to £38,700 by early 2025. 

Let’s take a look at how these changes will impact various applicants:

  • New Applicants After April 2024: Post-April 2024, new applicants without a five-year partner Spouse Visa must have a UK partner that meets the £29,000 minimum income criterion.
  • Applications Before April 2024 Increase: Applications for a Spouse Visa will be assessed under the minimum income requirement of £18,600 if an application was made before the increase in April 2024.
  • Existing Spouse Visa Holders on the Five-Year Route: If you’re already in the UK on a Spouse Visa under the five-year route (before April 2024), you’ll continue to be evaluated under the £18,600 income requirement. This also holds true when applying for an extension, leave to remain, or permanent settlement, including for children joining you.
  • Switching Visa Categories Within the UK: For those in the UK on a different visa category looking to switch to the five-year partner route after the changes, the income requirement of £29,000 will be applicable.

Also read: What Are the New UK Spouse Visa Requirements in 2024?

Satisfying the Spouse Visa Financial Requirement Through Savings

While income is often the primary method of meeting this requirement, it’s essential to know that you can also fulfil it through savings. This option is particularly valuable for those who might not meet the minimum income threshold but have substantial savings. Here’s how you can use your savings to satisfy the financial requirements at different thresholds:

  • Current Financial Threshold (£29,600): At the current stage, if your income doesn’t meet the £29,000 threshold, you can compensate with savings. You are required to have cash savings of £88,500.
  • After an Increase to £34,500, later in 2024, Once the threshold rises to £34,500, the amount of savings required also increases. Applicants will need to have cash savings of £102,250.
  • Further, Increase to £38,700 in 2025: Looking ahead to 2025, when the financial threshold rises to £38,700, applicants will need to demonstrate even higher savings, specifically £112,750.

Rules for Satisfying the Spouse Visa Financial Requirement Through Savings

When it comes to fulfilling the financial requirement for a UK spouse visa through savings, it’s essential to adhere to specific guidelines.

Appendix FM-SE of the UK immigration rules outlines specific requirements for the documentary evidence needed for the UK-based partner to count cash savings towards the financial requirement. It’s crucial to comply with these requirements to sidestep any intricacies in the application procedure.

First and foremost, the funds must be kept in cash in a personal or savings account. This account might be completely in the applicant’s or their spouse’s name, or it can be jointly owned. This amount has to be kept at a financial institution licenced by the proper regulatory body and readily available.

There’s also a stipulation on the duration these savings must have been held. They should have been in the account for at least six months before the date of application. 

The origin of these savings is equally crucial. They can come from any legal source, such as gifts from family or friends. What’s important is that the source of these savings is declared in the visa application, ensuring transparency. This aspect underscores the importance of documentation and legitimacy in the process.

Finally, cash savings can be combined with other kinds of income, such as paid and non-salaried work, non-employment income, and pension payments, to satisfy financial obligations.

However, They cannot be coupled with income from self-employment or money earned while serving as a director of a limited business. 

Other Ways to Satisfying the Financial Requirements for UK Spouse Visas

Other methods can be employed besides savings to meet the economic prerequisite for a UK-based partner to fullfil to bring their foreign spouse to the country on a visa. However, please note that these routes must equal the savings amount if they are utilised.

They include:

  1. Pension Income: Income from pensions can be used to meet financial requirements. This can be particularly relevant for older applicants or those who are retired.
  2. Investments: Income from stocks and shares can be used to demonstrate that you are financially sound; however, you will need to sell these to meet the saving requirement during the application process.
  3. Non-Employment Income: Other sources of earnings, such as rental gain or stock dividends, can also contribute towards the financial requirement. It is critical to have correct documents to prove this revenue.
  4. Combining Different Sources of Income: Applicants may combine a variety of incomes to achieve the criterion. For instance, one can combine income from employment with pension income or other non-employment income. However, cash savings cannot be coupled with earnings from self-employment or directorship in a specific limited business.
  5. Combined Income of Partners: For partners, applicants’ income can be combined with their partner, offering a collaborative approach to fulfilling this financial obligation. It’s important to note, however, that earnings from employment outside the UK, which would be lost upon the approval of your visa, cannot be included in this calculation.

Also read: How Much is a Spouse Visa UK in 2024? [ Guide]

How Can Spouse Visa Lawyers Help With Your Spouse or Other Family Visa?

We understand getting a spouse visa refusal letter can be upsetting. That’s why our devoted lawyers are here to help. We make the process easier and guide you at each step.

From understanding the laws to readying your application, our team is dedicated to a smooth and successful path. We value family and want to help you reunite or stay together.

Don’t let the legal stuff scare you. Reach out to Spouse Visa Lawyers today for tailored help, and start your UK family journey with confidence!

You Ask, We Answer

FAQs about spouse visa savings requirements

Yes, you can combine cash savings with other income sources to meet the minimum income requirement for a UK Family Visa. For the best advice, please speak with our team directly.

To prove that you meet the spouse visa financial requirement with cash savings, you will need to provide evidence of the amount of cash savings held in your account prior to the date of your application.

Yes, you can rely solely on cash savings to meet the financial requirements for a UK Family Visa as long as you can demonstrate that you have the required savings level.

The processing period for a spouse visa varies based on the country and particular events. It can range from a few months to over a year. It’s important to submit a complete and accurate application to avoid delays.

In many cases, family visas can be a pathway to permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship, depending on the country’s immigration laws and the visa holder’s continuous legal status.

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