Spouse Visa Financial Requirements: Basic English. Easy to understand.

Applicants often use salary to meet the financial criteria. Category A and Category B describe employment income. These 2 categories are the main focus of this article.

Unless the applicant has the permission to work in the UK, only the British (ILR or with permission to work) partner’s salary can be counted.

Category A includes employees with more than six months of service. Category B includes persons with unpredictable incomes and less than six months of employment.

Category A

Salaried employment in the UK

The applicant’s partner must show that they’ve worked for the same employer for six months. Partner’s gross annual compensation counts toward financial criteria.

It’s not enough to establish that the partner’s gross yearly income surpasses the required financial threshold; they must also show that in the six months before the application, they got a salary that equaled or exceeded the level relied on in the application.

If gross yearly income falls below the required threshold, add any of the following:

Gross amount of specified non-employment income, e.g. property, shares, providing the partner possessed the asset in the 12 months prior to the application and still owns it at the date of application;
Pension income; partner’s cash reserves exceeding £16,000 held for at least six months before application. The amount above £16,000 must be reduced by 2.5 at the entry clearance or additional leave to remain stage to represent the 212 year or 30 month time before the applicant must reapply. The amount of cash savings depends on the shortage. If the applicant’s partner earns £15,000, the gap is $3,600 ($18,600 – £15,000). The candidate must have $25,000 (£3,600 x 2.5 + $16,000). 

Salaried employment outside the UK

If the applicant’s partner is salaried outside the UK, their gross yearly income can still be counted. There are two conditions:

First, the applicant’s partner must have worked for the same employer for six months before applying. At the time of application and in the last six months, the applicant’s partner must have earned the same or more than the applicant. If the pay is not in pounds sterling, the UKBA will utilise’s exchange rate on the application date.

If the pay is too low, non-employment income, cash savings, and pensions can be combined to make up the difference.

Second, the applicant’s partner must have a job offer commencing within three months of their return. Starting pay must meet or exceed application requirements. Non-employment income, savings, and pensions can supplement any shortfall.

Category B

This category applies if the applicant’s spouse (or applicant, if they have the right to work) has worked for their present employer for less than six months OR earns a fluctuating income.

Salaried employment in the UK

Category B requires two financial documents.

First, the applicant’s partner must establish that, as of application, they fulfil or surpass the financial criterion. Again, any shortage can be covered by non-employment income, cash savings, or pensions.

Second, the applicant’s partner must have met or above the required salary level in the year before applying. Non-employment income and pensions can be added to satisfy the minimum. The second component of the criteria cannot be met with cash savings.

Four months before the application, the applicant’s partner gets a new job. New job pays £20,000. The applicant’s partner meets the financial threshold for Category B.

The UKBA will then look at the applicant’s partner’s income. Before this position, the applicant’s partner made £19,000 a year. The applicant’s partner meets the second portion of Category B because their gross annual wage surpasses the application’s minimum.

Salaried employment outside the UK

The Home Office will consider the application in two stages if the applicant’s partner is working in the UK.

The applicant’s partner must have a confirmed offer of salaried employment to return to the UK within three months. The starting wage must be at least what was stated in the application. Non-employment income, savings, or pension can supplement any shortage.

Secondly, the applicant’s partner must have received in the 12 months prior to the date of application an income which meets or exceeds the required level based upon:

  • The gross amount of salaried employment earned overseas;
  • The gross amount of any specified non-employment income;
  • The gross amount of any state or private pension;

Appendix FM-SE of the Immigration Rules specifies what documentation must be submitted to meet the financial criterion for partners. Application rejection is likely if a required document is missing or in the improper format. The correct evidence must be included in applications.

Our Immigration Solicitors and Lawyers are able to advise on all aspects of the financial requirement of the Immigration Rules and the documentary evidence required for applications for spouse visas, unmarried partner visas, civil partner visas and fiancé visass. If you would like to discuss your case with one of our Solicitors please call 0203 643 7508 or email

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