17 September 2020

Appendix FM: Covid-19 and the minimum financial requirement

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Those making an application under Appendix FM as a Partner or Child of a person with limited leave as a Partner are required to satisfy the minimum income requirement, unless exempt.

The minimum gross annual income requirement is £18,600 for a partner. The requirement increases where the application includes a child or where the sponsor is already sponsoring a child for leave to enter or remain under Appendix FM. An additional gross annual income of £3,800 is required for the first child sponsored and a further £2,400 for each child thereafter. For example, where a partner is applying with no children, the minimum income requirement to be met is currently £18,600. Where there is 1 child being sponsored in addition to the partner, the requirement is increased to £22,400. Where then another child is applying, an additional £2,400 is required raising the minimum income requirement for 1 partner and 2 children to £24,800.

There are various means of income which can be shown to satisfy the minimum income requirement. This includes salaried income from employment, non-salaried income from self-employment, rental income and cash savings. The Home Office published guidance on the financial requirement (version 2.0, 19 August 2020) provides detailed guidance on this.

There is no doubt that the pandemic has affected the earning ability of many due to unexpected loss of income and reduction in salary due to furlough. To this effect, the Home Office has taken a practical approach and implemented temporary changes to the minimum income requirement in its Covid-19 Guidance (advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents). The changes are:

(a) if an individual has experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus up until 31 August 2020, employment income from the period immediately before the loss of income will be considered, provided that the income requirement was met for at least up to six months up until March 2020. For example, if a sponsor makes an Appendix FM application for his partner to join him in July 2020 and has suffered a loss of income since June 2020 (resulting in him being unable to meet the minimum requirement of £18,600 at the time of application), his income from September 2019 will be considered i.e. six months prior to March 2020.

(b) If an individual experiences a reduction in salary due to being furloughed, his income will be considered as if he is still earning 100% of his salary (the government is currently paying 80% to furloughed employees).

(c) If an individual is self-employed, a loss of annual income due to coronavirus from 01 March 2020 till 31 August 2020 will generally be disregarded, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications.

It should be noted in each of the above temporary changes that the loss of income or reduction in wages must be due to coronavirus.

If you are looking to invite your spouse and child to join you in the UK or wish to extend their stay and have been affected by Covi-19, we have experts who are here to help.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

About the Author

Mahnoor Shahid
Mahnoor has extensive experience in dealing with various types of in-country and out-of-country immigration matters. This includes advising and assisting clients on a vast spectrum of immigration applications, ranging from Entry Clearance to British citizenship.

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