This blog is an update to the blog published on 17 June 2020.
On 20 July 2020 the Home Office published updated guidance in respect of the financial requirement for applications made on the basis of an applicant’s family and private life in the UK under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.
Applicants seeking to enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family life with a person who is a British citizen, settled in the UK or is in the UK with limited leave as a refugee or person granted humanitarian protection must meet certain criteria under this visa category.
One of the criteria, as mentioned above, is the financial requirement. In order to meet this requirement, an applicant must meet the minimum income threshold, which is currently £18,600 (for applicants applying without dependent children). This requirement can be met in a number of ways, which are discussed here.
In the updated 20 July guidance, concessions are provided for applicants who are unable to meet the minimum income requirement, as part of an application for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain, due to COVID-19.
The guidance provides that concessions will be made as follows:
- Income received via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Coronavirus Self Employment Income Support Scheme can count as employment or self-employment income;
- If an applicant provides evidence of a temporary loss of income for the period 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020, the following will apply:
- temporary loss of employment income between 1 March and 31 July 2020 due to COVID-19 will be disregarded provided the minimum income requirement was met at the required level for at least 6 months up to March 2020;
- an applicant or sponsor furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be deemed as earning 100% of their salary;
- a temporary loss of annual income due to COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded for self-employment income, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications;
- flexibility may be shown where an applicant or sponsor experiences difficulty accessing specified evidence due to COVID-19 restrictions.
If you have any concerns about meeting the financial requirement due to COVID-19 please contact us to discuss your circumstances in further detail. Gherson has extensive experience with all aspects of UK immigration law including applications made on the basis of family and private life.
Please note that the information in this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding policy and guidance based on the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to change at short notice. We shall be monitoring all aspects of UK immigration which may be impacted by the coronavirus closely, so please do keep updated with further blogs and articles which we will be posting on this site.
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. Gherson accepts 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 Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Trainee Solicitor in our corporate team