Income Threshold for Family Visas Raised as UK Tightens the Immigration Rules

13 May 2024, 51 mins ago

On 11 April 2024, we saw the minimum financial requirement for a family visa increase from £18,600 to £29,000. This was further caveated with an intention to raise this figure to £38,700 in the near future.

This blog will take a closer look at the new requirement and its potential impact on visa applicants.

The Home Secretary has announced a series of measures aimed at reducing the rise of migration in the UK and reforming the immigration system. The minimum salary requirement for a family visa has increased by more than 55%, from £18,600 to £29,000; and yet it is expected to increase again by early 2025, rising from £29,000 to £38,700. However, unlike the previous threshold of £18,600, the current financial threshold of £29,000 is not varied by applications from dependent children joining the main applicant. For those who are already in the UK on a family visa prior to 11 April 2024, the previous Rules shall continue to apply to their five-year route to settlement, meaning that they will be subject to the lower financial threshold of £18,600 when applying for further leave.

What is the new requirement and how to meet it?

If you are applying for permission to enter as a spouse, you must, in the first instance, rely on the British sponsor’s finances in order to meet the requirement. If you are applying for an extension of stay in the UK or indefinite leave to remain, you can rely on your joint finances to satisfy the requirement.

Most commonly, this requirement is fulfilled via employment income or cash savings. However, regardless of the method you choose, there are additional specific obligations you will need to meet. For example, the documentary evidence is specific to each method.

Calculating the financial requirement

To rely on your employment income, you would need to demonstrate that you earn at least £29,000 per annum and, unlike under the previous Rules, this amount remains the same whether or not you have dependent children applying with you.

To rely solely on your cash savings, you would need to demonstrate that you have at least £88,500 in savings. There is a lower threshold for indefinite leave to remain applications, where the applicant has to demonstrate only £45,000 of cash savings.  

What does this mean for individuals already on this route?

Those who are already in the UK on a spouse visa will be exempt from the new salary threshold of £29,000, and the lower threshold of £18,600 shall continue to apply to their UK visa extensions under the five-year settlement route.

Similarly, the previous Rules shall apply to visa extensions for dependent children, meaning that the threshold of £18,600 will be increased by £3,800 for the first dependent child application, and then by a further £2,400 for each subsequent dependent child application. This requirement has recently been capped at £29,000, which means that if the main applicant is applying with four or more dependent children, they will now need to demonstrate only £29,000 of available funds, instead of £29,600 or more, as would be required under the previous Rules.

The information above outlines a general method of meeting the financial requirement for a UK family visa, however, there may be other ways to prove your financial status.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

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 do not 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.

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