Why do I need to do this?
The current immigration rules mean that most people who want to get a visa to come and live in the UK must show that can support themselves, or be supported by someone else, who can afford to ‘maintain and accommodate’ the person they are bringing in, or sponsoring. This is so you can demonstrate you will not require government support.
We’ll walk you through the main ways you can meet these requirements and give you some tips on how to get prepared.
Almost all categories of visa require you to supply some kind of financial evidence. There are slightly different requirements for people coming to work or study in the UK, the financial requirements we’re looking at here are mostly for applications made under the family route to living in the UK (called Appendix FM by the UK Government).
You need to provide evidence that the person who wants to immigrate to the UK and is asking for a visa can support themselves or will be supported by someone, this person is called a sponsor, the sponsor must prove they are able to ‘maintain and accommodate’ this other person or people. The income to do this can come from a variety of sources, often from a job, existing government benefits or savings or assets.
How you put together this minimum amount of income or maintenance is pretty flexible. Savings count against earnings, some benefits also count towards earnings. Regrettably, it’s the way the world is going.
But don’t worry, it’s pretty clear cut how you do it, and we can advise you exactly what you need to show. This is not like proving you have a relationship with someone, which we gave you some tips on in another article and is much more subjective and based on the immigration officer’s interpretation. As with so many other financial things, numbers don’t lie. For the immigration official it’s a simple checklist with very specific forms of evidence, indeed they are called ‘specified evidence’ by the UK Border Agency.
Maintain and Accommodate - What this means.
The British government uses the phrase ‘Maintain and Accommodate’ when describing what is required as far as minimum income is concerned.
So for the spouse visa, for example, which we see a lot of cases of, this is to do with the spouse who already has the right to remain in the UK, that is applying for a visa to bring someone to the UK being able to show that they are able to ‘maintain and accommodate’ their partner and whatever family comes with them in the UK after they have their visa.
So there are two parts here, maintain which means to be able to afford day to day life. And accommodate is to provide a roof over their head and to make sure that they're not living an uncomfortable existence.
Some of our tips for getting your UK visa financial evidence requirements in order
TIP: The worst time to change jobs is just before you apply. You want to show consistency.
TIP: Plan towards your relocation, often this means sending one party in advance to get settled, find a job and have proof of income. Unfortunately, it’s not about convenience and can take a lot of pre-planning, and sometimes a period of separation.
TIP: It’s best to have your savings in one person’s name and try to have six months of bank statements showing all the money in one place, and under one person’s control. Keeping it simple is the goal here. You can only count the lowest amount of savings during that six-month period.
TIP: If you are self-employed, start banking your cash as soon as possible, declare it all and pay the necessary taxes. Lack of accounts often trip up self-employed people looking to sponsor someone for a UK Visa. Paperwork is everything!
> Contact us if you have questions, we do free initial assessments.
How do you prove you have the means to support yourself?
There are seven main ways of showing you can maintain and accommodate someone applying for a visa to the UK.
These are called the Minimum Income Requirements, or adequate maintenance allowance. The headline figure is GBP 18,600.00 - this is what the government thinks a couple need to survive on their own.
This is open for change, we’ll let you know when, and also changes when dependents or children are factored in:
So where can this income come from? There are seven main sources the government recognises, they can be used, but it is always best to contact us to get some proper advice on your visa application if it gets complicated.
Each requirement has very specific evidence requirements. WalkthruVisa can provide templates and letters to ask employers to complete to make sure you meet them. We’ll lay out exactly what your situation needs and help you put the best case possible to the government. We often have issues with proving a transnational job offer. This is because timescales and salary levels and comparisons between countries, not to mention exchange rates. We have done it in the past, so we can definitely help.
A note about UK government benefits:
If the sponsor, a British Citizen or the person already in the UK, receives one of 8 different UK government benefits the calculation for what the what they need to show is slightly different from minimum income.
We have a case study of a client who received a very small benefit, and this counted as the adequate maintenance requirement.
If you receive a government benefit the requirements are not as onerous as the minimum income requirement. You just need to provide evidence of your entitlement.
How WalkthruVisa can help
K immigration authorities provide a 79 page appendix that details all the requirements for financial evidence. It’s a lot to take in, but at WalkthruVisa we’ve been complying with it for many years.
If you meet the UK visa income requirements in more than one way, we can help you identify the best options. We always suggest going with the easiest way to meet the requirements in terms of providing the documentation. For example, between income and savings, having cash in the bank is easiest to prove.
And as we mentioned above, sole traders often have difficulty, because they don’t bank their cash, so start putting it in the bank if you want to have the evidence you will need to satisfy the UK immigration officials.
We also provide user-friendly document checklists, that we’ve developed over time, this includes ready-made templates and letters you can ask your employer, university or bank to complete.
Euan - Editor
It's often interesting how frequently patterns and themes emerge in the enquiries we receive at any given time.