Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Salary required to sponsor spouse to UK

How much do you need to earn before you are allowed to sponsor a spouse to the UK?

Part 8 of the Immigration Rules state that applicants who wish to bring their spouse to the UK to settle here must prove that he/she has sufficient financial resources so as not to become a burden on public funds.

This means that the sponsoring applicant who wish to obtain permission for a fianc├ęs, spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, or other dependant relatives to enter the UK, must prove that they will not need to resort to social security benefits.

The sponsor needs to be in full time work unless he/she earns loads of money.

Problems can occur if the sponsor is on a a low income and has no savings.

The minimum level income should be no less than that of the income support level for a couple. This is currently £105.95 (for both aged over 18).

Applicants can rely on funds provided by third party (family or friends) but will need to provide evidence that the support is not less reliable than income from employment.

At present, the annual income threshold in place is £5,500 after tax, excluding housing costs. This is the same as a salary of £13,700 before tax (includes housing costs).

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)is recommending a minimum salary of between £18,600 and £25,700 before tax.

This is to prevent any sponsor, their spouse or their dependents from becoming a burden on the state.

Raising the threshold to £18,600 would cut settlement by 45 per cent, according to MAC estimates. Raising it £25,700, would reduce settlement by around 63 per cent.
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Spouse visa age lowered from 21 to 18

The Government last month announced that the spouse visa age will be lowered again from 21 to 18. This change took effect on 28 November 2011.

The law was amended on 27 November 2008 to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21 for both foreign spouses and their sponsors in the UK before the foreign spouse could be granted a visa to enter or remain as a spouse or partner.

The Supreme Court has ruled that, whilst the aim was to address forced marriages, increasing the minimum marriage visa age from 18 to 21 disproportionately interfered with Article 8 rights (the individual’s right to family life) of those who were in genuine marriages.

So the spouse visa age will be lowered again to a sensible 18 years of age.

See full text here
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