Immigration always seems to be a topic of heated debate within the government and as a direct result, it is within the media too. We find this to be especially the case when over-arching money issues (for issues read shortages) are the main, if unstated, reason behind possible future changes to existing Immigration Rules.
Most immigration routes involve creating money for the government but also we are told – protecting the “public purse”. With family-based applications this ‘protection’ comes in the form of demonstrating within the application and supported by the correct specified documents, that you can meet the ‘Financial Requirement’. In brief, this requirement is either in the form of ‘adequate maintenance’, for parent and child applications or as ‘the minimum income threshold’ for partner applications.
The minimum income threshold is currently £18,600.00 per year before any deductions (gross); if the application also involves dependent children under 18 then the requirement adds to this gross annual income an additional £3,800.00 for the first child sponsored and then £2,400 for each further child. Therefore, an applicant with 3 children who also fall under immigration rules will need to prove they have an annual income of at least £27,200.00.
One of the ways this amount can be met is by using a current salary, but must be done so via the ‘sponsor’ (who, contrary to the media does not necessarily have to be a British citizen although many of them are), not the applicant, if the application is to enter the UK (the reason for this being that the applicant does not yet have permission to work in the UK and therefore any salary that they have earned in inadmissible). Conversely, if the applicant is already here and is currently on a visa route which permits work, then the applicant’s salary can be used on its own or combined with the partner (sponsor).
Current reports within the media state that this figure may about to be raised through parliament via changes to The Immigration Rules. Although this has yet to be confirmed as accurate, given the current strong economic and political incentives and the fact that there has been no change to this threshold since it was introduced in 2012, there is a strong possibility that it may happen. Additionally, alongside the rise in cost of living it would not seem presumptuous to predict that there will also be a concurrent rise to the ‘adequate maintenance’ requirement which must be met for parent and child applications. The definition of adequate maintenance under government guidelines is as follows:
‘Adequate’ and ‘adequately’ in relation to a maintenance and accommodation requirement shall mean that, after income tax, National Insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted, there must be available to the family the level of income that would be available to them if the family was in receipt of Income Support. This then equates to approximately £500 per month.
As with all immigration applications the meeting of the financial requirements above involves stating accurately within the application itself the correct information required and subsequently that this information is then proven without a doubt evidentially to the decision maker, by way of the correct specified documentation.