Whether you're coming to the UK to start a life with your British partner or switching paths within the UK to the family route, understanding the financial requirements is crucial.

The UK spouse or partner visa falls under the family visa category, along with the fiancé visa and parent of a British child visa. All these visas have their own specific eligibility rules, but the one they all have in common is that you need to meet the minimum income requirement.

What is the minimum income requirement?

In terms of the spouse or partner visa, the minimum income requirement is the amount of income your British partner must earn to qualify for a spouse visa.

If you are joining your partner, your British partner will have to have a gross annual income of £18,600. If your child is also joining you, it will be an additional £3,800 and for any additional child after that, an extra £2,400.

On 11 April 2024, the financial requirements for all family visa categories will be increasing. Initially it was set to go up to a whopping £38,700, but on further deliberation, it will only increase to £29,000 on 11 April 2024, with further increases to come at an unspecified date thereafter. The Home Office’s goal is to bring this number up to £38,000 by early in 2025. However, there is a silver lining in that you will no longer have to pay an extra fee if you include any of your children as dependants on this visa. 

If you are already on the spousal route in the UK, it’s worth noting that these changes will only affect new applications or those switching into the route for the first time.

Read more: Mistakes to avoid when renewing your UK spouse visa

Meeting the financial requirement 

There are a number of ways to meet the financial requirement outside of the obvious salary that your British partner earns. You can use a combination of various sources of income to meet the requirement such as earnings, non-salaried income, savings, pension or benefits.

If you are applying from outside the UK, your British partner must show that they earn enough to be your sponsor. However, if you are eligible to switch to a spouse visa from within the UK, you can use both you and your British partner’s combined salary to meet the financial requirement.


If you are applying for a spouse visa from outside the UK, only your British partner’s income will be taken into account. If you are switching to this visa from within the UK, then your earnings can be considered along with theirs.

Earnings can include salary, wages, and any other income received from employment, aside allowances such as car or phone allowances. You will need to provide evidence of these earnings, such as pay slips or tax returns.

Examples of meeting the financial requirement using earnings include:

  • If you have been working for your current employer for at least six months and are residing in the UK, you must earn £18,600 per year. If you earn less than this, your partner's earnings can be combined to meet the minimum income requirement.
  • If you have variable income and are residing in the UK, you must earn an average of £18,600 per year over the last six months. If your earnings are less than this, your partner's earnings can be combined to meet the minimum income requirement.
  • If you intend on relying on income generated from self-employment, either as a director of a limited company or sole trader, you can only rely on income generated within the last completed financial year. Please note, determining the financial year can be complex and we urge that you reach out to our consultants for further guidance. 

Non-salaried income

Income from non-salaried sources can be added to earnings from other areas, such as property rentals, interest on savings, and maintenance payments among others. 

To qualify, the income must have been earned within the 12 months preceding the application. Applicants are required to submit proof of ownership of the income source and the amount received, which can include bank statements, certificates, agreements, and so on. Additionally, income derived from international sources may also be considered, subject to specific conditions.


Your savings can be combined with your partner’s. For funds which you intend to use to meet the financial requirement, you will need to demonstrate that these funds have been held by you, your partner or both for the last six months and that the funds can be immediately accessed. Funds can include money you have saved in a bank account, building society account, or investment account. You will need to provide evidence of your savings, such as bank statements.


If your British partner is receiving specific benefits, such as Personal Independence Pay, you can use these to meet the financial requirement. You will need to provide evidence of your benefits, such as an award letter.

Tips for a smooth journey

  • Make sure you have all the necessary documentation to support your application.
  • Apply well in advance of your travel date.
  • Seek advice from a qualified immigration adviser if you are unsure about anything.

Whether you’re relocating to the UK to join your partner or are doing so from within the UK, getting a spouse visa is far more than a simple transition; it's a significant step forward into a shared future. With each financial decision meticulously made, your journey is not only secure but also a reflection of your commitment to undertaking this new life together.

Contribution by Michael Crago

If you have any questions about obtaining a UK visa, switching to a different visa or extending your current visa, get in touch with us on +27 (0) 21 657 2180 or at immigration@sableinternational.com

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