If you’re looking to join your spouse or partner who is a UK citizen, then you can do so by applying for UK Spouse visa. If you’re a UK citizen looking to bring your partner or spouse to the UK, then you can sponsor your partner. In normal circumstances, the sponsor has to meet certain financial requirements for his or her partner when he or she comes to the UK. But what if the sponsor has a disability which means they are restricted in their ability to work?
While applying for a spouse visa in the UK can be straightforward, it is less so if the applicant is disabled and struggling to meet the financial requirements. However, disabled citizens in the UK are entitled to a benefit known as Disability Living Allowance (DLC). This also means they’re exempt from meeting the strict financial income threshold which is usually required for spouse visas.
In addition to DLA, the following benefits and allowances are also afforded the same exemption:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowances
- Industrial injuries disablement benefits
- Attendance Allowance or a Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment – Entitlement to either of these benefits, or a Constant Attendance Allowance, is determined by legislation within the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension – Eligibility is determined within the War Pensions Scheme
If you’re a UK citizen in receipt of any of the above, you’ll meet the financial requirements attached to UK spouse visa applications, providing you’ve supplied sufficient evidence in support of your application.
What evidence do I need in order to be exempt?
The applicant and sponsor must provide both of the following forms of documentation as evidence that the applicant seeking a UK Spouse visa qualifies for financial exemption:
- Official documentation from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or the Veterans Agency which confirms the current entitlement and the exact amount that the applicant receives for this benefit.
- A minimum of one bank statement from a personal bank account. This personal bank statement should be dated less than a year before the application is made. The bank statement needs to show that the allowance has been paid directly into their bank account within 12 months of the date of the UK Spouse visa application.
The guidance on which documents need to be supplied for financial exemptions from UK visa criteria is set out in the Immigration Directorate Instruction (IDI) Chapter 8 Section 1.7. The IDI also states that the applicant and sponsor must also supply evidence that they can cover their own maintenance and accommodation expenses without relying on any further benefits or public funding.
If you’re looking for a visa extension from within the UK, then you will only be exempt from meeting a minimum income requirement only if your partner is still entitled to receive DLA or other, similar benefits. This means that if your partner in UK ceases to receive DLA, you must provide evidence that you meet the requirements.