Families such as spouses, partners, and children who wish to make the UK their home can apply for a UK Family visa. British citizens or those who are settled in the UK can bring their partners to the UK by sponsoring them and meeting other requirements of the visa. Appendix FM of the immigration rules allows a British citizen or one settled in the UK to bring their spouse or partner to the UK. There are some eligibility and suitability requirements to be met for this. However, what if someone is unable to meet the financial or other requirements of Appendix FM? The immigration rules consider such cases where if exceptional circumstances are found, the leave to enter or remain is granted even if the sponsor is unable to meet one or more requirements.
Role of Home Office in the assessment of exceptional circumstances
When a sponsor is unable to meet financial or other requirements but they still want leave to enter or remain granted because there are exceptional circumstances, the decision depends upon Home Office. This is upon the Home Office to decide if they feel granting visa to the applicant is not against the good of the public of UK and at the same time not granting visa will result in ‘unduly harsh’ consequences for the applicant and
their partner or spouse in the UK.
Basically, the applicant needs to show that refusal of leave to enter or remain by the Home Office would lead to a breach of the applicant’s rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to private and family life) because refusal will result in “unjustifiably harsh consequences”; for the applicant, their partner, child or another family member involved.
Satisfying the exceptional circumstances
It may look simple to satisfy the exceptional circumstances rule but it is not so. Unusual or difficult situations are not considered exceptional circumstances. You must prove that if a visa is refused it will be disproportionate to the legitimate goal and the individual or
their family will face unjustifiably harsh consequences.
Exemption from financial requirement
Usually, if you can’t meet minimum income requirement but you are a beneficiary of disability living allowance, Severe disablement allowance, industry injury disablement benefit, attendance allowance, carer’s allowance etc. can prove that they can maintain their partner. But if you are not on any of these benefits and you can’t meet minimum income requirements you can ask to have other sources of income taken into account. However, your situation will be considered only if you can prove that there are exceptional circumstances and this is a high bar. You need to prove that if the visa application is refused, the applicant’s human rights, sponsor or relevant child would be harmed. Again proving this can be complicated and thus you should seek advice from experts such as Visa and Migration Ltd.
You can also rely on regular income from other sources or financial support of funds such as –
(a) a credible guarantee of sustainable financial support to the applicant or their partner from a third party;
(b) credible prospective earnings from sustainable employment or self-
employment of the applicant or their partner; or
(c) any other credible and reliable source of income or funds for the applicant or their partner, which is available to them at the date of application or which will become available to them during the period of limited leave applied for.
You can also find more details on Appendix FM-SE of the Immigration Rules
Satisfying other requirements
If you are not able to meet some of the other requirements such as you can’t sit the English test for some reason you can still apply citing exceptional circumstances. To satisfy the Home Office in this type of application, you need to convince the Home Office that if the visa application is refused it would result in “unjustifiably harsh” consequences for the applicant, the sponsor, or a relevant child. Again, to satisfy such exceptional circumstances you should contact us if you are considering applying under