In 2017, the Supreme Court decided the case of MM and others case didn’t preclude the requirement to meet a basic income requirement and it stays the same at £18,600 to sponsor the partner, £22,400 to sponsor a partner and child. Learn more about third-party financial support in FM cases.
Additional sources of permitted income can be relied upon only in ‘exceptional circumstances’
The August 2017 rule changes do not benefit all the families migrating to the UK on a settlement visa. The changes mean that the visa officer will consider additional sources of income only in cases where there are “exceptional circumstances”.
However, it is not explained what may constitute what circumstances can be considered exceptional, although the new rules do refer to “unjustifiably harsh circumstances” for the applicant, their partner or children.
The explanation of income in the Immigration Rules is very elaborate, covering the following:
- Definite and sustainable support from a third party, such as parents.
- Maintainable prospective UK earnings from employment or self-employment.
- Any other source of income which is available and the couple can depend upon.
Income such as personal loans are not acceptable. The most important point to consider is that the funding must be ‘sustainable’, which means that there must be sufficient evidence as to from whom, for how long and what is available in terms of funding.
It is for you to establish your circumstances and availability of the income
Those who have prepared a UK visa application must know that they should provide very clear evidence at every stage. This includes both providing evidence for the income on which one would rely, as well as demonstrating that the applicant(s) quality to rely on those additional sources in the first place. Under the new rules, the focus is also on providing satisfactory evidence of the “genuineness, credibility and reliability” of any extra income. Due to this, many more documents will be required for a visa officer to determine that the funds declared by the applicant are sufficient.
As per the new rules it is harder for those who seek to settle in the UK permanently.
The new set of rules prescribes a 10-year route to permanent settlement in the UK, double the length of residence required by those who satisfy the ‘normal’ income rules. The longer the qualification period is, the more applications you would need to submit. This, in turn, means more money to pay as you work towards settlement. It goes without saying that the rule changes come at a price, with many families who aspire to settle potentially unable to afford to do so.