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Appendix FM Financial Requirement: Less than 6 months’ payslips?

It is a common misconception that an application by a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner or fiancé under Appendix FM, which relies on the UK-based Sponsor’s income from employment (or the partner’s income from employment where he/she is in the United Kingdom with lawful leave to work and is applying for further leave to remain), can only be made if the Sponsor can produce wage slips covering a full 6 month period.

In fact, under the Immigration Rules, there are certain circumstances where entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner can be secured with less than 6 months’ payslips.

Paragraph 2(a)(ii) of Appendix FM-SE provides that where the Sponsor has been employed for a period of less than 6 months, his/her partner can rely on pay slips from “any period of salaried employment in the 12 months prior to the date of application”. When read in conjunction with Paragraphs ECP 3.1 and 3.2 (in entry clearance cases) and Paragraphs E-LTRP 3.1 (in leave to remain cases) it is clear that there is no minimum number of wage slips that are required, provided that a specified gross annual income of £18,600 (for a spouse applying alone) is demonstrated.

This is addressed in detail at Paragraph 5.3 of Annex 1.7 of the Immigration Directorate Instructions relating to Family Members under Appendix FM (November 2014). In order to meet the financial requirement on the basis of less than 6 months wage slips, two requirements must be met:

  • The Sponsor must be able to demonstrate that his/her gross annual salary is in excess of £18,600 per annum. This must be evidenced either by the latest payslip or by the Sponsor’s signed contract of employment (if the payslip does not provide this information); and
  • The Sponsor must have received, in the 12 months prior to the date of application, the level of income required to meet the financial requirement (i.e. £18,600 in a case where the partner alone is applying for entry clearance or leave to remain).

The effect of the second requirement is that if the Sponsor is a high earner, very few wage slips may be required to meet the financial requirement, as the table below demonstrates:

Gross Annual Income Number of Payslips Required
£223,200 or above 1
£111,600 or above 2
£74,400 or above 3
£55,800 or above 4
£44,640 or above 5

This approach can be very useful in a case where the Sponsor is a high earner but has taken a break from work in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application.

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