Cash Savings - Appendix FM – Partner Applications
For those applying for entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK as a partner under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules the applicant is required to satisfy a financial requirement. The minimum income threshold was set at £18,600 in July 2012 after the Government had considered advice from its Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
There are a number of ways in which this requirement can be met, including cash savings, under category D.
An amount based on cash savings above £16,000 may be counted towards meeting the financial requirement. This is because £16,000 is the level at which a person generally ceases to be eligible for income-related benefits.
It is possible to combine cash savings with employment whether salaried or non salaried (Categories A and B) and non-employment income (Category C) and pensions (Category E). Unfortunately, cash savings cannot be combined with self-employment income (Category F) or income from employment as a director of a specified company (Category G).
At the entry clearance/initial leave to remain and further leave to remain stages, the amount of cash savings above £16,000 must be divided by 2.5 (which reflects the two and a half year period of leave granted) to give the amount required to satisfy the immigration rules. The sum of £62,500 (£18,600 x 2.5 + £16,000) will therefore meet the financial requirement alone.
However, if by way of an example an applicant with no children, would need to show an income of £18,600. If savings are held in the sum of £30,000, the first £16,000 is discounted and then the remaining balance is £14,000 is divided by 2.5 (period of grant of leave) meaning that savings in the sum of £5,600 could be relied upon. The remaining balance of £13,000 can be made up of through employment and non-employment income.
If the applicant’s partner has no income from employment or elsewhere, the level of savings required to satisfy the financial requirement will be £62,500 (£18,600 x 2.5 + £16,000).
Savings must be held in cash in a personal bank account or savings account in the name of the applicant, the applicant’s partner or in joint names. The savings must have been held by the applicant, their partner or in joint names for at least six months prior to the date of application and cannot be borrowed. Any savings which are not held in pounds sterling will need to be converted using the closing spot exchange rate which appears at www.oanda.com on the date the application was made. The savings can be from any legal source and a formal declaration in relation to the source will be need to be provided. The declaration will need to confirm that the money has been under the control of the person or their partner for the necessary time period required.
The bank savings can be in a current, deposit or investment account. An investment account must meet all the requirements in order that it be considered as a bank/savings account which include the following:
- The account is held is a financial institution regulated by the appropriate regulatory body for the country in which that institution is operating;
- The financial institution is not on the list of excluded institutions under the Immigration Rules;
- Regular bank statements are provided;
- The statements cover the necessary time period required in the Immigration Rules;
- The savings are held in cash (or their cash value is clear);
- The savings can be immediately withdrawn (with or without penalty)
Paragraph 7.4.3 of the IDI (Immigration Directorate Instruction Family Migration: Appendix FM Section 1.7 Appendix Armed Forces Financial Requirement May 2016) confirms the requirements that need to be met.
It is also possible to rely on savings from the sale of property or investments provided they were owned or held in the 6 months prior to the date of application.
Appendix FM-SE sets out very specific requirements as to the documentary evidence which must be provided with the application in order to count cash savings towards meeting the financial requirement.
It is necessary to provide personal bank statements showing that at least the level of cash savings relied upon in the application have been held in an account(s) in the correct names for the period of six months prior to the date of application.
For more information on the financial requirement under the Immigration Rules, or to discuss an application under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules then please contact our experienced immigration barristers based in Covent Garden, London on 0203 617 9173 or via our online enquiry form.