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Spouse & Partner Visa Financial Requirement: Sponsor Not Working

If your Sponsor is not working, or no longer working, perhaps because he or she is retired, it may initially appear difficult to meet the financial requirement for a UK spouse visa or UK partner visa set out in Appendix FM (this is the requirement to show an income of at least £29,000 per year).  In this post, we look at some of the ways in which it may still be possible to satisfy the spouse and partner visa financial requirement even if your Sponsor is not working.

Alternative Ways to Satisfy the Appendix FM Financial Requirement if a Sponsor Is Not Working

Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules provides several ways in which the spouse and partner visa financial requirement can be met even if the Sponsor is not working or self employed.  Some of the most commonly relied on are:

  • Savings;
  • Pension income; and
  • Property rental income.

You can rely on a combination of all three.

As with income from employment or self employment, there are very specific requirements about the nature of this income and how to evidence it in order to satisfy the Appendix FM financial requirement.


In order to rely on savings alone to meet the Appendix FM financial requirement for a spouse visa or partner visa (with no other sources of income) it is necessary to hold savings of £88,500.  If you wish to combine savings with another source of income, you need to have £16,000 plus 2.5 times the difference between your income, and the mandatory minimum income.

You have to declare the source of the savings.  The source of savings has to be lawful but there are few other restrictions on the source.  Although you generally cannot rely on third party support to meet the income requirement, you can rely on savings which were a gift from a third party. You cannot rely on savings which are borrowed, however.

Savings have to have been held by the Applicant, Sponsor or both for six months before the application can be made. Therefore, if the savings are a gift from, for example, a parent, that gift would have to have been made at least six months before the application date. There are some exceptions to this requirement, including if the savings are from the sale of real property or an investment which was held by the Applicant, Sponsor or both for more than six months before the application is made.

Savings relied upon must be held in cash in the correct sort of bank account and it must be possible to withdraw the savings immediately (with or without penalty);

Pension Income

The Appendix FM financial requirement for a spouse visa or partner visa can also be met by relying on the gross annual income from a a state, occupational or private pension which is received by the Applicant or Sponsor.

You can rely on pension income where the pension has become a source of income at least 28 days before the application is made. There is no need to wait for 6 months (unless you are combining pension income with income from another source).

You can rely on a combination of pension income and savings.

Income from Property Rental

You can rely on income from the rental of a property owned by the Applicant and/or  Sponsor to satisfy the spouse or partner visa financial requirement in Appendix FM.  However, you cannot rely on income from renting part of your main residence. Therefore, you cannot rely on income from a lodger who rents one room in your house, for example.

If the rental property is jointly owned with a third party, you can rely on the rental income but only the income which is received from your share of the property.

You can rely on the full amount of your rental income before any management fee is deducted.

If the Applicant and Sponsor are currently outside the UK, you can rely on rental income from a property which will become your main home when the application is granted in order to meet the current overseas income requirement only.  

Income from property rental can be combined with savings and pension income.

In addition to the above permitted sources of income, you can rely on income from dividends or other investment income and interest from savings among other sources.

So, even if the Sponsor is not currently working or self employed, you may well be able to meet the income requirement by relying on an alternative source of income or a combination of alternative sources of income and savings.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and assistance in relation to an application for a spouse or partner visa, contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via our enquiry form.


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