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Meeting the financial requirement of Appendix FM through self-employment

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. Appendix FM provides very strict requirements as to how the financial requirement may be satisfied. The financial requirement may be met in a number of ways, including by relying upon income from self-employment.

Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules imposes a financial requirement which states that the applicant must show a gross annual income of at least £18,600. However, where the applicant and their partner have children (who are not British or a citizen of an EEA country), the income threshold is increased by £3,800 for the first child and an additional £2,400 for each additional child. By way of example, an applicant who has two children must demonstrate that they have a gross annual income of at least £24,800.

The Immigration Rules further state that unless the applicant is in the UK and is lawfully working as a self-employed person, only the income of the partner from their self-employment may be taken into account when determining whether the threshold is met. There are two ways in which the financial requirement can be satisfied by relying on income received through self-employment. These are known as ‘Category F’ and ‘Category G’ applications.

For a Category F application, the self-employed person can rely upon the income from the last full financial year to meet the financial requirement.

For a Category G application, the self-employed person can rely upon the average income received in the last two full financial years to meet the requirement. Using the example above, an applicant must demonstrate a gross annual income of £24,800. If the self-employed partner received an income of £20,000 in the last full financial year, but in the previous financial year they received an income of £30,000, the mean average income from the last two financial years is £25,000.

A full financial year is directly related to the national tax year of the country in question. So for the UK, the relevant year will be from 6 April to 5 April the following year.

Self-employed income can be combined with other specified income such as salaried and non-salaried employment, non-employment income and pension income. However, current cash savings cannot be combined with self-employment income.

Appendix FM-SE sets out very specific requirements as to the documentary evidence which must be provided with an application in order to rely upon income generated through self-employment.

For more information on the financial requirement under the Immigration Rules, or to discuss an application under Appendix FM of theImmigration Rules then please contact our experienced immigration barristers based in Covent Garden, London on 0203 617 9173.


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