Meeting the financial requirement within Appendix FM by reference to adequate maintenance
In July 2012, following on from the report from the Migration Advisory Committee, a minimum income threshold was introduced in respect of sponsorship under the family migration route as set out within Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. A minimum threshold of £18,600 was set, with additional amounts for any ‘relevant’ children.
There are some categories within Appendix FM where the minimum income threshold does not apply. Instead, these categories will need to demonstrate that they are able to maintain themselves and any dependents ‘adequately’ without recourse to public funds.
The following categories remain subject to the adequate maintenance requirement:
- Entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner whose partner is in receipt of a ‘specified benefit’;
- Entry clearance or leave to remain as a child of a parent with limited leave to remain in the UK as a partner where the parent is in receipt of a specified benefit;
- A parent applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as the parent of a child in the UK;
- Entry clearance as an adult dependent relative.
A specified benefit is defined within Appendix FM and the Home Office’s associated Immigration Directorate Instruction as:
- Disability Living Allowance;
- Severe Disablement Allowance;
- Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit;
- Attendance Allowance;
- Carer’s Allowance;
- Personal Independence Payment;
- Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme;
- Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme.
What is meant by ‘adequate maintenance’?
In accordance with the decision of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (as it then was) in KA and Others (Adequacy of maintenance) Pakistan  UKAIT 00065 paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules sets out the definition of ‘adequate’ and ‘adequately’:
“adequate” and “adequately” in relation to a maintenance and accommodation requirement shall mean that, after income tax, national insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted, there must be available to the family the level of income that would be available to them if the family was in receipt of income support.
There is, therefore, no fixed amount to be met as the level of income required will be very much fact specific.
In Ahmed (benefits: proof of receipt; evidence) Bangladesh  UKUT 84 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal identified the following formula to be used when calculating whether there will be adequate resources available:
A – B ≥ C
A is the projected income;
B what needs to be spent on accommodation and;
C the income support (or equivalent) figure.
To provide an example using the above formula Mr A makes an application for entry clearance to join his wife, Mrs A, in the UK. Mrs A receives a total weekly income of £275 after tax and national insurance have been deducted. Her accommodation costs are £100 per week (£90 for rent and £10 for council tax). On these facts, the parties will be able to maintain themselves adequately:
A – total income is £275;
B – accommodation costs of £100
Income net of accommodation costs = £175
C – income support level for a couple aged 18 or over = £114.85 (according to figures correct at April 2016).
As Mrs A’s income after accommodation costs have been deducted exceeds the income support level then there will be adequate maintenance available.
Sources of income
The following sources of income will be taken into consideration when deciding whether there is adequate maintenance available:
- Income from salaried or non-salaried employment;
- Non-employment income, for example – income from property rental or dividend income;
- Cash savings held for at least 6 months prior to the date of application;
- State or private pension;
- Income from self-employment;
- Income as a director of a specified limited company in the UK;
- Income from Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Child Benefit or other income-related benefits.
Third party support, however, is not a permitted source of income and will not be counted as part of the application.
In addition, the evidential requirements set out within Appendix FM-SE of the Immigration Rules will apply. Therefore the applicant must ensure that all the specified evidence is provided and it is in the correct format.
Contact Our Immigration Lawyers In London
If you would like further advice regarding meeting the adequate maintenance requirement under Appendix FM, or in relation to any other immigration category, please contact our immigration barristers direct in London on 0203 617 9173 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.