If you find yourself in the unique situation of having a self-employed partner in the UK and wish to join them, the UK Spouse Visa, also known as the UK Partner Visa, could be the pathway for you.
Overview of the UK Spouse Visa with Self-Employed Income
The UK Spouse Visa falls under the Family visa category, designed for individuals planning to stay with their partners in the UK for more than 6 months. This visa can be pursued if your partner is a British citizen, a refugee in the UK, or a UK permanent resident. To kickstart the application process, it’s crucial to meet the UK spouse visa income requirements and establish the authenticity of your relationship.
Understanding Self-Employment Under Immigration Rules
To be recognized as self-employed by the Home Office, you must be a sole trader, part-owner, or shareholder of a business. Additionally, being an employee or director of a specified limited company domiciled in the UK qualifies as self-employment. Importantly, the business must be operational at the time of your spouse visa application.
Meeting the Spouse Visa Financial Requirement Through Self-Employed Income
Financial eligibility is paramount, requiring an annual income of at least £18,600 until spring 2024, with adjustments planned thereafter. There are two categories for proving self-employed income: Category F, demonstrating income from the last financial year, and Category G, presenting the average income from the last two financial years.
Spring 2024 Changes
Starting in spring 2024, the minimum income requirement will rise to £29,000, with planned increments to £34,500 and eventually £38,700. For those considering an application, the key advice is to act promptly – submitting your application at the earliest opportunity ensures a smoother navigation through these upcoming changes. An important policy shift, starting from Spring 2024, is the exclusion of a separate child element from the minimum income requirement. This streamlines the financial aspect of the application process, eliminating the need for additional funds per child.For individuals currently holding visas or in the process of applying before the minimum income threshold escalates, their assessment will align with the existing income requirement. This includes individuals presently holding a fiance visa, even if their plan is to transition to a spouse visa later on.Conversely, for those embarking on this route after the implementation of changes, the assessment will be based on the updated criteria. Staying informed about these alterations is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful application process.
How to Calculate Financial Requirements for Self-employed Applicants
Verification of financial income involves reviewing the self-assessment tax return for the relevant financial year. Various income sources, including salaried or non-salaried income, dividends, property rental, allowance, pension income, and cash savings, can be combined to meet the financial requirement.
Required Financial Documents
As part of the Spouse visa requirements, demonstrating a minimum income of £18,600 is crucial. The specific documents needed to prove this depend on the category of self-employment that applies to you.
For Sole Traders, Part Owners, or Shareholders:
- Annual self-assessment tax return (SA300/SA302)
- Proof of a unique tax reference number
- Personal bank statements
- Business bank statements
- Proof of registration with HMRC as a self-employed person
- Proof of franchise agreement
- Certificate of VAT registration and return (if the business turnover exceeds £79,000)
- Unaudited accounts of the business for the financial year
- Audited accounts of the business for the financial year
- Evidence of local planning authority consent for the business’s location.
For Employees or Directors of a Specified Limited Company:
- Proof of registration of the company with the Registrar of Companies
- Audited and unaudited accounts for the financial year (with accountants’ certificate of confirmation)
- Current appointment report
- Company Tax Return (CT600) filed with HMRC
- Personal bank statements showing cash savings
- Business bank statements for the last financial year indicating gross income
- VAT registration and return (if business income exceeds £79,000)
- Proof of business premises ownership or rent
- Proof of PAYE reference number
- Accounts office reference.
For Salaried Employment:
- Bank statements covering the financial year
- Dividend vouchers for the financial year.
In addition to the above, proof of pension income for the relevant financial year is also required. Ensuring that you provide all the necessary documentation will contribute to a smoother and more successful Spouse visa application process.
Other Required Documents for Self-employed Spouse Visa Application
In addition to financial documents, applicants must prove the genuineness of their relationship. Necessary documents include passports, biometric residence permits, national insurance numbers, tuberculosis test results, photos of the couple, social media chat logs, and evidence of shared financial responsibilities.
Additional Spouse Visa Requirements
Apart from financial eligibility, applicants must meet age requirements, and either partner must be permanently settled in the UK. For those yet to marry, proving the genuineness and duration of the relationship is essential.
Common Reasons for Spouse Visa Application Denial
Understanding common pitfalls is crucial to avoiding visa rejection. Issues such as failure to meet financial requirements, inability to prove the genuineness of the relationship, criminal history, and general ineligibility are common reasons for application denials.
How Global Law Supports Your UK Spouse Visa Journey
Navigating the intricacies of a UK spouse visa application, with its multitude of required documents, can be challenging. That’s where Immigration Advice Service from Global Law comes in. Our experts assist you in preparing a robust application by guiding you on the necessary documents.
We understand the significance of family reunification at Global Law, and our dedicated immigration experts are committed to facilitating that. Here’s how we can assist you:
- Conducting video or in-person consultations at your convenience.
- Assessing your documents to ensure their suitability for the application.
- Evaluating your eligibility for the Spouse visa.
- Assisting in accurately completing your application form.
- Ensuring you have ample proof of the genuineness of your relationship.
- Providing support in crafting a letter of representation to accompany your application.
- Representing you in case of a review if your application faces rejection.
With a formidable team well-versed in immigration laws and numerous successes, we are here to guide you. Whether you need assistance meeting financial requirements, find the process daunting, or simply want to consult with a professional, reach out to us. Call us at 0207 504 1306 or contact us onlie also visit our Spouse Visa UK page.