3 Common questions about spousal entry clearance applications

Addressed below are three of the most common questions I get asked about spouse visa applications from abroad. This blog is designed to open further questions from the readers. If, however, you would like a detailed discussion regarding your circumstances, please email using our contact tab. 

1.    What are the financial requirements?
For those that are subject to the financial requirements, the requirement is to meet the income threshold of £18,600 gross per annum from a limited pool of sources. This is to sponsor the non-EEA partner. Where entry is also required for non-EEA children of the family unit, an additional £3,800 is required for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child. The following sources are allowed:

•    income of the partner from specified employment or self-employment, which, in respect of a partner returning to the UK with the applicant, can include specified employment or self-employment overseas and in the UK
•    specified pension income of the applicant and partner
•    any specified maternity allowance or bereavement benefit received by the partner in the UK or any specified payment relating to service in HM Forces received by the applicant or partner
•    other specified income of the applicant and partner
•    specified savings of the applicant and partner

Some of the income types can be combined whilst others cannot. A prohibited combination for example is savings with self employed income. There are also various qualification periods pertaining to each of the income sources. 

2.    Can I still sponsor my partner if I am on benefits?
Yes depending on the benefit type. Certain benefits allow the sponsor to meet the immigration rules even if their income falls below the threshold of £18,600. Instead, the applicant must provide evidence that their partner is able to maintain and accommodate themselves, the applicant and any dependants adequately in the UK without (additional) recourse to public funds. The benefits in question are:

•    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; or
•    Police Injury Pension

3.    How long will an application take?
The turnaround for a decision varies from country to country. There are rough timescales published on the basis of past decisions. This is frequently unhelpful and not strictly accurate as their current timescale may not match the past data. The website to use for this is linked here

The timescales can however be expedited by purchase of a priority service in many cases. This may prove to be useful for a lot of applicants. Those with adverse immigration history or previous refusals are urged not to purchase this service as delays could be inevitable. 


Amna Ashraf

Amna Ashraf has worked for McGill and Co since 2011 and currently holds post as a solicitor. She has developed considerable experience in family immigration matters and holds a very high success rate owing to her meticulous attention to detail and tenacious approach.