Financial Requirement

We are #1 Experts in the Financial Requirement! We explain the visa rules and advise on how to meet the £29,000 or £18,600 thresholds. We are OISC-accredited at the highest Level 3, ref F200800152 in which 2008 stands for the year of accreditation.   

Financial Requirement £18,600 has changed to £29,000

From 11 April 2024, the old £18,600 threshold changed to £29,000. If you already have a Spouse/Partner or even a Fiancee visa under the old Rules, you can “carry on” under the old £18,600 threshold. Not just for extension but also for settlement (Indefinite Leave). If you are applying from 11 April 2024, the income threshold of £29,000 will apply to any number of applicants, whether it is just Partner or Partner with children.

Further changes to £34,500 and £38,700

Later in 2024, the income rule will change to £34,500 per year. In early 2025 – to £38,700. Apply as soon as you can to avoid it!

Employment Income

British or foreign partner employed in the UK:

Need to have been with the current employer for 6 months, earning the specified salary during that time. Depending on your situation, it is based on either £18,600 or £29,000 per annum. If your earnings fluctuate, it will be calculated based on the average. If it is a new job, you need the current salary of £18,600 or £29,000; and total earnings of that amount from any number of jobs in the last 12 months. Can be one partner’s earnings or a combination.

Foreign partner employed outside the UK: 

This cannot be used, even if the non-British partner is a well-paid highly-skilled professional. If the foreign partner is self-employed through their own company, then dividends during last 12 months can be used.

British partner employed outside the UK:

Same rules apply as above (6 months etc) for the non-UK job. Plus, the British partner needs a job offer from a UK employer with a salary of £29,000.

Savings: it's not £16,000

This option can be used for any partner visa type. The official UKVI website says “savings over £16,000” and this is where the major confusion happens. “Over” means using a specific formula from the Immigration Rules. If you are applying under the old Rules, the balance is £62,500 for extension; or £34,600 for permanent residency (Indefinite Leave). If you are applying under the Rules from 11 April 2024, the amount is £88,500. 

The balance must have been maintained for 6 months, not falling before even by £1 for 1 day. The money can be in either partner’s name, or jointly, and held in any country. 


Gross rent during the last 12 months (not tax year) can be used, before mortgage, tax etc. Alternatively, a property can be sold and the net proceeds used as savings, without waiting for 6 months.


Can be from the UK or another country. The gross amount before tax should meet the relevant threshold. Can be from one partner or can be combined from both.


Can be a scholarship, employment in the UK, savings, overseas income and also various combinations. If your family wish to give you money, you'll need to wait 6 months.

Self-employed as a Sole Trader in the UK

For the UK Partner visa purpose, your profit on self assessment tax return has to be the minimum threshold, such as £18,600 or £29,000, as applicable. You have to submit a tax return for the visa, even if the HMRC deadline is January next year, although you don’t have to pay earlier than HMRC deadline.

Director of Limited company in the UK

Here your income would be based on director’s salary and/or dividends paid to you during the last financial year of your company. This option is not based on a tax year or tax return, but the company’s financial year. Either the salary or dividends are sufficient if you meet the applicable threshold. You have to submit the annual accounts if the company’s year is finished, even if HMRC deadline is several months later.


There is plenty of confusion about contractors and you would benefit from working with a specialist immigration firm like ours. A “contractor” is just a name, not a legal form. In practice, you would be either a sole trader (self-employed as yourself) or you would have a Limited company. You can then use one of the options above. If you are a contractor or self-employed outside the UK, the Rules are very different yet again, please contact us for a consultation.

#1 for UK visa advice

We started this company 15 years ago after our own experience. From our London office, we serve customers of all nationalities to come to the UK to live with a partner or family, to remain and settle here. You can book a consultation with an Immigration Lawyer here.

Who is exempt from the £29,000 threshold?

If the British/settled partner is receiving some specified disability benefits, then the couple need to meet the lower threshold of Adequate Maintenance. For this purpose, we can use the amount of benefits, employment income and savings.

Financial Requirement for a Parent visa

The threshold for a Parent visa is Adequate Maintenance. The short description of Adequate Maintenance concept is you have to be better off than if you were on income support. The amount of income support benefit is the “threshold” you need to exceed. You can use employment, self-employment, other income as well as savings.

What to do if I cannot meet the Financial Requirement?

In either a Partner or a Parent category, there is a 10-year route. It is an alternative to the standard 5-year route. It takes twice longer to Settlement (permanent residency) because it means 10 years instead of 5 years. It means 4 applications x 2.5 years with a full Government fee every time. It is, however, useful if you genuinely cannot meet the threshold, such as due to an illness or a family emergency etc. If a British partner starts receiving disability benefits, you would be exempt, as above. However, the first point is to try and meet the Financial Requirement, even if means applying for a visa later and there is time for that. If you have to submit a new application because the old visa is about to expire, you can also change the application later, when you have met the requirements, but before the decision.

Can I switch to the 5-year route after being put in the 10-year route?

If you have already been granted a visa in the 10-year route, you can make a new application once you have met all the requirements. This will be “switching” to the 5-year route, but you would start “your” 5 years towards Settlement all over again. For the purpose of Indefinite Leave, it is not possible to combine a visa from the 10-year route with a visa in the 5-year route to get a total of 5 years. However, switching to the 5-year route is still the shortest path to ILR in many cases. For a more individual advice, please contact us.