Maintenance under the new rules


Individuals wishing to enter the UK on the basis of their relationship to a British national or a person present and settled in the UK do not have an automatic right of entry. They must demonstrate, amongst other things, that they can be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds.

Prior to 9 July 2012, this was assessed according to the individual’s personal financial standing, i.e. income over expenditure.

From 9 July, a new and considerably more complicated procedure is used to determine an individual’s abilities to maintain him or herself wthout recourse to public funds.

The Rules

There are a number of ways to meet the maintenance requirement:

1. Hold a job paying above the threshold for at least the last 6 months.

2. If your current employment is of less than 6 months but you have been in employment at a salary above the threshold for the last 12 months, that could suffice.

3. Income from self-employment. If you have been in self-employment for the last year, your income from the business will be taken into consideration. If you have been in self-employment for more than 1 year, the average of the last 2 years will be taken into account.

4. Hold significant personal savings (see below).

5. Have income from investments or property held in your or your partner’s name(s).

If you have been in your current job for less than 6 months and have not otherwise been in employment in the last 12 months, you will only qualify if you can demonstrate alternative income from investments or property in your or your partner’s name, or if you hold significant savings, (see below).

If you are the UK sponsor and are returning to the UK at the same time as your partner, for example after a period of employment overseas, you will need to demonstrate that:

a. you have held employment overseas paying above the threshold in the last 12 months; AND

b. you must have a job offer for your return to the UK, with a starting salary above the relevant threshold, which you are due to commence within 3 months of your return.

If your total income from all sources is below the threshold, the amount you need to hold in savings is calculated according to a rather convoluted equation. Savings under £16,000 will be discounted. Any savings over £16,000 can be taken into consideration if they have been held by either the applicant or their sponsor in a regulated financial institution for at least 6 months.

The difference (shortfall) between an applicant’s income and the relevant threshold is multiplied by 2.5 and then added to the £16,000 base savings threshold. The figure that you arrive at is the amount you need to hold in savings. For example, if you have an income of £15,000 per annum, the short-fall for an applicant without children is £3,600. In this scenario, you would need to hold £25,000 in savings.

If you do not have a job or alternative income that satisfies the minimum requirements, you will need to demonstrate that you have held savings of £62,500 for 6 months or more (based on an applicant with no children).

The income thresholds are:

Applicant with no children – £18,600

First child – an additional £3,800

Subsequent children – an additional £2,400 per child


Please contact us on 0207 392 7672 or at if you would like to discuss your immigration requirements.