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Minimum salary threshold to be introduced for a UK spouse/fiancée visa

25 January 2012

Under the current immigration Rules, in order to join a British partner or a person who is settled  in the UK, a foreign applicant will need to apply for leave to enter as a fiancée  or as a spouse and persuade the entry clearance officer as well as provide adequate evidence that the relationship is genuine, he/ she intends to settle in the UK, any previous relationships have permanently broken down and finally that the couple can support and accommodate without recourse to public funds.

Please note that as a fiancée you are not entitled to work. You will need to marry within six months and then switch into the spouse category. Following the wedding, you will be able to switch in country into the spouse category. This second application can be processed by the UK Border Agency on the same day through a fast track service. Having spent two years in the spouse category, you might then be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

The MAC was recently asked by the UK government to consider what the minimum income threshold should be for a British resident sponsoring a spouse, partner or dependent for settlement in the UK under the family route. This was part of the government's review of the family migration routes.

Presently the threshold is an annual income of £5,500 after tax, excluding housing costs. This is equivalent to £13,700 before tax and including housing costs. The thresholds are based on the income levels at which a family is not entitled to state benefits or contributes at least as much to the public finances as it consumes in services.

However, the UK Border Agency is planning to raise the threshold and to introduce a salary threshold of £18,600 which would have a serious impact on the number of visa application made through the family route.

Thus, if you are considering  making an application under one of  these categories, please get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity to provide you with the correct legal advice.


Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.