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The maintenance requirement - further clarification

30 December 2009

We wish to bring our readers' attention to the importance of being able to meet the maintenance requirement since we are often instructed to advise on difficult cases where an applicant has either misunderstood or was unable to satisfy Appendix C of the Immigration Rules.

The maintenance requirement was placed at the heart of the new Points Based Scheme as the UK Border Agency intended to restrict the vagueness of the immigration rule encapsulated by the following sentence “the applicant will be able to maintain themselves and any dependants adequately without recourse to public funds”.

Please note that the maintenance requirement is mandatory for applications made under the Tier 1 General scheme as well as under the Tier 1 Post Study Work, Tier 4 scheme, Tier 2 and Tier 5 (although different sums are required depending on the specific category and the type of application).

The UK Border Agency expects to see evidence of funds held in cash and not investments or shares, however it will accept loans. The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in PO (Points based scheme: maintenance: loans) Nigeria [2009] UKIAT 00047 clearly stated in its determination that loans are accepted as a form of evidence:

“If the money is in the account, the respondent does not require an applicant to demonstrate that the money is his, rather than merely having been lent to him. Thus the evidence may be evidence of a loan that has been made. Nothing in any document we have seen shows that a person can meet the maintenance requirements by showing that there is an agreement for a loan, or in any other way that does not include showing the relevant sum as a credit balance in the account”.

Therefore, if the funds are sufficient, it does not matter whether they have been lent to the applicant as long as they were kept above the minimum daily balance for the required period of time (usually 3 months). However, it will not be simply sufficient to show that a loan has been arranged or that the applicant has access to an overdraft!


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.