Cash Savings Guidance for UK Spouse & Partner visas in 2024 | £16000-£62500+

This article will answer the most common questions regarding using cash savings for UK spouse and partner visas in 2024.

We will discuss the following:

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This guide is for those who want to apply for one of the following UK visas:

financial requirements

What is the minimum amount of cash savings that can be included in the financial requirement?

Please note

As we discuss in part 3 of our free video series, the first thing to note is that the Immigration Rules state that cash savings must be held in cash.

Equity in a property or investments is not the same as cash savings. However, they can be included towards the financial requirement if they are sold within six months before submitting the online application in limited circumstances – this is also discussed in the video.

If you do not receive a ‘permitted benefit’, the minimum amount of cash savings you can include in your partner visa application is £16,000.

The following are the permitted benefits:

    • Carer’s Allowance;
    • Severe Disablement Allowance;
    • Disability Living Allowance;
    • Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit;
    • Constant Attendance Allowance;
    • Personal Independence Payment;
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme;
    • Attendance Allowance;
    • Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme;
    • Police Injury Pension;
    • Child Disability Payment; and
    • Adult Disability Payment.

The adequate maintenance test applies if you receive one of the above benefits.

In such a case, the good news is that the adequate maintenance test is much easier to meet than the standard £18,600 minimum income threshold.

We discuss the adequate maintenance test in detail in this article here

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How much cash savings do you need to satisfy the minimum income threshold (usually £18,600) alone?

The first thing that you must establish is whether the minimum income threshold applies to your application or not. 

If the sponsor receives, whether that is on behalf of their child or not, one of the permitted benefits, the minimum income threshold will not apply – and the amount of cash savings required will entirely depend on the adequate maintenance test as it applies to your application.

As previously mentioned, the following are the permitted benefits:

  • Carer’s Allowance;
  • Severe Disablement Allowance;
  • Disability Living Allowance;
  • Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit;
  • Constant Attendance Allowance;
  • Personal Independence Payment;
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme;
  • Attendance Allowance;
  • Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme;
  • Police Injury Pension;
  • Child Disability Payment; and
  • Adult Disability Payment.

If the minimum income threshold applies to your application, you will then need to identify what the minimum income threshold will be for your application. 

If you are unsure what the minimum income threshold will be for your application, you should read our UK spouse visa financial requirements in 2024 article which discusses the numerous factors that can affect the minimum income threshold, including:

  • Whether the sponsor receives a permitted benefit;
  • When your application will be submitted;
  • Whether you are submitting a partner visa extension or not; and
  • Whether there are dependant children who are also applying.

 

Minimum income threshold Cash savings required to satisfy the financial requirement alone
£18,600 £62,500
£29,000 £88,500
£34,500 £102,250
£38,700 £112,750

cash savings

What sources of income CAN be combined with cash savings?

#1 Employment Income under Category A

Category A is relied on by partners who have been employed by the current employer for longer than six months when the application is submitted.

Under Category A, you can combine employment income with cash savings to meet the financial requirement.

Example

Natalie has been employed for longer than six months.

In the past six months, Natalie’s gross annual salary was £17,000.

Therefore, Natalie does not meet the financial requirement under Category A from employment income alone.

However, she can combine her cash savings with her employment income to satisfy the financial requirement.

We’ll talk about how cash income is calculated below.


 #2 Employment Income under Category B

Category B is for employed partners who:

  1. Have been employed by the current employer for fewer than six months when the application is submitted; OR
  2. Have been employed by the current employer for longer than six months when the application is submitted BUT do not meet the financial requirement under Category A because of how Category A calculates income.

Two parts of Category B must be met.

We discuss this in more detail in our UK spouse visa financial requirements in 2024 article, but in summary, part 1 of the test requires you to currently have a gross annual income higher than the financial threshold that applies (usually £18,600).

Cash savings can be combined with part 1 of the test.

Part 2 of the test requires the employed person to have received more than the minimum income threshold (typically £18,600) in employment income in the 12 months before applying.

Cash savings cannot be combined with part 2 of the test.

Example

Mark has been employed for fewer than six months.

When he intends to apply, his current gross annual salary is £17,600.

Mark can use cash savings of more than £16,000 to make up the shortfall of £1,000 (so that his gross annual income surpasses £18,600) in part 1 of the test.

However, in the past 12 months before the application is submitted, he has not received more than the amount required (£18,600) in employment income.

Even though Mark has cash savings of £45,000, he cannot combine this to meet part 2 of the test.

Therefore, Mark would be advised to wait until he has been employed for longer than six months and then apply under Category A (due to how Category A income is calculated).


#3 Non-employment Income

Non-employment income includes the following:

  • Property rental;
  • Dividends or other income from investments, stocks and shares, bonds or trust funds;
  • Interest from savings;
  • Maintenance payments from your previous partner in respect of you or any children of you and your previous partner;
  • UK Maternity Allowance, Bereavement Allowance;
  • A maintenance grant or stipend (not a loan) associated with undergraduate study or postgraduate study or research;
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance;
  • Bereavement Payment;
  • Ongoing payments from a structured legal settlement;
  • Ongoing insurance payments;
  • Ongoing royalty payments; and
  • Payments under the War Pensions Scheme, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and the Armed Forces Attributable Benefits Scheme.

Cash savings can be combined with non-employment income to satisfy the financial requirement.

Example

Steve receives a gross annual income of £12,000 from property rental.

Accordingly, he does not meet the financial requirement from property rental income alone.

However, he can combine his £54,000 cash savings with property rental income to satisfy the financial requirement.


#4 Pension Income

Pension income can also be used to satisfy the financial requirement.

The gross annual income from any State (UK Basic State Pension and Additional or Second State Pension, HM Forces Pension or foreign), occupational or private pension received by you or your UK partner can contribute towards the financial requirement.

Cash savings can be combined with pension income to meet the financial requirement.

Example

Jack receives a gross annual income of £14,103 from his state pension.

Therefore, he does not meet the financial requirement from his pension income alone.

However, he can combine £44,300 in cash savings with his state pension income to meet the financial requirement.

cash savings

What other sources of income CANNOT be combined with cash savings?

#1 Self-employment Income.

The income from self-employment that the applicant (if they are in the UK with permission to work) or the sponsor (a.k.a. “UK partner) earn is the “gross taxable profits from your share of the business in the relevant financial year(s), not including any deductible allowances, expenses or liabilities which may be applied to the gross taxable profits to establish the final tax liability”.

It is important to note that cash savings cannot be combined with self-employment income to satisfy the financial requirement.

Why?

Because as stated in Appendix FM 1.7:

“This would not be an accurate indication of the real level of financial resources available to the couple. It could also lead to the same money being counted twice, once as earnings and later as savings”.

Example

Charlotte earns approximately £17,250 a year as a self-employed musician.

Accordingly, she does not satisfy the financial requirement from her self-employed income alone.

Whilst she has £44,500 in cash savings, unfortunately, she cannot combine this with her self-employment income.

Charlotte, therefore, does not satisfy the financial requirement.


#2 Employment income from a ‘Specified Limited Company’.

It is important that you know whether your employment income is from a ‘specified limited company’ or not.

You will be considered to be an employee of a specified limited company if:

  1. You are an employee of a UK limited company (or an employee of a company within the same group); and
  2. Shares of the employing company are held (directly or indirectly) by the applicant, sponsor or family members of the applicant or sponsor; and
  3. The remaining shares are held (directly or indirectly) by fewer than five other persons.

‘Family’ includes parents, grandparents, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces or first cousins.

Cash savings cannot be combined with employment income if the employer is a ‘specified limited company’.

Example

Jeremy is an employee of his father’s company.

Since fewer than five other persons hold shares, the company is a specified limited company.

In the company’s last full financial year (as stated in the most recent company tax return), Jeremy earned a gross annual salary of £17,000.

Despite having £40,000 in cash savings, Jeremy would be advised to ensure that he earns a gross annual salary of more than £18,600 in the company’s next full financial year since cash savings cannot be combined with his specified limited company employment income.

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calculating cash savings

How do you calculate cash savings?

If you are applying for a visa (a.k.a., “entry clearance” or “further leave to remain”) as a Partner or Child under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, there is a formula that you must follow which will convert the cash savings into a gross annual income equivalent figure.

The cash savings formula

  1. Identify the lowest total cash savings figure held at one point in time in the six months before applying (as seen in the bank account(s) you are relying on).
  2. Minus 16,000 from this figure.
  3. Divide this amount by 2.5.

Example

Sophia wishes to apply for entry clearance as a married partner.

Sophia’s husband, Pete, inherited £40,500. This was received in his bank account six months ago.

The cash savings never went below £40,500.

Therefore, the lowest figure seen in the bank account in the six months is £40,500.

£40,500 minus £16,000 is £24,500.

£24,500 divided by 2.5 is £9,800.

Sophia and Pete can therefore include £9,800 towards the minimum income threshold using cash savings.

Since Pete earns a gross annual income of £15,000 from employment, he meets the financial requirement by combining employment income and cash savings.

To give you a quick idea of whether you have enough cash savings, we have created the following table:

Cash saving example table

Lowest total cash savings figure held at one point in time in the six months prior to submitting the application Amount that can be included towards the financial requirement
£150,000 £53,600
£100,000 £33,600
£90,000 £29,600
£80,000 £25,600
£70,000 £21,600
£65,000 £19,600
£62,500 £18,600
£60,000 £17,600
£55,000 £15,600
£50,000 £13,600
£45,000 £11,600
£40,000 £9,600
£35,000 £7,600
£30,000 £5,600
£25,000 £3,600
£20,000 £1,600
£16,000 £0

Please note:

  1. the above table is based on the UK partner not receiving a permitted benefit.
  2. the above table does not apply to Indefinite Leave to Remain applications.

Please note

The amount of cash savings you can include towards the financial requirement is the lowest total figure that the cash savings reached in the six months before submitting the online application.

Example

Brad wants to satisfy the financial requirement using his cash savings only.

He wants to submit the spouse visa application in June.

The following are based on the bank statements that he has just received:

January’s lowest cash savings figure: £83,000.

February’s lowest cash savings figure: £94,000.

March’s lowest cash savings figure: £25,000.

April’s lowest cash savings figure: £90,000.

May’s lowest cash savings figure: £95,500.

June’s lowest cash savings figure: £101,500.

In the above example, the amount of cash savings that can be included towards the financial requirement (if the application is submitted in June) will be £25,000.

If Brad has no other sources of income, he would be advised to wait an additional three months until the lowest figure throughout the six months before submitting the online application is above the required amount.

Why?

Because the cash savings relied on “must be held throughout the period of 6 months prior to the date of application”:

Please also note

  • If the cash savings are not in British Pounds (GBP), the cash savings must be converted using the closing spot exchange rate that appears on www.oanda.com when you apply.

oanda.com currency converter

  • The calculation differs if the applicant applies for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) based on being a partner or parent in the UK. In such a case, you are only required to minus £16,000 from the relevant cash savings figure (you are not required to divide it by 2.5). The result is that £34,600 equates to a gross annual income of £18,600 (rather than £62,500).

Please note

If the adequate maintenance test applies, cash savings is calculated slightly differently.

As stated in paragraph 12B of Appendix FM-SE, you will have to:

(a) Establish the total cash savings that can be used towards the financial requirement;

(b) Divide this figure by the number of weeks of limited leave which would be issued if the application were granted, or by 52 if the application is for indefinite leave to enter or remain;

(c) Add this figure to the weekly net income (before the deduction of housing costs) available to meet the requirement.

I am combining cash savings with another source of income. How do I calculate the amount of cash savings I will need?

You can use the following formula to calculate the cash savings required to make up for the gross annual income shortfall:

Cash Savings Required = (Annual Shortfall x 2.5) + £16,000.

Example

An application is relying on employment income and cash savings to satisfy the financial requirement.

The gross annual income from employment is £5,000 short of the minimum income threshold.

Therefore, the required amount of cash savings will be £5,000 (which is the annual shortfall) x 2.5.

This equates to £12,500.

£12,500 + £16,000 = £28,500.

£28,500 in cash savings is therefore the required amount of cash savings to make up for the £5,000 gross annual income minimum income threshold deficit.

cash saving requirements 2019

What are the spouse visa cash saving requirements in 2024?

The following is an overview of the cash savings requirements that apply in 2024:

#1 The account that holds the cash savings must be a financial institution that is regulated by the appropriate regulatory body for the country in which that institution is operating;

#2 The bank or savings account must be a current, deposit or investment account;

#3 Regular bank account or savings statements must be provided;

#4 The statements must cover the necessary period required in the Immigration Rules (usually six months);

#5 The savings can be immediately withdrawn (with or without penalty);

#6 The savings are held in cash (or their cash value is clear – in limited circumstances only);

#7 The source of the funds must be legal;

#8 The funds must be under the control of the applicant and/or sponsor for the necessary period required in the Immigration Rules, which is usually six months;

#9 The source of the funds must be declared.

The source of the funds can be in the form of a declaration in the account holder’s letter of support.

If you want professionally written tailored letter of support templates & additional written guidance, this is one of the many benefits of our  DIY Application Pack Service.

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Do cash savings need to be in the bank for 6 months?

The general rule is that cash savings must have been in the bank for six months or longer.

There are two circumstances when this is not the case:

#1 Sale of a house

If you or your partner have sold a house in the six months before your application, you can use these funds to count as your cash savings for your application.

The cash savings will not need to have been held in a personal bank account for six months as long as:

  1. The property is residential, any other building or land;
  2. The property (or share of the property) was owned by you, your partner or in joint names at the beginning of the six months before the date of application;
  3. The funds in your bank must be the net sum of the sale after any mortgage/loan secured on the property (share of the property) has been paid.  Taxes and professional fees (such as legal fees) affiliated with the sale must also have been paid;
  4. If you share ownership of the property with another party, only the share you or your partner owned (individually or jointly) counts toward your cash savings.

To summarise, if at the date that the application is submitted, the cash savings held are proceeds of a property sale – then the period the property was owned (before it was sold) in the six months before the application can be counted toward the six months.

So, any funds in your possession at the date of the application can have resulted from the sale of a property for the first part of the six months before the date that the online application is submitted and as cash savings for the rest of the six months as long as all the above requirements are met.


#2 Sale of Investments, Stocks, Shares, Bonds or Trust Funds

Under paragraph 11A(c) of Appendix FM-SE, any money held as cash savings by you, your partner, or by you both jointly at the date of the application can have been from investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds within the six months before the date of application, on the proviso that:

  1. The cash savings have been owned and controlled by you, your partner, or you both jointly for at least six months before the date of application;
  2. The ownership of the funds, the cash value of the funds at or before the six months before the date of application, and the transfer of the funds into cash – are all verified by a portfolio report or other suitable documentation from a financial organisation regulated by the relevant regulatory body for the country in which that organisation is running;
  3. All other requirements of Appendix FM-SE are met in regards to cash savings held at the date of application, “except that the period of 6 months before the date of application in paragraph 11(a) will be reduced by the amount of that period in which the relevant funds were held in the form of investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds”.

To summarise, where cash savings have, in the past, been held as investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds that are owned by and under the control of you, your partner, or by you both – this period of ownership can be counted towards the six months.


Frequently Asked Questions

When does the financial requirement need to be met?

The financial requirement needs to be met on the date of application, which is the date the Home Office fees are paid on the online application website.

So it is okay if we spend the cash savings once the online application has been submitted?

That is correct. It is also worth noting that there is no requirement for you to continually satisfy the financial requirement throughout the duration of the visa.

What will happen if we do not meet the financial requirement?

Unfortunately, the most likely outcome is that your application will be refused.

What is the biggest cause of partner and parent visa refusals?

The financial requirement is the biggest cause of refusals. This is because the Immigration Rules insist that many certain rules 'must' be met.

 

Conclusion

If you do not receive a permitted benefit and do not have cash savings of more than £16,000, then unfortunately, cash savings will be irrelevant to your UK partner visa application.

If you have more than £16,000 in cash savings, then this can be used to reduce the minimum income threshold (which is usually £18,600), or it can be used to meet the financial requirement of your spouse visa completely (if you have more than £62,500 in cash savings).

Please ensure that you satisfy the partner or spouse visa UK financial requirements, as it is, unfortunately, the biggest cause of refusal for partners.

If you are interested in our full legal representation service, our Head of Immigration, Ed Lowe, offers this for a fixed fee of £2,250. Ed has worked in the Home Office for 20+ years, with many of those years as a Senior Home Office executive. Wendy Foy and Matthew French, who also worked in the Home Office, work with Ed to process applications as efficiently as possible for our clients.

If you would like detailed written guidance & a document checklist tailored to your circumstances, we offer a £435 DIY Application Pack Service.

This has been successfully used in thousands of applications, and the feedback from our customers has been so overwhelmingly positive that we offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

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