The Home Office has today shown its compassionate side. Individuals applying for apply for a spouse/partner/fiancé visa who may otherwise have struggled to meet the financial requirement because of the Coronavirus lockdown have been thrown a lifeline. The Home Office has today announced changes to the minimum income and adequate maintenance requirements.
Loss of income due to coronavirus
If you have experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus, the Home Office will consider employment income for the period immediately prior to the loss, provided the requirement was met for at least 6 months up to March 2020. The Home Office has not yet clarified whether this will extend to individuals who would have been relying on the 12 month rule.
Where an individual’s salary has been reduced because they were furloughed, the Home Office will treat the application as though they were earning 100% (full) salary.
For those who are reliant on self-employed income, a loss of annual income due to coronavirus between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will “generally be disregarded”, as will the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications.
Applicants unable to provide specified documents
Where possible the Home Office will consider an application without sight of certain specified documents if you cannot get them due to coronavirus. Where this is not possible, consideration of the application may be delayed to allow time to obtain the specified evidence.
The English language requirement
Applicants unable to take an English language test because the test centre was closed or who couldn’t travel to the test due to coronavirus, can apply for an exemption from the English language requirement. This differs from earlier guidance which asked applicants to apply and provide evidence of compliance with the English language requirement once the test centres reopened.
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