How to meet the spouse salary requirement

The partner of a person who is “settled” in the United Kingdom requires financial sponsorship from their settled partner. A person is considered to be “settled” in the United Kingdom if they are British, Irish or have Indefinite Leave to Remain status. A partner is a person to whom the settled person is married, in a civil partnership with, or with whom they have cohabited for at least two years.

To sponsor a partner, the settled person needs to provide evidence of meeting a financial requirement. This is a requirement that evidences that the couple will have sufficient income to cover the length of the visa. Unless the settled worker’s partner is already in the UK and allowed to work, is it only the income of the settled worker that can be counted for the application.

From 4th April, the minimum income amount to sponsor a partner increases by 56% from £18,600 to £29,000. The financial requirement can be met in a number of ways as we explore below.



A settled person can be in salaried employment, earning at least £29,000 per annum. They can be outside the UK earning at least that amount and have a job offer in the UK for a position earning at least that amount, or they can be in the UK and working in a job earning at least that amount. Depending on how long they have been in this employment they may need to also evidence prior earnings of at least £29,000 too.


Similar to employment, a settled person can be self-employed as a sole trader or partner of a business or as a director of a limited company and provide evidence of had a taxable income of at least £29,000 in their last tax year.

Cash savings

To calculate the amount needed to cover each 2.5-year visa, either the settled person and/or their partner can evidence holding £88,500 in cash savings at the date of application. This amount covers 2.5 years of £29,000 per year in addition to £16,000. The savings can be held as investments previously but must be liquidised for the date of application. This cash or investment portfolio needs to have been held for at least 6 months to be counted.

Other regular income

A settled person can also include regular income from rent, a pension, maintenance payments from a former partner, dividends from shares, interest from savings, allowances, maintenance grants or stipends, as long as they will be in receipts of these payments for the duration of their partner’s visa.

Combinations of the above

The above sources of income can all be combined to reach the minimum amount of £29,000, whether it be a salary that is supplemented by savings or a pension combined with income from rent, there are various ways of combining income to reach the minimum salary level.

The immigration rules are very strict about how this income is evidenced, so it is advisable to seek advice before submitting an application as immigration fees are non-refundable.