Applicants seeking to apply for a UK spouse or family visa under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules are required, in most cases, to meet the financial requirement. However, due to job losses, pay cuts and reduced hours, caused by the pandemic, this has become difficult for many. In June 2020, the Home Office introduced a concession to help tackle this problem.
The concession confirmed that income received via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Coronavirus Self-Employment Scheme could be relied upon to meet financial requirement. It also protected those who could demonstrate that there had been a temporary loss of employment income, due to COVID-19, since March 2020. This was providing that the required threshold was met for at least 6 months immediately before the date the income was lost.
Initially, this concession was provided for those who suffered a loss of income up to August 2020. However, given that the pandemic has continued way beyond this, we have regularly seen the deadline be extended on the ‘Coronavirus (Covid-19); advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents’ guidance webpage.
Now, as international travel has resumed and businesses have re-oped their doors, this concession has been brought to an end, despite the threat of another variant. The announcement was made on 19th November, when the Home Office updated their guidance page to confirm that the concession would not be extended beyond the 31st October 2021. Consequently, anyone making an application from November 2021 will now be expected to meet the required financial threshold in line with pre-pandemic levels.
It will still be possible to rely on a loss of income for a period before November 2021 but any loss after the specified date will not be taken into account.
If you are unsure whether your income meets the requirement or you need help in making an application, please contact our immigration specialists on 020 7205 2115. Alternatively, please complete the online form to request a call back.
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