Thank you for contacting me about immigration and visas as the Coronavirus outbreak continues.
This is of course an unprecedented time and I know the Home Office is working hard to ensure people are not unfairly affected by circumstances beyond their control. You may be pleased to know that the Government is keeping family immigration requirements under review and this includes the minimum income requirement. Ministers have and will continue make adjustments where it is necessary.
The Home Office has proactively established a range of measures to support those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Home Office continues to monitor the situation closely and take these exceptional circumstances into account.
To ensure spouses or partners applying for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control, for the purpose of the minimum income requirement, the following will be taken into consideration: -
- A temporary loss of employment income between 1 March and 31 July 2020 due to COVID-19 will be disregarded, provided the requirement was met for at least six months up to March 2020;
- An applicant or sponsor furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be deemed as earning 100% of their salary;
- A temporary loss of annual income due to COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded for self-employment income, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications. Income received via the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will also be taken into account;
- Evidential flexibility may be applied where an applicant or sponsor experiences difficulty accessing specified evidence due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Guidance for customers is available on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/chapter-8-appendix-fm-family-members
This also sets out the ways in which the minimum income requirement can be met using other sources of income instead of, or along with, income from employment or self-employment. For example, income from the couple’s investments, property rental or pension may also be taken into account, together with their cash savings.