All Self-Employed Workers Need to Provide These 7 Documents with the UK Spouse Visa Application
This article is part 6 of 6 of ‘What are the Supporting Documents to Prove the UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirement?’ article series.
You can read the previous article from this series HERE.
I’ve also created an online course explaining how to check if you meet the financial requirement and what information you need to provide with the application. You can find out more about the course HERE.
As you may recall from the previous article in this series, the Home Office accepts only five sources of income, which we can further subdivide into seven categories:
- Employment income (categories A and B)
- Non-employment Income (category C)
- Savings (category D)
- Pension (category E)
- Income from self-employment (categories F and G)
You can read about general rules about the documents in support of your UK spouse visa application HERE.
Now let us have a look at specific documents, which you may consider submitting if you are a pensioner.
The Greatest Burden for All Self-Employed Workers
In terms of proving the evidential part of the financial requirement, self-employed people have the greatest burden of proof. They’ll need to submit more documents than any other category of UK spouse visa applicants. And, as you’ll see below, the Home Office offers hardly any evidential flexibility and ‘no mix and match’ options.
What is Included in the Self-Employment Category?
Categories F and G, in addition to self-employed workers, also include sole traders and franchisees. Therefore, the rules described in this article are exactly the same for sole traders and franchise owners.
Where are you Trading
The Home Office very clearly pointed out that they’ll accept only seven documents (explained below), if you are applying in the self-employment category in the UK.
You should bear in mind that there may be circumstances when you are outside the UK, and your self-employment business is trading overseas. In these circumstances, you’ll need to provide ‘a reasonable equivalent’ of the documents, which I listed below.
There are seven specific documents, which all self-employed workers will need to provide.
First of all, self-employed workers will need to submit documents proving that they pay (or not pay) tax. This document will need to cover the last full financial year if you are applying under G category. If you are applying in Category D and are relying on your self-employment income for the last two years, then your tax documents will need to cover two years too.
The second document will need to show the gross profit of your business. If you are making your application under the G category, the documents will need to cover the last full financial year. For the F category, you’ll need to show the level of gross profits for the past two years.
The UKVI specified two documents, which they’ll accept:
- annual self-assessment tax return to HMRC (a copy or print-out); AND
- Statement of Account (SA300 or SA302)
Once again, it is essential to note that the Secretary of State does not give ‘either or’ options here. Instead, she’ll expect you two submit two documents confirming your business’ gross profit.
No3: HMRC Registered
You’ll also need to provide a letter from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs confirming that your business is registered with them. There are limited circumstances when you don’t have to register with HMRC. If so, do explain this in your cover letter in support of your (your spouse’s) visa application.
No4: Unique Tax Reference Number
You, as a person working on your business, should have obtained your Unique Tax Reference Number. You’ll need to provide it with the application. Also, you’ll need to provide the UTR of the partnership or your business if you have it.
No5: Business Bank Account(s)
The decision-makers will also want to see your business bank account(s) bank statements for the same 12-month/24-month period as the tax return(s). It is not a legal requirement to have a business bank account. Therefore, it may well be that you don’t have one. In this case, you’ll need to explain this to the Home Office in your supporting letter.
No6: Personal Bank Statement(s)
Your personal bank statements will need to cover the same 12-month period as your tax return(s), showing your income from self-employment.
No7: Ongoing Self-Employment
All documents I listed above were aimed at showing that your business was trading for the past one or two years (depending on your category).
However, you’ll also need to provide documents showing transactions relating to ongoing trading.
There are two types of documents, which should be submitted: type A and type B documents. You should submit at least one document of each type.
Type A Documents
This may include (but not limited to):
- documents of the renewal of a licence to trade.
- ongoing payment of business rates
- business-related insurance premiums
- employer National Insurance contributions or franchise payments to the parent company.
All the above documents should not be more than 3-months old.
Type B Documents
One should be a type B document:
- If you need to produce annual audited accounts for your business, then you may consider submitting accounts for the last full financial year; or
- If you don’t need to produce annual audited accounts, then unaudited accounts for the last full financial year will do. However, in this case, in addition to unaudited accounts, you’ll also need to submit your accountant’s certificate of confirmation. Your accountant will need to be a member of a UK Recognised Supervisory Body. Alternatively, they can be a member of the Institute of Financial Accountants, The Association of Authorised Public Accountants, The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Association of International Accountants and The Association of Accounting Technicians; or
- If your business’ turnover is over £79,000, you can submit a VAT registration certificate and the VAT return for the last full financial year (a copy or print-out). This document should clearly show the VAT registration number; or
- if relevant, you can provide documents to show appropriate planning permission or local planning authority consent is held to operate the type/class of business at the trading address (where this is a local authority requirement); or
- if you are a franchisee, you should consider submitting a franchise agreement signed by both parties.
What if You are Moving Your Self-Employment Business to the UK?
What if your self-employment business was outside the UK, and now you intend to move to the UK with your spouse if their UK Spouse visa application is granted?
In these circumstances, your planned self-employment in the UK will be called ‘prospective self-employment’. The Home Office will want to see documents proving that you’ll resume your self-employment business starting date within 3 months of you returning to the UK.
Any of the following document will be sufficient to prove this:
- An application to the appropriate authority for a licence to trade
- Details of the purchase or rental of business premises
- A signed employment contract or a signed contract for the provision of services
- A partnership or franchise agreement signed by the relevant parties to the agreement.
You Cannot Combine Self-Employment Income with Cash Savings
And finally, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that unfortunately, the Home Office does not allow self-employed workers to combine their income with any cash savings. So, if you have cash savings and are self-employed, you’ll need to choose in which category you’ll be applying. It’s either one or the other.
About this Article and How to Get Further Help
This article is a part of the article/video series called “What are the Supporting Documents to Prove the UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirement?’
This article/video series consists of the following six parts:
- General Rules for All Categories
- Employment Income Documents for British Spouse Visa Applications (Categories A and B)
- Non-Employment Income Documents for British Spouse Visa Applications (Category C)
- Cash Savings – Documents to Provide with Your UK Spouse Visa Application (Category D)
- Pension Income and the Exempt Category- Documents to Provide with UK Spouse Visa application (Category E and exempt category)
- Self-Employment – Documents to Provide with UK Spouse Visa application (Categories F and G)
I’ve written the above articles and created six videos to help you understand one area of law, which a number of people find very confusing. These articles clarify which documents you need to submit to prove that you meet the financial requirement of your UK Spouse visa application. If you would like to understand the nature of the financial requirement of your