UK Spouse Visa: How to Combine Income from Salaried and Non-Salaried Employment?

Gwen is a citizen of a visa-national country and lives outside the UK. Several months she married John, a British citizen. John was born in Cardiff, Wales.

Gwen does not work but has savings of £3,000. Gwen’s grandmother transferred this amount to her account 5 years ago, on Gwen’s 18th birthday.

John works as a chef at a local restaurant ‘Appollo’. He started working there 10 months ago. One month ago, his employer changed his contract from salaried to non-salaried employment.

Your income over the last 11 months his gross income was as follows:

month 1 £398.00 (salaried)
month 2 £1,166.67 (salaried)
month 3 £1,166.67 (salaried)
month 4 £2,166.67 (salaried)
month 5 £956.68 (salaried)
month 6 £2,166.67 (salaried)
month 7 £1,182.82(salaried)
month 8 £2,166.67 (salaried)
month 9 £1,601.45 (salaried)
month 10 £462.00 (non-salaried)


John said that usually, he works 11-hour shifts, 4 days a week. On weekdays he earns £10.00 per hour (£110 per day). On weekends he gets £12.00 per hour (£132 per day).

John does not have any other income and does not claim any benefits.

Gwen would like to apply for a visa (entry clearance) to join John in the UK. However, John is not sure if he can meet the financial requirement for this application.


Non-Salaried v Salaried Employment

Non-salaried employment includes that paid at an hourly or other rates (and the number and/or pattern of hours required to be worked may vary) or paid an amount which varies according to work undertaken.

In contrast, salaried employment includes that paid at a minimum fixed-rate (usually annual), which is usually subject to a contractual minimum number of hours to be worked.


What is the Minimum Income Requirement for this Application?

To assess the parties’ chances of meeting the financial requirement for this application, we need to start by establishing the minimum income requirement for this application. John and Gwen do not have any children, and therefore the minimum income requirement for this application will be £18,600 gross a year (unless exemptions apply).


How are You Going to Meet the Financial Requirement?

UK Spouse Visa: How to Combine Income from Salaried and Non-Salaried Employment?
UK Spouse Visa: How to Combine Income from Salaried and Non-Salaried Employment?

Secondly, we need to decide how John and Gwen are going to meet the financial requirement. There are 3 ways of doing this:


If a British citizen spouse (the Sponsor) works, then potentially the couple can meet the requirement by way of showing the Sponsor’s income at the required minimum income requirement level. We already established that for Gwen, it is £18,600.


If the Sponsor does not earn enough, can the parties also rely on their savings when making their application? Yes, they can. However, their savings need to be in their bank account for at least 6 months.

We know that Gwen’s savings have been in her bank account for over 5 years, but does she have enough?

The Home Office uses a special formula for calculating this:

£16,000 + (shortfall x 2.5).

The easiest way to show you have this works in practice is to give you an example.



Suppose John earns £14,320 gross a year (not enough for the minimum income requirement level). How much savings do they need to have to meet the financial requirement?

To establish this, we need to apply a straightforward 2-step process.


Step 1:

We need to start by calculating the shortfall for the formula:

Shortfall = minimum income requirement – the Sponsor’s actual income

In John’s example, it will be:

Shortfall = £18,600 – £14,320 = £4,280

Step 2:

Then we need to insert this amount into the formula:

£16,000 + (£4,280 x 2.5) = £26,700

This means that if John earned £14,320, the couple would need to have at least £26,700 in their bank account for at least 6 months to meet the requirement.

£16,000 in this formula means that the Home Office will totally disregard any savings below £16,000.


Gwen’s Savings of £3,000

For this reason, sadly, the Home Office will completely ignore Gwen’s savings. However, I’d still advise John and Gwen to submit their bank statements confirming that they have these savings. This will add credibility to their application and reassure the decision-maker that the couple has a safety net if something goes wrong with John’s employment.



There is also a way of showing the applicant meets the financial requirement for the application if the Sponsor gets one of the following benefits:

(i) disability living allowance;

(ii) severe disablement allowance;

(iii) industrial injury disablement benefit;

(iv) attendance allowance;

(v) carer’s allowance;

(vi) personal independence payment;

(vii) Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme;

(viii) Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme; or

(ix) Police Injury Pension;

However, we know that John does not receive any benefits, and therefore this exemption will not apply here.


Is this Income from a Permitted Source?

The next step is to establish if John’s income is from one of the permitted sources of income.

The rules give the following examples:

(a) income of the partner from specified employment or self-employment, which, in respect of a partner returning to the UK with the applicant, can include specified employment or self-employment overseas and in the UK;

(b) specified pension income of the applicant and partner;

(c) any specified maternity allowance or bereavement benefit received by the partner in the UK or any specified payment relating to service in HM Forces received by the applicant or partner;

(d) other specified income of the applicant and partner; and

(e) specified savings of the applicant and partner.

John is employed, and therefore example (a) applies.


Categories A and B

The Home Office will use different formulas for calculating the Sponsor’s income, depending on the category.

Category A calculations apply to those who were the same employer for 6 months and had a fixed income.

Category B applies when the Sponsor was either with the same employer for less than 6 months, or their income was variable.

John does not qualify to apply under Category A. Although he was with the same employer for more than 6 more, the switch from salaried to non-salaried employment means that his income is ‘variable’. Sponsors with variable income should apply under Category B.


How to Meet the Financial Requirement Under Category B

Under Category B, the Sponsors need to meet 2 parts of the test.

According to the rules:

‘Where the applicant’s partner is in non-salaried employment at the date of application and has been with the same employer or earning the amount relied upon for less than the last 6 months, they should count the gross annual salary at the date of application towards the financial requirement.’


Part 1

First, we need to establish if John meets the financial requirement by checking his current average income from non-salaried employment.


The Formula for Calculation of the Average Income from Non-Salaried Employment

According to the Home Office guidance, to calculate this annualised average for non-salaried employment in Category B, the following calculation should be used:

Total gross income from non-salaried employment in the period prior to the date of application for which that employment has been held) divided by the number of months and multiplied by 12 (or by the number of weeks and multiplied by 52 where payment is weekly, or by the number of days and multiplied by 365 where payment is daily) = Income from non-salaried employment that can be counted towards the financial requirement.


Part 1 of the Test

For the sake of this example and clarity, let us assume John and Gwen will be making their application 1 month after he started his non-salaried employment.

John said that usually, he works 11-hour shifts, 4 a week. On weekdays he earns £10.00 per hour (£110 per day). On weekends he gets £12.00 per hour (£132 per day).

In the last month before the application, he worked 4 days a week (3 weekdays and 1 weekend). His average gross salary was £110 + £110 + £110 + £132 = £462 per week (or £2,002 gross per month: £462 x 52 week /12 months)

John’s average annual gross income from non-salaried employment will be: £2,022 x 12 months = £24,024

Therefore, part 1 is met as £24,024 is more than the required minimum income of £18,600.


Part 2

To meet the second part, John needs to prove that in the last 12 months before the date of application, his income was above £18,600.

We need to add John’s income over the last 12 months:

£1,100.99 + £0.00 + £398.00 + £1,166.67 + £1,166.67 + £2,166.67 + £956.68 + £2,166.67 + £1,182.82 + £2,166.67 + £1601.45 + £462.00 = £14,535.29


Therefore, part 2 is not met because John earned only £14,535.29, which is less than the required £18,600.


The Solution

John needs to continue working and submit the application once his total gross income reaches £18,600 gross in the last 12 months. It is also important to make sure that before he applies, he still meets the first part of the test.


Documents You Need to Submit to Prove that You Meet the Financial Requirement (Once you Qualify to Submit the Application)


In THIS ARTICLE  you’ll find out what documents you need to submit to prove that you meet the financial requirement for the application.

UK Spouse Visa: How to Combine Income from Salaried and Non-Salaried Employment?