The UK Immigration Appendix FM rules were first introduced back in 2012 but were later amended in July 2017 in an attempt to allow third-parties to assist with the financial requirements related to the application. As a rule, the sponsor must have an annual income of £18,600 plus an extra £3,600 for a first child and £2,400 for each additional child but sometimes this figure cannot be met through income alone – especially if you are retired and intending to bring your Thai partner back to the UK.
It is possible for the sponsor to top up their earnings to the required amount by using their savings. In order to achieve this, the sponsor must have savings above £16,000 and have held these savings for at least six months prior to the date of application. As the saving will be required to reflect a period of 2.5 years or 30 months for the period of the initial entry clearance or for a further 2.5 years leave to remain, the amount in excess of £16,000 needs to be divided by 2.5. In practice, this means that if an applicant’s sponsor had an income of £15,000 they would savings of £25,000 to cover the £3,600 shortfall (£3,600 x 2.5 + £16,000) in order to qualify for the Appendix FM savings requirements.
The facility to be able to include savings in the calculation means that the target of £18,600 is far more attainable. In Thailand, we see many couples that have a significant age difference with many, generally western men, living on a pension. It is quite common for this income to fall some way short of the required amount but at the same time, these same people have often amassed a reasonable sum in savings.
It should appear obvious that the sums that are required in savings need to be retained should the applicant be wishing to extend their leave to remain for the further 2.5 years. Being able to support yourself or a loved one financially is one of the main criteria when applying for something such as a Spouse Visa. Although the rules outlined in Appendix FM are often seen as putting a price on the value of a lasting relationship, the fact that rules are in place and the flexibility of being allowed to use savings means that more people can realistically bring their Thai partners to live in the UK.
The application process is naturally quite stressful with the uncertainty regarding whether it will be accepted. It is therefore always sensible to use the services of a professional company who have experience in dealing with such applications both in the UK and here in Thailand. The services of such companies will give you added peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that your application has a greater chance of being accepted
Here at Thai Visa Express, we are the only UK OISC accredited company in Thailand. As such, we are in a perfect position to be able to help you with your application. So, if you would like more information, call us on: +66 (0)80 102 2328, +66 (0) 38 420 313 or +44 (0) 20 8133 8059, email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively contact us via our website.