ECO-Friendly explains that under this requirement, it is obligatory for the British sponsor to earn an annual income of at least £18,600 if he wants his partner (spouse, fiancée, etc.) from the Philippines to become eligible for the UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancée Visa or any other UK Settlement Visa which he or she is applying for.
Income, under this requisite may be in the form of salary or non-salaried employment, non-employment income (rentals from properties being leased by either the sponsor or applicant), cash savings, pension, or income from self-employment.
ECO-Friendly would like to stress that the main purpose of the Minimum Income Threshold is to ensure that if and when the applicant’s application filed in the Philippines is successful, and later the UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancée Visa or any other UK Settlement Visa is issued, and the Filipino partner enters the UK, he or she will be adequately taken care of by the British sponsor, especially with respect to their financial needs.
It is thus, very essential that the income of the British sponsor is sufficient for both the UK sponsor and the partner to live in the UK without being a burden to the UK government.
And this is where the phrase “NO RECOURSE TO PUBLIC FUNDS" come into play.
As a general rule, qualified citizens, among them people with low income are allowed to claim several benefits from the UK government such as, but not limited to the following:
- income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- income support
- child tax credit
- universal credit
- working tax credit
- a social fund payment
- child benefit
- housing benefit
- council tax benefit
These public funds are provided to the low income earners in order to assist them with their daily living and ensure that they at least live a comfortable life.
For applicants of the UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancée Visa, or other UK Settlement Visa, the rule states that they shall not have recourse to public funds.
A common misnomer is that if a British sponsor receives public funds, he or she is automatically and perpetually disqualified from becoming a sponsor.
Under this scenario, the British sponsor is left with no choice but to either let go of his Filipina partner for reasons that he is forever banned from taking her to the UK because of the public funds he receive, or just decide to reside and settle in the Philippines to be with the one he loves.
ECO-Friendly would like to emphasize and reiterate that this is not the case and there is hope of the couple settling in the UK after all.
To clarify, under this rule, there shall be no disqualification if the British sponsor is in receipt of public funds at the time the application for the UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancée Visa or any other UK Settlement Visa is filed.
According to a UK government website, “There is no objection to the British citizen/settled sponsor receiving any public funds to which he/she is entitled in his/her own right.”
“The fact that an applicant may not be eligible to claim public funds is not in itself sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the Rules.
“An important factor to consider is whether there will be a need for the sponsor to claim additional public funds to support the applicant if leave to enter was granted.”
ECO-Friendly therefore explains that the fact that the sponsor receives public funds from the government is not per se an automatic disqualification of the application for the UK Spouse Visa, UK Fiancée Visa nor the UK Settlement Visa.
And it is up to the applicant and her British sponsor to show proof that they can live in the UK and not depend or ask financial assistance from the government in the form of PUBLIC FUNDS.