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Monday, January 12, 2009

What does adequate maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds mean, when the sponsor is on benefits?

This is a very important statement in the rules for us. Especially cause my girlfriend is on benefits.

According to the UKBA Entry Clearance Guidance (Chapter 13):

13.4 - Fiancé(e)s/proposed civil partners and how they
(Rules Paragraphs 290 -295)For an applicant to qualify for
admission as a fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner, you must be satisfied
1.the sponsor is present and settled in the United Kingdom, or is to be
admitted for settlement at the same time as the applicant arrives in the UK;
the sponsor and the applicant are aged 21 or over;
2.each of the parties intends to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse/civil partner after the marriage/civil partnership;
3.the parties to the proposed marriage/civil partnership have met;
4.adequate maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds will be available for the applicant until the date of the marriage/civil partnership;
5.after the marriage/civil partnership there will be adequate accommodation for the parties and any dependants without recourse to public funds in accommodation which they own or occupy exclusively;
6.after the marriage/civil partnership the parties will be able to maintain themselves and their dependants adequately without recourse to public funds.

Point 5 above is about this topic. Now if we would look at UKBA Entry Clearance Guidance (Chapter 9):

9.2 - Public funds The requirements are designed to
prevent the admission of persons who do not have realistic prospects of
supporting themselves without recourse to public funds. For the purpose of the
Immigration Rules "public funds"
· Income
Support/Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
· Housing and Homelessness
· Housing Benefit
and Council Tax Benefit
Child Tax Credit
· Working
Tax Credit*
· Child Benefit*
· Attendance Allowance
· Severe Disablement
· Invalid Care
· Disability
Living Allowance
Disability Working Allowance
· A Social Fund Payment

* The British/settled spouse/civil partners may claim Working Tax Credits
and Child Benefit for his or her family if they are entitled to this under the
Department for Work and Pensions legislation.
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 important factor to consider is whether there
will be a need for the sponsor to claim additional public funds to support the
applicant. 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.

If the sponsor is in receipt of public funds, it does not mean that they will be unable to support the applicant, although clearly a person who is heavily dependent on
the state because they don't have sufficient means of their own will find it
difficult to support another person for any length of time. The question to be
considered is whether additional recourse to public funds will be necessary if
the applicant is granted leave to enter.

Income Support is paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to those whose income is insufficient to meet their own needs and those of any dependants. Recipients are usually
expected to be available for work, but sole parents and elderly persons may be
excepted from this requirement.

Working Tax Credit is paid by the DWP to those in full-time employment who are on a low income and have children to support.

Housing Benefit is administered by the housing departments of local

If the occupant of housing provided by a local authority pays
rent to be accommodated in the property, such housing is not considered to be
provided from public funds.

You will notice certain points here. Such as (as bolded above), the “additional” part. This means that as long no additional benefits will be claimed by the sponsor due to presence of the applicant in the UK, we are ok. So as long as we are sure that the sponsor will not claim any additional benefits upon arrival of the applicant and the applicant will not (and can not) avail benefits once in UK, we are good to go.

The statement “If the sponsor is in receipt of public funds, it does not mean that they will be unable to support the applicant” clearly shows that if the sponsor is in receipt of benefits, it will not affect the applicants spouse visa application.

Here is some more information from Islington website:

‘No recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) applies to a person who is subject to
immigration control; does not have the right to work (with the exception of
people granted leave as spouses or civil partners); and has no entitlement
to welfare benefits, public housing or UKBA asylum support.
Who has
· refused asylum seekers whose appeal rights are exhausted
· people who have overstayed their visa
· people on sponsorship visas
· people who originally arrived in the UK on a visa and have subsequently put in further representations to remain in the country
· some EEA migrants

This shows that NRPF applies to holders of spouse visa.

Adequate Maintenance

So how do make sure that there is NRPF and still adequate maintenance despite the fact that the sponsor is on benefits.

If you go on the UK Visas website:

There is no explicit minimum figure for what represents sufficient maintenance.
However, in 2006 UKAIT KA and Others (Pakistan), the AIT strongly suggested that
it would not be appropriate to have immigrant families existing on resources
that that were less than the Income Support level for a British Family of that
size (See Paragraph 8 of the determination - available on the Asylum and
Immigration Tribunal website). If it is more likely than not that the total
amount that the applicant and sponsor will have to live on will be below what
the income support level would be for a British family of that size, then it may
be appropriate to refuse the application on maintenance and accommodation

Therefore the proper test to decide on the adequate maintenance would be to test on the Income Support level.

Currently the income support a couple would receive would be 94.95 pounds per week.

My girlfriend gets 60 pounds per week.

I’m not really sure, but, acting on prudence, I will assume I safely need 94.95 per week for at least 6 months while on spouse visa.

During these 6 months if I have adequate education and relevant experience, which I do, I should be able to secure a job.

If we go on bare minimum, it would be 60 pounds per week for me.

But supposing we go on safe side, I should have at least 3000 pounds in my bank account, which I will, to be able to support myself for 6 months at the rate of 94.95 pounds per week (and I’ll still have some left).


Now as for the sponsor, she needs to draw out a budget. Sample can be found here
The budget should simply list down all the inflow of money and the outflow of money. This will help the Entry Clearance Officer see how responsible the sponsor is, and how she manages to save / use her money.

Now in order for the income support test to be passed, we need to be sure what is it exactly that the person is expected to pay out of the income support she is receiving. They mostly include utility bills and groceries, and NOT council tax or house rent, since its already being paid through the Council Tax benefit and Housing benefit.

Therefore, if the sponsor will keep on receiving housing and council tax benefits (which she will since she is British citizen), therefore I won’t have to pay it. So I’ll have to pay for ‘myself’ for the things she pays out currently for, out of her Income Support benefit that she receives.
If she can draw up a budget, showing that she is getting benefits to pay for housing and council tax, and its understood she will keep on receiving them, therefore I will not have to contribute to them (until and unless I get a job). So till then, if I prove I will have 3000 pounds, i.e. 94.95 minimum per week, I will meet the income support level.

So the importance of a budget drawn up by the sponsor is essential to prove how the bills are being paid, along with documentary proof. The documentary proof would income all her income support documents to prove inflow of money, and receipts of cash paid out for groceries and other payments.

It would also be wise for the applicant to draw up a budget on how he plans to help with his 94.95 pounds per week.

Income support might stop for the sponsor on arrival of the applicant therefore its necessary that he meets the minimum of 94.95 pounds per week. Any suggestions on this topic would be welcome, perhaps I have missed something.


  1. Hi, just an update, the bare minimum amount for a couple has gone up to about £106 pounds a week.

  2. thanks for puttin this up you have really help clarify alot of things as we are in the process of applying and i am in reciept of income support and housing benefit has my husband is currently back home and we've been worried it mite affect our application

  3. but if ur partner gets 60 pounds as single person and a couple gets 106 pounds would u not only have to find the difference

  4. Thanks SOOOOO much, I have been strugling for almost a year now to understand how it works and to find out how can I apply for my spouse visa, my UK citizen is getting public funds and living in council accommodation ( but he is pying the accommodation tax) and he is unemployed, hs been looking ike crazy for job but nothing there! I'm sure I can have a good job once I'm there because my experience and multilingual skills I have. But little affraid of refusing my application because of pubic funds. If the key word in that is "additional" public funds then, can we both write a letter stating that we won't and will REFUSE any additional PF??
    Thanks again :)

  5. After reading this blog and adivse from solicitors i have applied for my spouse with the savings, but ecm refused stating that no evidence is provided for the origin of funds hence refused application on paragraph 281 part 4 and 5. can anyone help in this regard. what actually ECO wanted to see in the appeal. I am going to appeal against the

  6. This was really helpful to me. My boyfriend is from the U.S and I am from the U.K, working and claiming child benefit, working tax credits and child tax credits for children from a previous relationship. I was extremely worried that these benefits would affect a fiance visa for him, however we will have £3000 savings in the bank when we come to make the application. Your post has made it easier to understand that as long as we have the savings to support him we shouldn't have a problem. Many thanks.

  7. Firstly am sorry for this post being so long but i am really stressing. My husband is going to apply for a spouse visa to the UK within the year as we will be married in 6 weeks.and after that i cant go back to him for 5 months because of work :( I am English and he is Egyptian. I am 25 and he is 24. I am in full time work and after tax i earn just over £1000 per month, so i do not receive any benefits or help from the state. the biggest worry I have when applying is accommodation, because I still live with my dad and two brothers in the family home (my dad owns it fully) I live with my dad rent free as i am trying to save. this is the address that we will have to use when applying as i see no point in renting someplace alone and wasting the opportunity to save money. my dad will write a letter to say my husband and I can live there until we find a place of our own and he will also state that he can offer my husband work within his company. any help will be much appreciated and any advice on what evidence/letter content i need to produce like from my dad and my invitation letter content etc.
    again sorry for the long post, as you can tell i am really on edge.

  8. This is just the information I've been searching for. I'm engaged to a girl in Africa and I am on pension credit and was afraid I'd have to find a job so she could get a visa as a lot of sites make it sound as though the sponsor must have no recourse to public funds and pension credit is considered public funds. I was going to apply for housing benefit too and then I thought that I wouldn't be able to get any benefits at all but this has given me hope so thank you so much for all the very positive information.

  9. im on long term disability benefits and also have a disabled daughter, i want my egyption husband to join me in the uk as i have better access to health crae that i need also a special school for my daughter, whats the chances my husband can join us and apply for permanent residencey?

  10. If your spouse is not from an EU country then you will not be entitled to couples allowance you will only be able to claim £65.30 Jobseekers allowance for yourself. Your spouse will be entitled to work in the UK, but not be entitled to any benefits. If you were to find a job and it was low paid you would then be able to claim working tax credit.

  11. I am so sorry to sound like an idiot, after reading all the comments made about all those applications I am still not very clear about it all.

    I earn just about a £1000 after tax and would like to sponsor my wife to come to the UK. I do not claim any benefits and live in a box room.
    1. Is that sufficient salary to sponsor my wife?
    2. would it be acceptable if a friend gives me a letter stating that I live in his house and that I can live there with my wife once she comes back?
    3. Do I need to get some loan from the bank and put it in my account to show that I have some savings?

    I would really appreciate your help via email.



  12. you never afford even i 1 bedroom room apartement in londonbcoz its damn expensive and it cost £1000, and even you work full time you can hardly earn £ 1000, bcoz its a stupid country, then how can you satisfy that M F visa officer that you can bear all expenses??? UK is a good country only for British citizen who can get thousands of benefits, working tax, Child, Job seeker allownce and blah blah, but being a non- EU your are fucked this country....that the true picture of this country....

  13. Very nice blog. I like the way of your writing style. You explain in detail which is very helpful and informative. I learn a lot of thing from article. Keep writing and sharing. Thanks.

  14. Visa & Immigration ServicesOctober 31, 2010 at 4:47 PM

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  15. You just made my day. My husband wants to apply for spouse visa in Nigeria. I am a British citizen and i earn only 1300/month, thus claim child benefits, child and working tax credits and some housing benefits. I have been worried sick about the 'no recourse to public funds' thing.After bills and childcare I still have like £650 left every month.. I dunno, is that enuf to satisfy them? Will he still be granted even tho I am on low income and claim benefits. Please, I need answers. Thanks.

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  17. My husband will apply in the next two months, we both just graduated in his home country. We are both currently employed and as i am british i wish to return to the UK. Of course i do not have a job in the UK as i have not lived there since i started uni nearly 4 years ago. We have savings of around £4000 between us. Our family will put us up and cover all our expenses in the UK. They are employed in the UK too and also paid for both our uni fees (nearly £20,000 in total)so will definitely support us financially if need be. Do you think it will be adequate to be classed as sufficient funds?

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