Appendix FM Breach
Muldoon Britton recently assisted a client in obtaining a Settlement Visa – despite the client not having complete control of their cash savings in the 6 months prior to the date the application was made.
Applicant’s wishing to apply for a settlement visa must meet the financial requirements under Appendix FM. There are 6 ways to meet the financial requirements – all set out below:
- Adequate Maintenance – this applies to applicant’s whose sponsors are in receipt of benefits or allowances in the UK.
- Income from salaried or non-salaried employment – only the sponsor’s salary may be relied upon for the purposes of this application, unless the applicant is already in the UK with permission to work. The sponsor/applicant must earn a minimum of £18,600 per annum, with an additional amount for each dependant applying with the applicant.
- Non-employment income – this refers to income that the applicant or sponsor receive from non-employment sources such as: property rental; interest from savings; maintenance payments; and maternity allowance.
- Cash savings – Only cash savings above the amount of £16,000 can be used for the purposes of the application, but they can be combined with other sources of income (except self-employment income). If an applicant is relying on cash savings only then they or their sponsor must hold a minimum of £62,500.00 in an account for a minimum of 6 months.
- State (UK or foreign), occupational, or private pension – if either you or your sponsor are in receipt of a pension, this may be used to meet the financial requirement.
- Income from self-employment, and income as a director or employee of a specified limited company in the UK, of the sponsor (and/or the applicant if they are in the UK with permission to work). – the minimum income requirement is also £18,600 but self-employment income cannot be combined with cash savings to meet the financial requirement.
Our client was relying on cash savings alone to meet the financial requirement. In the 6 months prior to her application for a settlement visa, she had been visiting the UK with her husband where they had just purchased a home together. Upon her return to the USA, she opened letters that had been sent from her financial institution, notifying her of the closure of her savings account. Our client was issued a cheque for the monies remaining in her account, but as they were no longer held in a regulated financial institution, and had been moved without the account holders consent, there had been a breach of the immigration rules under Appendix FM.
Muldoon Britton drafted a carefully worded affidavit for our client and her sponsor to sign, confirming what had happened with the monies in the account. All necessary documentation from the client’s financial institution was included in the bundle of supporting documents sent to UK Visas and Immigration. Muldoon Britton wrote a cover letter in support of the client’s application, stating that the breach in the Immigration Rules was an administrative error on behalf of the financial institution where our client’s monies were held, and our client took every effort to rectify the error as soon as possible.