Isle of Man visa processing times06/07/2022
Notaries in the Isle of Man – what do we do?21/07/2022
If you are in a long term relationship with a British citizen or a person settled in the Isle of Man and you are wanting to emigrate here, you would be forgiven for thinking that the immigration permission you require to enter the Isle of Man would be fairly easy to obtain.
Unfortunately, quite the opposite is true! The Partner route can be one of the most complex and expensive immigration routes, with a long list of requirements (including an onerous financial test) and, at time of writing, a processing time of around six months.
This post will focus on the financial requirement and the various ways in which you can meet the financial test when making your initial application for entry clearance. Before we get there, let us consider who is eligible for the Partner route.
Who qualifies for the Partner route?
This immigration route is often misleadingly referred to as a “spouse visa” but it is actually open to a broader category of people including the spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners (who can prove that they have been living together in a relationship akin to a marriage for at least the last two years) of British or Irish citizens, holders of indefinite leave to remain, and qualifying EU citizens and ECAA workers/businesspeople.
What is the financial requirement?
The Immigration Rules require that an applicant meet a prescribed financial test, which for most applicants means providing specific evidence of a gross annual income of at least GBP18,600.00 or cash savings of at least GBP62,500.00 The financial threshold is further increased for each child joining you as a dependant although this only applies in respect of children if they are not British citizens or are otherwise settled in the Isle of Man.
How can I prove the financial requirement?
The financial test can be met in a number of ways including through salaried employment and income received through self-employment, which, in respect of a partner returning to the Isle of Man with the applicant, can include specified employment or self-employment overseas.
Cash savings, pension income or other non-employment income received from property rental, dividends or maintenance grants can also be used.
It is possible to use a combination of sources in some cases but there are strict rules about what can and cannot be combined. For example, cash savings can be combined with employment income but not with self-employed income.
Most often, people applying for entry clearance will be relying on salaried employment to satisfy the financial requirement but in this scenario it is only the applicant’s partner’s (known as the Sponsor’s) income that can be taken into account.
The evidence required is different depending on whether your partner (Sponsor) has worked with their current employer for more than six months or has worked with their current employer for less than six months and/or has a variable income.
If your partner is self-employed, there are two ways to evidence the requirement. Your partner can either use their total income from the last full financial year or they may use a yearly average of the income received in the last two full financial years.
If your partner is joining you in the Isle of Man and regardless of whether your partner is using salaried employment income or self-employment income, they will also have to meet a second requirement involving their future in the Isle of Man – that is, that they will also need to prove that they have a confirmed offer of salaried or non-salaried employment in the Isle of Man.
In contrast to income derived from employment or self-employment, you can use cash savings that are in your or your partner’s name or which are held jointly provided that the savings can be accessed immediately. This can include funds held in a pension savings account.
The savings can also be transferred from investments (including the sale of a property), stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds but additional evidence is required in these circumstances.
For entry clearance, the calculation for cash savings is that you have a base amount of GBP16,000.00 to which you add a further GBP18,600.00 x 2.5 years (the length of the initial visa). This means that if you are relying solely on cash savings, you will need to show at least GBP62,500.00 This figure increases if you have children joining you as your dependants.
It is possible to rely partially on cash savings in combination with another permitted source (e.g. employment or pension income) as long as the savings amount exceeds GBP16,000.00
You can rely on pension income or income from the rental of a property owned by you and/or your partner (as long as it is not your main residence). You can also use income from dividends or other investment income and interest from savings. You can use maintenance payments or grants and even ongoing insurance payments (for example, under an income protection policy).
What do I do if I cannot meet the financial requirement?
There is very little leeway in the Immigration Rules if you cannot meet the financial test of the Partner visa and the circumstances would need to be most exceptional.
Considering the cost and difficulty in meeting the requirements of the visa, many of our clients find that they need end up applying for an alternative and often more suitable immigration option.
How can Kinley Legal help?
Kinley Legal is a fully insured specialist law firm, specialising in Isle of Man immigration and British nationality work. All our lawyers are based in the Isle of Man and hold qualifications to practise not only in the Isle of Man, but also jurisdictions such as England and Wales, Ireland and South Africa. We have significant experience working with families to advise on the Partner and other family related visas
If you would like to make an appointment for a call, in-person meeting or online meeting to discuss your situation please get in touch by e-mail at email@example.com or complete our simple contact form, and we would be pleased to help.