Self-Employed How to Apply for UK Spouse Visa

Self-Employed

Can you apply for a spouse visa if you or your partner is self-employed?

Yes, you can apply for a Spouse Visa if you or your UK-based partner is self-employed as self-employment is recognised as a valid source of income for a Spouse Visa application. While most of the Spouse Visa requirements remain the same, the application may require you to provide additional documents and evidence to prove that the self-employed income is sufficient to meet the Spouse Visa financial requirements: at least £29,000 per year.

According to the UK government, being self-employed means if you run your business for yourself and take responsibility for its success or failure. In addition, you are likely to have several customers at the same time and have the freedom to decide how, where, and when you do your work. In other words, you work for yourself rather than an employer.

Required documents for self-employed spouse visa application

The documents you will need to provide to UKVI to support your Spouse visa application as a self-employed person will depend on your type of self-employment, as follows:

Required documents if you are a sole trader, as a partner, or in a franchise

  • Annual self-assessment tax return to HMRC (SA300 or SA302).
  • Proof of registration with HMRC as self-employed.
  • Unique Tax Reference Number/s (UTR)
  • Business bank statements for the same 12-month period as the tax return(s).
  • Personal bank statements for the same 12-month period as the tax return(s) showing income from self-employment being paid in the name of the person or in the name of the person and their partner jointly.

In addition, you must provide one of the following:

  • Annual audited accounts for the last full financial year (if required)
  • Annual unaudited accounts for the last full financial year and an accountant’s certificate of confirmation from an approved accountant
  • A certificate of vat registration and the vat return for the last full financial year if turnover is in excess of £79,000
  • Evidence to show appropriate planning permission or local planning authority consent is held to operate the type/class of business at the trading address (applies if there is a local authority requirement)
  • A signed franchise agreement

Required documents if you are a director or other employee (or both) of a specified limited

  • Company Tax Return CT600 for the last full financial year (in addition to the acknowledgment of receipt from HMRC)
  • Evidence of registration with Companies House
  • Annual audited accounts for the last full financial year
  • If audited accounts are not required, unaudited accounts for the last full financial year with an approved accountant’s certificate
  • Corporate/business bank statements covering the same 12-month period as the CT600
  • A current Appointment Report from Companies House

In addition, you must provide one of the following:

  • VAT registration certificate and VAT return for the last full financial if turnover is in excess of £79,000
  • Proof of ownership or lease of business premises
  • Original proof of PAYE registration with HMRC

If you are a director or employee of the company (or both) and you draw a salary, you will need to provide a copy of your payslips, a P60, and your personal bank statements covering the same period as your CT600. If you receive dividends, you will need to provide dividend vouchers and personal bank statements showing receipt of the dividends.

How to meet Spouse Visa requirements if you or your partner is self-employed

The immigration rules state that you can meet the spouse visa financial requirement in a number of ways, including through income from self-employment or as a director of a limited company (both from you as the applicant or from your UK-based partner).

When calculating the amount of income from self-employment as the director or employee (or both) of a limited company in the UK, there are two main methods that you can use:

  • Self-employment income from the last full financial year (category F)
  • Self-employment income as an average over the last two financial years (category G)

In addition, the Home Office will want to see evidence of ongoing self-employment as of the date of application.

The way in which you calculate your income from self-employment (or that of your UK-based partner) will depend on whether you are self-employed as:

  • a sole trader, as a partner or in a franchise, or
  • a director or other employee (or both) of a specified limited company

Applying as a sole trader, as a partner, or in a franchise

A sole trader is a business owned and controlled by an individual (but they can employ staff). In a partnership, a business may be owned by two or more people. A franchise is a type of business whereby a person buys a licence to use an existing business idea/model/brand.

If you are a sole trader, business partner, or franchisee, you will need to use your self-assessment tax return for the relevant tax years to prove your level of income to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). It is important that you calculate your income in the Self-Assessment tax year, not the company accounting period. In the UK, the relevant tax year for those submitting a Self-Assessment tax return is the 6th of April to the 5th of April in the following year. The immigration rules also state if you are relying on your partner’s income from self-employment overseas, the exact dates of the relevant financial year(s) will depend on the tax rules in that country.

Your income will be based on your gross taxable profits from your share of the business in the relevant financial year(s). This does not include any deductible allowances, expenses, or liabilities applied when calculating your final tax liability.

If your self-assessment tax return includes provisional figures, it is important to ensure that the return explains the reasons for this and that you provide a detailed cover letter with your application explaining how the figures were calculated and how these relate to your audited or unaudited accounts.

Applying as a director or other employee (or both) of a specified limited

If you are applying for a Spouse visa based on income as a director or other employee (or both) of a specified limited, you will instead need to base your income calculations on the relevant financial year(s) covered by your Company Tax Return (CT600) corresponding to the 12-month accounting year of your company.

Conclusion

Applying for a UK Spouse Visa as a self-employed individual may seem daunting, but with careful preparation and attention to detail, it’s entirely feasible. By following the outlined steps and ensuring you provide comprehensive documentation, you can increase your chances of a successful application and begin your new life with your partner in the UK.

For help with your spouse visa application, if you are relying on self-employment income, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation at 0161 222 5860 or by email at Info@ukspousevisa.co.uk.

FAQs

Can I apply for a UK Spouse Visa if I’m self-employed but don’t meet the financial requirements?

It’s essential to meet the financial threshold set by the Home Office to qualify for a UK Spouse Visa. If you’re unable to meet the requirements based on your self-employment income alone, consider alternative options or seek professional advice.

What should I do if my visa application is refused?

If your visa application is refused, you’ll receive a letter outlining the reasons for refusal and any options for appeal or reapplication. Consider seeking legal advice to understand your options and address any deficiencies in your application.

How long does it take to process a UK Spouse Visa application?

Processing times for UK Spouse Visa applications can vary depending on various factors, including the volume of applications and individual circumstances. It’s advisable to check the current processing times on the official UK government website for the most up-to-date information.

Can I work in the UK on a Spouse Visa if I’m self-employe?

Yes, holders of a UK Spouse Visa are typically allowed to work in the UK, including self-employment, provided they meet all relevant immigration and employment regulations.

Is there a minimum income requirement for UK Spouse Visa applicants?

Yes, the UK government sets minimum income thresholds that sponsors must meet to qualify for a Spouse Visa. These thresholds can vary depending on factors such as whether there are dependent children involved and whether the applicant is applying from within or outside the UK.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *