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Topic: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas  (Read 33560 times)

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Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« on: September 14, 2009, 12:33:28 PM »
Recently, due to all the numerous budgeting discussions, it has come to light that an advisory needed to be done on budgets & budgeting and how they may affect your visa application.

The guidelines on Maintenance state that a couple must be able to maintain & accommodate themselves without need for public funds and that it is not reasonable to expect a family to live on less than what a British family of their size be receiving in Income Support.

What does this mean?

In a nutshell it basically means that in order to meet the maintenance requirement you need to show income to cover your rent/mortgage & council tax PLUS £100.95/wk for a couple. If there are children in your family then you must show an additional £56.11/wk in income to cover their maintenance requirements.

Just remember that these are the bottom of the barrel minimums and it is the ECO's discretion if they think you meet it or not. Of course the more above it you are the more likely your application will not have issues with maintenance.


Furthermore, it has come to light that some people are getting 'creative' with their budgeting. Such as stating on their applications that they only spend £10/wk in food costs for 2 people?!?! or that their utility costs are only £2 a month?!?!  

Be honest and realistic in your budgeting folks. The ECO's are not stupid. If you're not, we have seen where these grossly understated figures have pushed the line of Deception on a Visa Application and therefore risking refusal under section 320. If that happens you're basically going to be out of luck in obtaining a UK visa for a VERY long time. Don't risk it.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 03:48:17 PM by WebyJ »


Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 06:36:25 PM »
Webbie, I am VERY GRATEFUL for your taking the time to put this advisory out. 

A word to the wise, peeps!


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Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 06:49:23 PM »
Weby, this is great. I would love to see the advisory expanded to cover what sort of figure is needed in savings for couples moving back to the UK at the same time, since directions on meeting the requirement this way are incredibly ambiguous.


Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 06:59:46 PM »
Weby, this is great. I would love to see the advisory expanded to cover what sort of figure is needed in savings for couples moving back to the UK at the same time, since directions on meeting the requirement this way are incredibly ambiguous.

The reason there is nothing in the guidance is because it's pretty simple. Take the guided amount per week depending on your family size include what your housing costs would be (rent & council tax) and then project that out for the 'foreseeable future'...This is assuming there is no guaranteed source of income for either of you upon entry to the UK -- IE no job waiting....I'm not sure how else to explain it.


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Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 07:06:55 PM »
Thanks so much for the post Weby...I know a lot of people freak out about the budget.   The budget I came up with does show some fairly "unrealistic" values for some of the budget items, but that's because we are staying with my hubby's parents and we are only contributing to the monthly bills, as opposed to paying them in full.  For instance, our grocery for 3 people is budgeted out at 80 pounds per month.  This might be unrealistic if we lived on our own, but since we have an agreement with the in-laws, it is just our contributory amount (probably not the full amount of our actual groceries items consumed).  Just wanted to point out for all the over-analyzers (like myself) that it is acceptable to say your groceries are 10 pounds/week for 2 people in situations like that.  And I did of course state in my "additional information" section why this amount was "unrealistic."


Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2009, 07:10:02 PM »
Thanks so much for the post Weby...I know a lot of people freak out about the budget.   The budget I came up with does show some fairly "unrealistic" values for some of the budget items, but that's because we are staying with my hubby's parents and we are only contributing to the monthly bills, as opposed to paying them in full.  For instance, our grocery for 3 people is budgeted out at 80 pounds per month.  This might be unrealistic if we lived on our own, but since we have an agreement with the in-laws, it is just our contributory amount (probably not the full amount of our actual groceries items consumed). 

You said it yourself. This is not what your groceries cost and you should not have labled it as such. Labeling it 'household contribution' is a more accurate and best thing to do.


Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2009, 08:12:02 AM »
Just moving this back to the front of the page as there seems to be many budgeting questions. Could we possibly have this on a sticky since it keeps coming up all the time?


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Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 12:27:15 AM »
In a nutshell it basically means that in order to meet the maintenance requirement you need to show income to cover your rent/mortgage & council tax PLUS £100.95/wk for a couple. If there are children in your family then you must show an additional £56.11/wk in income to cover their maintenance requirements.

Is this £56.11 per child?


Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2009, 08:35:56 AM »
Is this £56.11 per child?
Yep...per week per child.


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Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2009, 03:02:40 PM »
If you know for a fact that you are well over the £100.95 amount per week do you still need to include a budget?  Tim can cover his mortgage and council tax with what he makes in one week, so it seems kind of pointless for us to include a budget...but if we absolutely have to, I can do one.
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Met Tim Online: 2004 ~ Met IRL in the US: 6/2005
Engaged: 23/09/2009 ~ Married:  05/11/2009
Biometrics Submitted: 28/12/2009 ~ Spousal Visa Application Submitted: 12/31/2009
Spousal Visa Issued: 31/12/2009 ~ Move Date: 21/1/2010


Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 03:08:13 PM »
There is nothing in the regs that requires you provide a budget! The application itself asks for the numbers and the ECO's can do the maths themselves and see if you meet the requirements.

I never supplied a budget. I never heard of doing a budget. Forums can be excellent to make sure that you cover all your bases, however, it can cause some paranoia thinking that you have to do things that you don't. In a way, I'm kinda glad I did my application blind or I would have been a lot more worried than I already was at that time being a newlywed and 30 weeks pregnant trying to get back to my husband  :-\\\\ !

So, in a nutshell, no printed budget required. You have to examine your own situation and make the decision if you're so financially strapped that you have to put it down on a seperate piece of paper to show the ECO (who probably doesn't even look at it anyway) that you just squeek by...then if it makes you feel better to have a budget, then have a budget.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 03:10:49 PM by WebyJ »


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Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 03:09:04 PM »
If you know for a fact that you are well over the £100.95 amount per week do you still need to include a budget?  Tim can cover his mortgage and council tax with what he makes in one week, so it seems kind of pointless for us to include a budget...but if we absolutely have to, I can do one.

I think if it's pretty obvious that you're in good financial standing just by bank statements and whatnot, it's not necessary to include a budget. I mean, it's not necessary *at all* to include a budget, but if the ECO can look at what he makes per month and it's a decent figure, he or she can assume things would be fine just by being able to look at the statements and seeing a pattern in what's going in (wages, etc) versus going out (bills, cash, etc).

I don't think in my application I really needed it, only because of the amount of savings my husband has (along with a pretty stable and decent job like Tim has), but I was being all OCD during that time and included one anyway.
Met fiance (online): 2001
Started dating: 12/2005
Met fiance: 09/2006; 06/2007
UK Trip: 03/2008; 10/2008
Engaged: 11/2008
Married: 05/27/2009
Spousal visa app: 06/02/2009
Biometrics: 06/26/2009
Consulate received app: 07/01/2009
Approved: 07/02/2009
Moving Date: 09/04/2009

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Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 03:11:05 PM »
I only included it because i wanted the ECO to see how i came up with the 'how much do you spend each month on household expenses' But if you have a large salary then definitely no need for one :)




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Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2009, 04:40:27 PM »
Thanks!  I don't feel super comfortable listing Tim's exact salary publicly, but for example if his mortgage and council tax was £300/mo, then his salary would be 4 times that. IMHO seemed silly to make up a budget when you're looking at having that much leftover,but if it was a requirement, I'd do it.
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Met Tim Online: 2004 ~ Met IRL in the US: 6/2005
Engaged: 23/09/2009 ~ Married:  05/11/2009
Biometrics Submitted: 28/12/2009 ~ Spousal Visa Application Submitted: 12/31/2009
Spousal Visa Issued: 31/12/2009 ~ Move Date: 21/1/2010


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Re: Advisory: Budgeting for Spouse/Fiance(e)/Unmarried Partner visas
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2009, 04:00:53 PM »
Is a budget necessary if you are entering with cash savings?

If it's not, what is the minimum cash in banks you would need to show?


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