To be eligible for a visa to come to the UK, most applicants will need to meet a financial requirement, typically where they are applying for entry clearance and will need to prove sufficient funds to be able to support themselves on their arrival.
The rules relating to this requirement are set out under the various different appendices for each individual immigration route, together with Appendix Finance of the UK’s Immigration Rules.
The following comprehensive guide to Appendix Finance looks in detail at exactly what this appendix is and when this is used, including the different immigration routes to which this appendix applies.
What is Appendix Finance?
There are a number of appendices to the UK’s Immigration Rules, each dealing with specific aspects of those rules, from the rules relating to individual immigration routes to the rules relating to certain requirements under those routes. Appendix Finance sets out how the financial requirement must be met in relation to certain UK visa applications.
Appendix Finance can be found in full at GOV.UK, together with additional online Home Office guidance on how to interpret its provisions. While this online guidance is designed for Home Office caseworkers, explaining how they should assess whether an applicant has met the financial requirement under Appendix Finance, it provides applicants with useful insight into Home Office decision-making when it comes to interpreting the relevant rules.
For guidance in the context of a specific scenario, reference should be made both to Appendix Finance, in conjunction with the most up-to-date guidance on the financial requirement for Home Office staff. Seeking expert advice from an immigration specialist is also strongly advised when it comes to interpreting the rules in advance of an application, not least in relation to the documentary evidence needed to support an application. In this way, applicants can maximise the prospects of a successful outcome, while minimising the possibility of failing to meet this and other requirements.
When does Appendix Finance apply?
Applicants in most UK immigration routes must meet a financial requirement, although how they must do this differs from route to route. Under the financial requirement, applicants must generally show that they either have sufficient funds for their activity or role for which they are coming to the UK, for example, for study or work. They must also show that they can maintain and accommodate themselves, and any dependants, without accessing public funds. More specifically, the rules for each relevant route each set out:
- what type of financial requirement the applicant on that route must meet
- who must meet the financial requirement, where for applicants who have been living with permission in the UK for the 12 months before the date of application will have met the requirement on many immigration routes and do not need to provide further evidence
- the amount of funds, where a specific level of funds is required, as well as the length of time and the period during which the funds must be held by the applicant
- whether there are different ways that the financial requirement can be met, for example, where a UK sponsor can certify maintenance on a work route and where an applicant can depend on funds from third parties on certain routes.
However, all these routes specifically prescribe that the level of funds required, for the necessary length of time, must be held by the applicant “as specified in Appendix Finance”.
As such, Appendix Finance is used to set out the way in which funds must be shown by the applicant so as to satisfy the financial requirement on any given route, while it is the individual immigration routes themselves that set out the specific requirements for the amount of funds and the length of time that they must be held etc. This means that even if an applicant is able to show they have had the level of funds required for the prescribed period, the strict requirements around how these funds are held must still be met.
Which UK visas are subject to Appendix Finance?
Appendix Finance applies to applications under the following UK visa routes:
- Short-term Student
- Child Student
- Parent of a Child Student
- Skilled Worker
- Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist
- Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee
- Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker
- Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier
- Global Business Mobility – Secondment Worker
- High Potential Individual
- Representative of an Overseas Business
- Global Talent
- Innovator Founder
- T2 Minister of Religion
- International Sportsperson
- UK Ancestry
- Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker
- Youth Mobility Scheme
- Temporary Work – Creative Worker
- Temporary Work – Religious Worker
- Temporary Work – Charity Worker
- Temporary Work – International Agreement
- Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange
- Domestic Worker in a Private Household
- Hong Kong British National (Overseas)
This includes where the dependants of principal applicants or primary visa-holders can apply on these routes. The section on financial institutions also applies to visitors and family applications under Appendix FM.
Key requirements under Appendix Finance
Appendix Finance, as with all other appendices set out under the Immigration Rules, is broken down into various different sections, each dealing with a key area. There are a total of nine sections under Appendix Finance including:
This section provides that where money is held in one or more foreign currencies, this will be converted into pound sterling using the spot exchange rate on the Oanda website, which provides currency information, for the date of the application.
This section provides that funds will not be taken into account if held in a financial institution where the decision-maker is either unable to make any satisfactory verification checks, the institution is not regulated by the appropriate body for the country in which it is operating or it does not use electronic record-keeping.
This section provides that overdraft facilities will not be counted towards meeting any financial requirement.
Requirement to have legally earned or acquired funds, savings or income
This section provides that if an applicant’s funds, savings or income were earned or acquired when they were in the UK, this must have been earned or acquired lawfully and while the applicant had permission and not in breach of any conditions attached to that permission.
This section provides that accounts relied on by an applicant must be in their name, either alone or as a joint account-holder, unless a specific exception applies. This could include, for example, where the account is in the name of the applicant’s partner who is applying for entry clearance or permission to stay at the same time or has already been granted permission. It could also include where the applicant is applying as a Student, Child Student or dependent child, and the account is in the name of their parent or legal guardian, although they may also need to provide proof of that relationship and written consent from the parent or legal guardian to use those funds. An applicant can also rely on the account of a third party, provided the route under which they are applying states that this acceptable and the account is in the name of that party.
Third party support
This section provides that any promises of future third-party support from the applicant will not be accepted as evidence of funds, except where this is specified in the route under which the applicant is applying.
Dates of financial evidence
This section provides that the most recently dated piece of financial evidence must be dated within 31 days prior to the date of application, where the length of time for which funds are held will be calculated by counting back from the date of the closing balance on the most recently dated piece of evidence. The financial evidence provided must also cover the whole period for which the funds must be held.
This section provides that funds may be held in any form of personal bank or building society account, provided the account allows the funds to be accessed immediately. This can include current, deposit and savings accounts, as well as investment accounts or pensions from which the funds can be withdrawn. In contrast, any funds held in other accounts or financial instruments such as shares, bonds, credit cards and pensions from which the funds cannot be immediately withdrawn, regardless of notice period, will not be accepted as evidence of funds to meet a financial requirement. The section goes on to specify ways in which certain student applicants can show funds, including funds provided by an official sponsor or approved student loan company.
Evidence of financial sponsorship or student loans for students
This section makes specific and more detailed provision as to the exact evidence needed by an applicant relying on funds provided by an official financial sponsor or student loan company. For example, where a student sponsor is providing financial sponsorship, the funds being provided must be stated in the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or a letter of confirmation from the official sponsor. Similarly, where an approved lender is providing an applicant with a student loan, this must be evidenced by way of a letter from the lender that meets a number of specific content requirements as to the loan terms and conditions etc.
Below we set out illustrations from two of the most commonly-used immigration routes to demonstrate the route-specific financial requirements, although the way in which these funds are held will apply equally to each route, as set out under Appendix Finance.
Skilled Worker route financial requirement under Appendix Finance
To meet the financial requirement under the Skilled Worker route — unless the applicant has already been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or more on the date of application, where they will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds — they must have funds of at least £1,270. Alternatively, the applicant’s A-rated sponsor must certify that they will, if needed, maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of their first month of employment in the UK, to an amount of at least £1,270.
The financial requirement provisions under Appendix Skilled Worker go on to state that where this requirement applies, ie; where an applicant on the Skilled Worker route is either applying for entry clearance or permission to stay and has been in the UK with permission for a period of less than 12 months, the applicant must show that they have held the required funds for a 28-day period and “as specified in Appendix Finance”.
Student route financial requirement under Appendix Finance
To meet the financial requirement under the Student route — unless the applicant has already been living in the UK with permission for at least 12 months on the date of application, where they will meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds — they must have sufficient funds to cover any outstanding fees for a London-based course, plus £1334 for each month of their course, up to a maximum of 9 months. For applicants studying outside of London, they must again have funds to cover their course fees, plus £1023 for each month of their course, up to a maximum of 9 months.
In broad terms, this therefore means that where an applicant on the Student route is either applying for entry clearance or permission to stay but has lived in the UK with permission for less than 12 months, they must meet the relevant location-based level of funds. The provisions under Appendix Student then go on to qualify the rules in the context of specific scenarios, for example, where the applicant has already paid their course fees in full or paid a deposit to the student sponsor for accommodation arranged by their sponsor.
The financial requirement rules under Appendix Student also require the applicant to show that they have held the required level of funds for a 28-day period and “as specified in Appendix Finance”, unless the applicant is relying on a student loan or official financial sponsorship which meets the requirements of FIN 8.3. in Appendix Finance.
DavidsonMorris are UK immigration specialists. For expert guidance on a UK visa application, including guidance on financial requirements under Appendix Finance, contact us.
Appendix FM FAQs
What is the meaning of appendix finance?
Appendix Finance prescribes the way in which funds must be shown by the applicant to satisfy the financial requirement on different visa routes, while each individual route prescribes the amount of funds and length of time they must be held.
What is the appendix financial requirement guidance?
Appendix Finance can be found at GOV.UK, together with Home Office guidance on how to interpret its provisions. This online guidance is to advise Home Office caseworkers when assessing whether applicants have met the financial requirement under Appendix Finance.
What is the appendix visa for the UK?
The UK’s Immigration Rules are made up of multiple sections, with several appendices setting out the rules relating to various different visas. There is no general ‘appendix visa’, but rather appendices relating to different ways to come to the UK.
What is appendix FM-SE for a director?
Appendix FM-SE of the UK’s Immigration Rules relates to ‘specified evidence’ needed to meet the financial requirement for family members under Appendix FM, including a list of documents which must be provided as a director of a specified limited company.
Last updated: 27 June 2023