8. Give proof of your income

You and your partner must have a combined income of at least £18,600 a year if:

  • you’re applying as a partner
  • you want to settle in the UK (get ‘indefinite leave to remain’) within 5 years

You must prove you have extra money if you have children who aren’t:

  • British citizens
  • EEA nationals
  • permanently settled

You’ll need to earn an extra:

  • £3,800 for your first child
  • £2,400 for each child you have after your first child

This is the called the ‘minimum income requirement’.

You may be able to use your savings instead of income.

How you prove you have the money depends on how you got the income.

What counts as income

You and your partner can use:

  • income from employment before tax and National Insurance (check your P60 or payslips) - you can only use your own income if you earn it in the UK
  • income you earn from self-employment or as a director of a limited company in the UK - check your Self Assessment tax return
  • cash savings above £16,000
  • money from a pension
  • non-work income, for example from property rentals or dividends

If you’re using income from self-employment or employment, you’ll need to prove you or your partner received that income for 6 months or more.

Example You’ve worked with the same employer earning £18,600 or more for 6 months or longer.

What proof you need to give

You’ll need to send proof of your income with your application. If you or your partner are employed, you could include:

  • bank statements showing you or your partner’s income
  • 6 months of payslips
  • a letter from an employer, dated and on headed paper

The employer’s letter should confirm:

  • you or your partner are employed there
  • the job title or position you or your partner hold
  • how long you or your partner have worked there
  • the type of contract (for example, permanent, fixed term)
  • what you or your partner earn before tax and National Insurance
  • how long you or your partner have been paid your current salary
  • the payslips are genuine

You’ll be told exactly what documents to send when you apply online.

Check the detailed guidance if:

  • you or your partner’s income is more complicated
  • you or your partner have taken maternity or paternity leave in the last 6 months
  • you want to combine different income sources

The detailed guidance also explains the evidence you need to provide for each of the types of income you’re relying on.

If you can’t meet the minimum income requirement

You need to show you and your partner meet the minimum income requirement if you want to settle in 5 years as a partner.

If you don’t meet the requirement, you may be able to settle in 10 years.

When you don’t need to meet the income requirement

You may be able to settle in 5 years without meeting the minimum income requirement if either:

  • you’re applying as a parent
  • you get certain benefits, for example Disability Living Allowance or Carer’s Allowance.

You need to show you and your family have enough money to adequately support and accommodate yourselves without relying on public funds. The caseworker considers your income and housing costs.