Meeting the financial requirement through ‘adequate maintenance’

Partners on a 5-year route to settlement under Appendix FM and their children, in certain circumstances may be able to meet the financial requirement through ‘adequate’ maintenance rather than meeting an ‘income threshold’ of £18,600 for an applicant without children (the sum is higher if there are non-British (non-settled) children who are also applying).

To be able to benefit from the ‘adequate maintenance’ option, the applicant’s partner or parent’s partner must be receiving one of the specified benefits. Further below we list those benefits and also the formula for ‘adequate’ maintenance calculation. We also explain in which family applications ‘adequate’ maintenance can be used.

‘Adequate’ maintenance spouse and other family applications

What benefits qualify for ‘adequate’ maintenance

The list of benefits that qualify for ‘adequate’ maintenance is strictly prescribed in the immigration rules, and only the below listed ones qualify:

Disability Living Allowance

Severe Disablement Allowance

Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit

Attendance Allowance

Carer’s Allowance

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme

What is ‘Adequate maintenance’ and how to calculate it

‘Adequate’ and ‘adequately’ in relation to a maintenance and accommodation requirement shall mean that, after income tax, National Insurance contributions and housing costs have been deducted, there must be available the level of income that would be available if the family was in receipt of Income Support.

The Immigration Rules do not specify the exact level of income or amount of funds sufficient for ‘adequate’ maintenance. This will be case specific and depend on the number of dependants in the family unit. If dependants of the main applicant are going to accompany them to, or remain with them in the UK, then sufficient resources must be available for the whole family unit to be adequately maintained, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.

The formula to calculate whether applicant meets the ‘adequate’ maintenance requirement, the following formula has to be used:

A – B ≥ C

  • A minus B is greater than or equal to C.
  • Where: A is the net income (after deduction of income tax and National Insurance contributions);
  • B is housing costs (i.e. what needs to be spent on accommodation); and C is the amount of Income Support an equivalent British family of that size can receive.

The Home Office decision maker must take the following steps to assess the adequacy of the funds available:
• establish the sponsor’s and/or applicant’s (if they are in the UK with permission to work) current total weekly net income (A)
o If the net income varies, calculate a weekly mean average
o Include all net income currently received, including benefits currently received to which the person is entitled, but exclude third party support
o An entry clearance applicant may say they will be entitled to claim public funds in their own right in the UK, for example, under reciprocal arrangements between the UK and their home country and ask for this to be included in their net income. However, any potential future entitlement to benefits after the applicant arrives in the UK does not count towards net income when assessing adequate maintenance
o Where there are permitted cash savings, include a weekly equivalent figure
• establish the sponsor’s current weekly housing costs from the evidence provided (B).
• deduct the weekly housing costs from the weekly net income (A).
• calculate how much a British family unit (of equivalent size to the sponsor and their family unit) would receive if they were in receipt of Income Support (C).
o for details of current benefit rates see the income support section of Benefit and tax credit rates
• decision makers must always use the correct rates which apply at the date of their decision. Case studies in this guidance show the method for setting out a
calculation and do not necessarily represent current rates

compare the weekly net income after deduction of weekly housing costs with the equivalent level of Income Support using the following formula:
A – B ≥ C
A minus B is greater than or equal to C

A requirement for adequate maintenance has to be met by the following categories of applicant under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules:

Partner applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner (on a 5-year route to settlement) whose partner is in receipt of a specified benefit:

Child whose parent is applying for entry clearance or leave to remain, or who has leave to remain, as a partner (on a 5-year route to settlement), and where the parent’s partner is in receipt of a specified benefit:

Child whose parent is applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as a parent or who has limited leave to enter or remain as a parent (on a 5 year route to settlement). This requirement to be adequately maintained applies to the applicant, the parent and any other dependent children.

Parent applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as the parent of a child in the UK (on a 5-year route to settlement):

A requirement for adequate maintenance will also have to be met in an application for indefinite leave to remain at the end of these 5-year routes to settlement, subject to paragraph 2.1.3. below. Adult dependent relative applying for Indefinite Leave to Enter or Indefinite Leave to Remain (or applying for limited leave where the sponsor is in the UK with limited leave as a refugee or via humanitarian protection):

Adequate maintenance is not a requirement of applications under the 10-year partner, parent and private life routes to settlement under paragraphs RLTRP.1.1.(a), (b) and (d) and R-LTRPT.1.1.(a), (b), and (d) of Appendix FM and Page 8 of 31 Published for Home Office staff on 7 December 2021 paragraph 276 ADE(1) GEN.3.2. or outside the Rules on the basis of exceptional circumstances.