In July 2012, the Immigration Rules were changed to implement new requirements for non-EEA nationals applying to enter or remain in the UK under the family migration route. Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules was subsequently introduced, incorporating an adequate maintenance requirement.
What is the adequate maintenance requirement?
Appendix FM brought with it a new financial requirement based on a minimum income threshold, currently £18,600, with additional amounts for any ‘relevant children’.
Some applications under Appendix FM, however, do not require Applicants to meet the minimum income threshold, and instead require them to demonstrate that they would be able to ‘adequately’ maintain themselves, or their family members, in the UK. This post explores what is meant by ‘adequate’ maintenance in the context of the Immigration Rules.
Who needs to meet the adequate maintenance requirement?
The following types of immigration application are subject to the adequate maintenance requirement:
- Entry clearance or leave to remain as a partner where the partner is in receipt of a ‘specified benefit’;
- Entry clearance or leave to remain as a child of a parent with limited leave to remain in the UK as a partner where the parent is in receipt of a specified benefit;
- A parent applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as the parent of a child in the UK; and
- Entry clearance as an adult dependent relative.
A specified benefit is defined within Appendix FM and the Home Office’s associated Immigration Directorate Instruction as:
- Disability Living Allowance;
- Severe Disablement Allowance;
- Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit;
- Attendance Allowance;
- Carer’s Allowance;
- Personal Independence Payment;
- Armed Forces Independence Payment or Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme; and
- Constant Attendance Allowance, Mobility Supplement or War Disablement Pension under the War Pensions Scheme.
What is meant by adequate maintenance?
This question was considered by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (as it then was) in KA and Others (Adequacy of maintenance) Pakistan  UKAIT 00065. Paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules sets out the definition of ‘adequate’ and ‘adequately’:
“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 to the family the level of income that would be available to them if the family was in receipt of income support.”
Therefore, by contrast to the stipulated amount in Appendix FM, there is no fixed amount to be met in order to demonstrate that maintenance is adequate. It is a case and fact-specific test, and will depend on the number of dependents in the family unit.
Calculating adequate maintenance
In Ahmed (benefits: proof of receipt; evidence) Bangladesh  UKUT 84 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal endeavoured to clarify the meaning of ‘adequate’ and identified a formula to be used when calculating whether there will be adequate resources available.
It identified that adequate maintenance was where the projected weekly income (“A”), less weekly accommodation costs (“B”), would be equal to, or more than, the amount the family would be entitled to if they were in receipt of income support or equivalent (“C”).
A – B ≥ C
For example, where the adequate maintenance requirement applies, and the Applicant’s sponsor earned a weekly income of £275 after tax and national insurance had been deduced, accommodation costs were £100 per week (£90 for rent and £10 for council tax), the sponsor’s earnings less accommodation costs amount to £175. Income support for a couple aged 18 or over is £114.85 (according to figures correct at 2 October 2019).
£275-£100 ≥ £114.85
Therefore, the requirement is met as the sponsor’s net income exceeds the amount they would receive if they were eligible for income support or equivalent.
Relying on savings to meet the adequate maintenance requirement
Specified cash savings can be relied upon, instead of, or in addition to income to meet the adequate maintenance requirement.
In order to calculate whether the amount held in cash savings is sufficient, the total amount must be divided by the number of weeks of limited leave that would be granted if the application was successful (“A”). The formula for calculating adequate maintenance is the same as with weekly income.
A – B ≥ C
For example, if an applicant held £52,000 in cash savings, and the visa he was applying for would grant him 12 months leave, then £52,000 would need to be divided by 52 weeks (as there are 52 weeks in a year). His accommodation costs are £100 per week and income support for a couple aged 18 or over is £114.85 (using the same example above).
£1,000 – £100 ≥ £114.85