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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Hi Howard, Ive been preparing documents to meet financial

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Hi Howard, I've been preparing documents to meet financial requirement of unmarried partner visa application for my girlfriend. And I have run into a few troubles and hopefully you could help. I registered self-employment in May 2012 while I was working as a full-time research assistant in the University. In July 2012, I left my full-time University job and live entirely on my self-employment income. I've filed my tax return for the financial year Apr 2012 - Apr 2013 online which is a combination of three months job salary (gross £6894) and income from my contract work (net profit £13228). It is a little more than the £18600 requirement when added together. By reading the "Annex FM Section FM 1.7: Financial Requirement", am I correct to think that I can apply under Category F: Last financial year, Self-employment or Director of a specified limited company in the UK? If so, here are a few questions I'd like to check with you:

1. During the period of my self-employment, I only worked for one client and paid on hourly rate. Would this cause any problems? My worry is as I only worked for one client, would the case worker see me as employed rather than self-employed?

2. I just started a new job in London with annual income of 40k. At the same time, I'm still keeping my self-employment status and doing work for the same client. Do I need to mention my new job when applying under Category F?

3. Regarding to the specified evidence must be provided in respect of self-employment in the UK as a partner, as a sole trader or in a franchise:
(a) Evidence of the amount of tax payable, paid and unpaid for the last financial year.
Is this the SA300 statement I'm going to get from HMRC?

(d) Each partner's Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR) and/or the UTR of the partnership or business.
Is my UTR number is XXXXX or does the UTR number have to be shown on an official document?

(g) Evidence of ongoing self-employment through evidence of payment of Class 2 National Insurance contributions.
What document do I need to provide for this? I've paid my Class 2 National Insurance contributions for the period of May 2012 - Apr 2013 by bank transfer to HMRC but there is no receipt or any other documents issued for my payment. I haven't paid my Class 2 National Insurance contribution for the first 26 weeks of the 2013-14 tax year yet which is due by 31 January 2014. Do I need to pay it if we apply in person in January 2014?

(h) One of the following documents must also be submitted:
(i) (aa) If the business is required to produce annual audited accounts, the latest such
accounts; or
(bb) If the business is not required to produce annual audited accounts, the latest unaudited accounts and an accountant‟s certificate of confirmation, from an accountant who is a member of a UK Recognised Supervisory Body (as defined in the Companies Act 2006);
(ii) A certificate of VAT registration and the latest VAT return (a copy or print-out) confirming the VAT registration number, if turnover is in excess of £73,000;
(iii) Evidence to show appropriate planning permission or local planning authority consent is held to operate the type/class of business at the trading address (where this is a local authority requirement); or
(iv) A franchise agreement signed by both parties.
(i) The document referred to in paragraph 7(h)(iv) must be provided if the organisation is a franchise.

The only thing that applies to me I think is (bb). But I did my self-assessment all by myself. Does this mean I need to find an accountant who is a member of a UK Recognised Supervisory Body and give him/her my accounts from Apr 2012 to present and ask her/him produce a certificate of confirmation or is it something else?
Thanks for asking for me.

1. You are registered as self-employed and the income for this should be seen as self-employed income regardless of only having one Client during that time.

2. You do not need to mention your new job but doing so cannot hurt your application.

(a) Yes. A statement of earnings from an accountant can be very useful in these situations. You can also get a statement of the taxable pay declared from HMRC.

(d) You should ideally show this on an official document.

(g) You should be up to date with your NI contributions and ideally see if you can get a statement from HMRC. Again, an accountant can help with this. If some payments are not due until 31 January 2014 then make sure you make this clear and include evidence if possible.

(h) You are not really a business as such - you are a sole trader. Again, a statement of earnings from an accountant can be very useful in these situations but if you have done everything yourself and it is quite straightforward then you can get away with simply showing invoices, payment receipts, bank statements and your tax return with evidence of registration as self-employed and evidence of NI contributions being up to date (applications will get refused where NI has not been paid). A covering letter clearly stating total income for the period, expenses, net profit on which tax has been paid, confirmation of the amount of tax paid, registration as self-employed and NI contributions should also be supplied. Make clear the outgoing payments for tax and for NI where applicable and include whatever you can get from HMRC.

Self-employed income is possibly the most awkward of the ways to meet the financial requirement and so it is important to make sure that you very clearly evidence things as fully as you are able to do. Alternatively you will be able to make quite a simple application once you have worked in your new job for 6 months.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Many thanks for this Howard. I assume my combined job salary and self-employment income for the financial year 2012-2013 is fine for us to apply under Category F, right? Yes, self-employed income is indeed very troublesome but my girlfriend's visa is going to expire by the end of next Feb so we can't go for the simple route with me working in my new job for 6 months. I'm just being a bit pessimistic here, if our application is rejected on the basis of not meeting financial requirement in which case my girlfriend would have to go back to her country. Can we apply again under category A after I have worked in my new job for 6 months?

Yes, you can combine earnings for the same period but you must also demonstrate ongoing employment and so if you have already started the new job then you can evidence that as well.

Your girlfriend's visa is technically extended until such time as the visa application is decided. If a refusal is received then she has 28 days in which to either leave the UK OR to submit a new application. You could therefore apply using the postal route just before her visa expires if you wish to do so and then there is a good chance that you would have completed 6 months of the new job by the time you get a decision. Don't forget you can also apply as soon as you can demonstrate continuous payslips that amount to at least the minimum required level of income - you are not obliged to work at least 6 months, guidance simply refers to how different types of income can be evidenced.
Howard and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The tip is greatly appreciated, Howard! This sounds like the best option we should take! Thanks again for your help!

Always a pleasure and come back and let me know how the application goes in due course. As always, please feel free to ask for me directly if you require further assistance and thanks for the positive rating and the bonus - very generous and much appreciated!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It's Sunday night and you deserve it! I'll definitely come back to you in the future if I need any help.