This blog has explained the different benefits that you can access if your husband is on a spouse visa and the conditions and restrictions thereof. 

It will also answer some key queries regarding the different benefits that arise when a claimant’s husband/spouse is on a visa and subject to immigration control and the consequences that such as status has on the receipt of such benefits. 

Can I claim benefits if my husband is on a spouse visa ?

Yes. If you have a settled status in the U.K. or you have British citizenship, then you will be able to claim benefits for yourself even if your husband is on a spouse visa. Your husband however, will, under ordinary circumstances , not be able to claim benefits when he is on a spouse visa. 

This is because visas are issued to immigrants with settled spouses based on the guarantee that they will be able to financially support themselves or be supported by their settled partner and that the government will not have to provide monetary support. 

So in a normal situation where your husband has a spouse visa he will not receive benefits. But you can certainly claim benefits. The entitlements will obviously depend upon your living circumstances,employment status, health status etc. 

In very rare cases, the government may allow a visa holder to access benefits, but this depends on a case-to-case basis. In most situations, if your spouse enters the country on a visa, there will be a ‘no recourse to public funds’ stamp attached to the visa status. 

Your husband’s status as a person on a spouse visa, could affect some of the benefits that you claim as well. This is what will be detailed in the sections below. 

Benefits you can claim if your husband is on a spouse visa 

The entitlement to these benefits and the conditions thereof apply to a person who has settled status or British citizenship  in the U.K. but whose husband/spouse is residing in the country on a Spouse Visa. 

Universal Credit 

If you are settled in the U.K. or are a citizen whose husband is one a Spouse Visa which has a ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ status then you can claim Universal Credit as an individual, i.e. for yourself. 

But your husband’s income, savings or other financial investments will be taken into consideration while calculating your Universal Credit entitlement. In this calculation, any provisioning that your husband makes towards components of the Universal Credit such as for housing will also be taken into consideration. 

If you both live together as joint tenants and share the rental expenditure, then your husband’s share will be included in calculating your Universal Credit award. 

When someone’s rental expenditure is taken into consideration for the purpose of accessing benefits, this qualifies as ‘ recourse to public funds’ . In such a situation, your husband/spouse may be unintentionally jeopardizing their visa status. 

This is because the inclusion of their income and expense in the benefits calculation, whether inadvertently or not, is a direct violation of immigration control because they are legally designated as ‘accessing public funds.’ 

This may lead to a revocation of the visa status and thus make them unable to stay in the country for violation of immigration rules. 

Therefore, even before you apply for Universal Credit for yourself, consult the immigration department as well as the Universal Credit authorities to ensure that you and your partner are in the clear. 

The benefits that come under Universal Credit also include Housing Benefit  and Tax Credits, both of which are subject to the same conditions and restrictions as an individual’s Universal Credit claim, when their husband/spouse is on a Spouse Visa and subject to immigration control. 

Can I claim means-tested benefits if my husband is on a spouse visa ? 

Most means-tested benefits such as Income Support, income-based Job-seeker’s Allowance and income-based Employment and Support Allowance have all been subsumed under Universal Credit. 

You could claim it for yourself individually, but since the equivalent components in the Universal Credit award are means-tested, your husband’s income and savings will also be included in the entitlement calculation. 

But this, once again puts your spouse’s visa status in danger because the Spouse Visa explicitly mentions ‘no recourse to public funds’, which is violated if their income is added to any benefit calculation or consideration. 

So immigration experts should be consulted before attempting to claim any means-tested benefit components within Universal Credit. 

Even if you are continuing to receive old means-tested benefits such as Income Support, JSA, ESA  that existed prior to Universal Credit and now your husband is included in the assessment you need to be careful. 

Since he is on a Spouse Visa, continuing to receive benefits but with an immigrant income added to the calculation, will violate the norms.

Can I access contributory benefits and other non-means tested benefits ? 

If your husband/spouse is on a spouse visa, you can still access contributory benefits without any issue since these are not based on your/your husband’s income or his immigration status. 

This benefit is not subject to immigration control for the Sponsor and in some cases for the visa holder as well.

You can claim contributory benefits such as ‘New-Style’ Job-seeker’s Allowance and ‘New-Style’ Employment and Support Allowance are available to you irrespective of your husband’s status on a Spouse Visa. 

These new style ESA and JSA can be claimed if you have made sufficient contributions to National insurance and you are currently unemployed or having difficulty working due to a chronic illness. 

These benefits will tide you over until you can find a job ( in the case of JSA), and they will provide additional income support if you cannot resume work. 

A Spouse Visa does not make the sponsor of the immigrant ineligible to claim contributory benefits. But your husband cannot access these contributory benefits unless he/she has made sufficient contribution/credits to National Insurance. 

If they have, then depending upon the regulations of the immigration department , they may be able to access the benefits as well. 

This blog has explained the different benefits that you can access if your husband is on a spouse visa and the conditions and restrictions thereof. 

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact us and leave a message. We welcome your input. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Can I claim benefits if my husband is on a spouse visa ? 

Can I claim disability benefits if my husband is on a Spouse Visa ? 

Yes. You can certainly claim a range of disability benefits for yourself even if your husband is on a spouse visa.   

You can claim the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if you have a disabled child or you can claim the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for your child who is above 16 years or for yourself as long as the claimant is under the State Pension age. 

If you have crossed the State Pension age, you can claim Attendance Allowance in the place of DLA and PIP. 

You may also claim Carer’s Allowance if you are looking after a child/adolescent that has a chronic illness or disorder and needs continuous care for at least 35 hours a week. 

None of these claims are means-tested. They provide the extra support required to deal with the disability or illness which can affect work, study and general well-being. Your husband’s immigration status on a Spouse Visa also has no impact on the receipt of these benefits. 

What are the financial requirements for my husband’s Spouse Visa ? 

For your husband to receive his Spouse Visa, you will need to provide your financial stability. You need to exhibit your ability to provide financially for the spouse. To that end ,you must submit evidence of your income from employment or self-employment.

These could be salaries, profits, investments, shares, rental income etc. It could also be evidence of pensions or other savings instruments. 

In addition, if you suffer from a disability or chronic illness then you can apply for disability benefits such as PIP, Attendance Allowance,  Mobility Support and Disablement Allowances. 

These allowances/benefits are enough to constitute what the government terms ‘ adequate maintenance’. 

So if you have these allowances, the financial parameters can be relaxed to a certain extent. For more information on the complete list of allowances that constitute  ‘adequate maintenance’ , please refer to –   Spouse Visa Financial Requirement & Exemptions | DavidsonMorris

Can I receive Tax credits if my husband is on a spouse visa ? 

It depends. You can claim Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit along with your partner in the form of a joint claim. 

This is because,  for the purposes of immigration control, tax credits are  not considered as a recourse to public funds and so your husband will not be subject to any form of immigration control. 

So making a joint claim will not place their visa status in jeopardy. If you do not share a child together, then you and your husband cannot make a joint claim. 

The problem arises when your circumstances change. For example, if you and your husband were already claiming these tax credits with his pre-existing Spouse Visa, then you can continue to receive them jointly if you have a child or individually if you don’t have children. 

But if you make a new claim for tax credits after the Universal Credit system was introduced, you cannot claim tax credits either individually or jointly if you want to receive Universal Credit as well. 

So if your husband entered the country after the UC system was introduced and you receive UC benefits, then you cannot make a joint claim whether they are on a Spouse Visa or not. 

If there is a change of circumstances such as your current tax credit scheme ending, and you still need the benefits,  or you require additional benefits, then the DWP might shift you to the  Universal Credit scheme in a form of managed migration. 

But largely, if you are continuing the claim or renewing it then it shouldn’t be an issue whether your husband is on a Spouse Visa or not. 

It is new claims and change of circumstance such as your husband and you making a joint claim for the first time for example, that will affect the entitlement or if you choose to claim Universal Credit. 

For more information on the regulations in this regard please refer to – How will universal credit affect tax credits? | Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (litrg.org.uk)

Can I claim Child Benefit if my husband is on a Spouse Visa ? 

Yes. If you have a child you share with your husband who is on a Spouse Visa, as long as you have a settled status or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), you can claim Child Benefits in your own name. 

You cannot , however, claim it jointly with your husband or in the name of your husband, because that will violate the terms of his immigration status. 

But you are free to claim Child Benefits as an individual, because there are no restrictions on you , since you are a resident of the U.K. This holds as long as you fulfill the eligibility criteria such as sufficient National Insurance contributions, employment status and residency status as well. 

For further information on eligibility for Child Benefits please refer to – Child Benefit if you move to the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Can I claim Pension Credit if my husband is on a Spouse Visa ? 

Yes. You are eligible to claim Pension Credit even if your husband is on a Spouse Visa. People who are subject to immigration controls are not included in the definition of a ‘household’ for the purposes of calculating benefits. 

So you can receive your individual Pension Credit, irrespective of your husband’s income and immigration status. Your husband’s earnings and savings are not counted in the claim calculation- you will receive it in your own name, as an independent/single person. 

References : 

  1. Public Benefits on a Spouse Visa | Reiss Edwards. (n.d.). Immigrationlawyers-London.com. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from https://immigrationlawyers-london.com/blog/does-someone-who-is-on-a-spouse-visa-have-access-to-benefits.php
  2. My partner is a person subject to immigration control – Turn2us. (n.d.). Www.turn2us.org.uk. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Nationals-of-non-European-Economic-Area-(EEA)-coun/My-partner-is-a-person-subject-to-immigration-cont
  3. Can I claim JSA and/or Housing Benefits while wife is on Spouse visa? – Immigrationboards.com. (2017). Immigrationboards.com. https://www.immigrationboards.com/claiming-benefits/can-i-claim-jsa-and-or-housing-benefits-while-wife-is-on-spouse-visa-t279780.html
  4. Claiming benefits but husband on spouse visa – Immigrationboards.com. (2016). Immigrationboards.com. https://www.immigrationboards.com/claiming-benefits/claiming-benefits-but-husband-on-spouse-visa-t279163.html
  5. Spouse Visa Financial Requirement & Exemptions | DavidsonMorris. (n.d.). Retrieved November 4, 2021, from https://www.davidsonmorris.com/financial-requirement-for-spouse-visa/
  6. Disability benefits and entitlements for children. (n.d.). MaPS. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/benefits/benefits-if-youre-sick-disabled-or-a-carer/financial-support-if-you-or-your-child-has-a-disability
  7. Universal Credit if you’re claiming other benefits or tax credits | nidirect. (2020, June 12). Www.nidirect.gov.uk. https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/universal-credit-if-youre-claiming-other-benefits-or-tax-credits
  8. How will universal credit affect tax credits? | Low Incomes Tax Reform Group. (2019). Litrg.org.uk. https://www.litrg.org.uk/tax-guides/tax-credits-and-benefits/tax-credits/how-will-universal-credit-affect-tax-credits
  9. Will Claiming Child Benefits Affect My Visa? – Accessing UK Benefits | Reiss Edwards. (n.d.). Immigrationlawyers-London.com. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from https://immigrationlawyers-london.com/blog/will-claiming-child-benefits-affect-my-visa.php
  10. Child Benefit if you move to the UK. (n.d.). GOV.UK. Retrieved November 4, 2021, from https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit-move-to-uk

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