The Home Office have updated their guidance on the financial requirements in Appendix FM to include concessions for those who lost income during the coronavirus.
The concessions are contained in two policy documents, as follows:
- Appendix FM 1.7: financial requirement
- Appendix FM 1.7a: maintenance
The guidance states its aim to ensure that applicants are not disadvantaged for reasons beyond their control as a result of the pandemic.
The relevant bit reads as follows:
“Income received via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or the Coronavirus Self Employment Income Support Scheme can count as employment or self-employment income. Where there is evidence of a temporary loss of income due to COVID-19 during the period 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 you will apply the following concessions:
- a temporary loss of employment income between 1 March and 31 July 2020 due to COVID-19, will be disregarded provided the minimum income requirement was met at the required level for at least 6 months up to March 2020
- an applicant or sponsor furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be deemed as earning 100% of their salary
- a temporary loss of annual income due to COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded for self-employment income, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications.
- evidential flexibility may be applied where an applicant or sponsor experiences difficulty accessing specified evidence due to COVID-19 restrictions”