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Cryptocurrency: Navigating UK Spouse Visa Financial Requirements

In recent years, cryptocurrencies have surged in popularity, not only as a speculative investment but also as a means of diversifying financial portfolios. However, their relevance extends beyond the realm of finance, with potential implications even in unexpected areas such as immigration applications, particularly in the context of spouse visa applications under Appendix FM of the UK Immigration Rules.

Appendix FM of the UK Immigration Rules outlines the requirements for individuals seeking to join family members settled in the UK. This primarily includes spouses, partners, children, and elderly dependent relatives. Among the numerous eligibility criteria, financial requirements play a significant role, ensuring that the sponsoring partner can adequately support the applicant without recourse to public funds. With the incoming changes to the income requirement expected in April 2024 applicants may be looking for new ways to meet the requirement.


Traditional Financial Requirements:

Traditionally, meeting the financial threshold for a spouse visa application involves demonstrating a stable income or savings above a certain threshold. This is typically done through payslips, bank statements, and other financial documents, which are scrutinized to ensure the sponsoring partner can provide adequate support to the applicant.


The Emergence of Cryptocurrency:

With the rise of cryptocurrencies, individuals have increasingly diversified their investment portfolios to include digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. While still a relatively new phenomenon, cryptocurrencies have gained legitimacy as viable investments, with some individuals holding significant portions of their wealth in digital currencies.


Cryptocurrency in Immigration Applications:

Given the growing prevalence of cryptocurrencies in investment portfolios, questions arise regarding their applicability in meeting the financial requirements of spouse visa applications.

Can cryptocurrencies be considered as assets when demonstrating financial stability to support a spouse’s immigration to the UK?

Unfortunately, not at present. We consider some of the challenges and why perhaps they are not included within the financial requirement.


Challenges and Considerations:

Despite the increasing acceptance of cryptocurrencies, their use in immigration applications presents certain challenges and considerations:

Regulation: In order to meet the cash savings requirements the account holding the funds must be ‘regulated’, cryptocurrency accounts are currently unregulated and therefore cannot meet these requirements. Last year, the Government set out ambitious plans to regulate cryptocurrency (UK sets out plans to regulate crypto and protect consumers – GOV.UK ( and with this and regulation, if changes are made, it is possible in the future the Home Office may include cryptocurrency within the realm on the financial requirement.

Volatility: Cryptocurrency markets are notoriously volatile, with prices subject to rapid fluctuations. This volatility introduces uncertainty regarding the reliability of cryptocurrencies as a stable financial resource.

Valuation: Determining the value of cryptocurrencies for immigration purposes can be complex. Unlike traditional assets, cryptocurrencies lack standardized valuation metrics, leading to potential discrepancies in assessing their worth.

Documentation: Establishing ownership and proving the value of cryptocurrencies requires meticulous documentation. This includes records of transactions, wallet addresses, and evidence of ownership, which must be presented alongside other financial documents.

Source of Funds: Immigration authorities may scrutinize the source of cryptocurrency funds to ensure they are obtained legally. Applicants may need to provide evidence of the origin of their cryptocurrency holdings to satisfy this requirement.

If you currently hold cryptocurrency and are looking to make an Appendix FM spouse application, currently you will need to transfer this to a UK regulated account for a period of 6 months prior to making an application.

Cryptocurrencies represent a novel addition to the financial landscape, offering both opportunities and challenges in the realm of immigration applications. We continue to watch how the Immigration landscape may change over the next 12 months, especially as 2024 is an election year, with great interest.

As always, when navigating an Immigration application, we recommend that you seek advice from immigration experts to navigate the application process effectively and successfully.

Immigration rules are subject to change at any time, and please keep in mind that the minimum financial requirements are due to increase progressively over the next 12 months. On 11 April 2024 the threshold will raise to £29,000 (with a further increase at some stage to £34,500) and finally to £38,700, by early 2025. Also keep in mind that when meeting the cash savings requirement using savings, the figure will be higher than the employment income figure quoted above.


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