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Lawful residence during a low earnings year

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  • Lawful residence during a low earnings year

    Hello,
    Firstly thank you for this forum, it has been extremely helpful.

    My question is regarding lawful residence part of good character.
    I am applying via the 3 year route as a spouse of a British citizen, settled status since November 2019.

    I am slightly worried about meeting the requirements for the first counted year. I have had a 0 hour contract with a University since 2013 and been also self-employed since 2014. In 2018/2019 tax year I barely had any earnings in both and therefore did not contribute any National Insurance. Could this cause an issue for my application?

    For further context, I got a permanent full time contract with the same university in August 2019 (so HMRC records should show this as my employer 2013-2021). I am self employed as an artist and do tax returns even for years without any income, in case I get a good year and need to use averaging.

    Is this year of poor income + lack of NI payments cause for concern?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Truba View Post
    Hello,
    Firstly thank you for this forum, it has been extremely helpful.

    My question is regarding lawful residence part of good character.
    I am applying via the 3 year route as a spouse of a British citizen, settled status since November 2019.

    I am slightly worried about meeting the requirements for the first counted year. I have had a 0 hour contract with a University since 2013 and been also self-employed since 2014. In 2018/2019 tax year I barely had any earnings in both and therefore did not contribute any National Insurance. Could this cause an issue for my application?
    Morning,

    The relevant period of lawful residence if married to a British spouse is the last 3 years, that would take you back to this time in 2018. Generally speaking, you would only be regarded as a "worker" under EU rules if you earned enough to pay NICs, as noted here: Low earnings, part-time work and intermittent work

    ...where we have:
    There is no minimum earnings requirement. However, the Home Office has taken it upon themselves to examine your case a bit more closely if your income falls below the NI threshold. You do not fail because you are under some threshold, but they may scrutinise the 'genuineness and effectiveness' a bit more.

    The thresholds have been increasing over the years, you can find historical data for previous years in this table: Rates and allowances: National Insurance contributions - GOV.UK.

    The relevant threshold is the Primary Threshold, when you start paying NICs, however, you should also be able to work out whether you earned enough by looking at your payslips and P60s, where you will see whether you had NICs taken off your salary or not.

    I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

    Comment


    • #3

      Note that the above refers to earnings from EMPLOYMENT, the criteria for self-employment is different, as noted here: Self employment

      ...where you'll see:
      There is categorically no minimum income requirement for self-employment.

      Example: if I buy a shop and run it and work 50 hour weeks but in the first two years of trading I don't make a profit and pay myself very little, I'm still clearly self-employed and genuinely working, even though I'm not paying tax because I'm not paying myself a salary.
      So, with self-employment, it's not so much about earnings, but showing you were actively trading/running a business, etc. However, if you were only doing casual work on a freelance basis, you may not be regarded as genuinely self-employed.

      I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

      Comment


      • #4

        Originally posted by Truba View Post
        For further context, I got a permanent full time contract with the same university in August 2019 (so HMRC records should show this as my employer 2013-2021). I am self employed as an artist and do tax returns even for years without any income, in case I get a good year and need to use averaging.

        Is this year of poor income + lack of NI payments cause for concern?
        It's not really about income and NI, as explained above, it's about meeting the lawful residence criteria. However, if you look here: Lawful residence for applicants relying on settled status

        ...you'll see:
        Lawful residence after obtaining settled or pre-settled status

        Once you have been granted pre-settled or settled status, you would be lawfully resident in the UK under that status.

        There is no longer a requirement to exercise treaty rights, nor have CSI cover for any periods of studies or self-sufficiency, since these are not requirements under the EUSS.

        That means applicants who did not meet the criteria of being "lawfully resident" under EU rules before being granted pre-settled or settled status, can apply for citizenship 3 or 5 years after being granted pre-settled or settled status, depending on whether they are married to a British spouse or not.

        I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you fail to meet the criteria under EU rules for the year before you got settled status, then you may want to consider waiting another year, by which time you will have been lawfully resident under your settled status for the last 3 years, as noted here: Applicants who do not meet the lawful residence criteria for citizenship - UKCEN Citizenship and Residence for European Nationals and their families

          ...where we have:
          If an application is refused, the entire fee is non-refundable.

          Our recommendation for those applicants who do not meet this criteria, is to wait until they can satisfy the lawful residence requirement, which can be counting from the date when they started working of being self-employed, or else from when they were granted settled or pre-settled status.

          Prospective applicants should be aware that there is no need to be a British citizen for any practical purposes, and that settled status gives full access to everything, including benefits, healthcare, council assistance, etc., on the same terms as British nationals enjoy, with the exception of voting rights.

          I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

          Comment


          • #6
            You may want to refer to the following resources which are the starting point for citizenship applications:And you may also want to consider the potential impact of becoming British if you wish to sponsor family members in the future: Impact on family members





            I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you so much for such in depth answer. I understand from this that it is safest to wait, just in case. Is it known how NIN is looked at (monthly/yearly)? Would it be sufficient to wait till we enter a new tax year or is it better to wait till it has been full 3 years on monthly routine income?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Truba View Post
                Thank you so much for such in depth answer. I understand from this that it is safest to wait, just in case. Is it known how NIN is looked at (monthly/yearly)? Would it be sufficient to wait till we enter a new tax year or is it better to wait till it has been full 3 years on monthly routine income?
                Morning,

                It's not about the contributions themselves but whether the work or self-employment is regarded as genuine and effective, during whatever period you are relying on, nothing to do with tax years.

                I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am self employed because I have an online business (in social media) , that hasn't made that much revenue tho in terms of profits etc.So, when you say self employment is regarded as genuine and effective, what does that mean?
                  I have applied for naturalisation as British spouse, and I proved my lawful period of 3 years as I've been self employed from 2018.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ronniemaesummers View Post
                    I am self employed because I have an online business (in social media) , that hasn't made that much revenue tho in terms of profits etc.So, when you say self employment is regarded as genuine and effective, what does that mean?
                    I have applied for naturalisation as British spouse, and I proved my lawful period of 3 years as I've been self employed from 2018.
                    Afternoon,

                    It means being actively trading, there's a big difference, since as a self-employed person, you can work almost 24/7 and not turn any profit, this isn't unusual with new start-ups, where businesses often even make a loss in the first year or two. So it's not about profits/income/turnover, but being able to show you were actually running a business, even when it didn't make any money. This is different from those people for whom self-employment is just a sideline, for example, writing the odd article here and there as a freelance writer, doing the odd website as a web developer, working as a cleaner a few hours a week, selling the odd thing on Amazon or eBay, etc., where it is obvious that the self-employment is "marginal and ancillary" and not the individual's main occupation or activity.

                    I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

                    Comment

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