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My brother-in-law is considering giving me third party support for my spouse visa application. He wants to know what the "official" definition of the responsibilities of a co-sponsor is.
What I'm finding is:
Maintenance may be provided by either:

The applicant with their own funds or with funds available to them; or
The sponsor; or
A combination of applicant and sponsor funds; or
Third party support (see below).

A couple or other applicant who is / are unable to produce sufficient evidence to meet the maintenance requirement may provide an undertaking from members of their families that those members will support the couple / applicant until they are able to support themselves from their own resources.

Third party support is not precluded from consideration under the maintenance requirements relating to spouses, civil partners, fiancé(e)s, proposed civil partners, unmarried partners, same-sex partners, children, parents, grandparents and other dependent relatives of sponsors who are settled in the UK.

The Entry Clearance Officer will need to verify and assess an offer of third party support in order to determine whether an applicant satisfies the requirement that he / she can be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds. The ECO may request evidence (for example, original bank statements over at least three months) of the third party's assets.
Is there a better definition?

Does my brother-in-law need to pledge that he will provide a certain amount of funds, or can he just pledge that he would provide funds if the need arises?
 

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My brother-in-law is considering giving me third party support for my spouse visa application. He wants to know what the "official" definition of the responsibilities of a co-sponsor is.
What I'm finding is:


Is there a better definition?

Does my brother-in-law need to pledge that he will provide a certain amount of funds, or can he just pledge that he would provide funds if the need arises?
He will be legally obliged to support you financially if the need arises. In particular, you aren't allowed to claim most forms of public funds, and if you do (by stealth or they fail to realise you aren't entitled to it - this happens), then the authorities are entitled to recover the money paid out from him. When UKBA receive external sponsorship, they pass on the sponsor's details to DWP (government department that deals with benefits) so that they can compel him to reimburse anything you claim.
So if it's a promise of a set amount every month because you have insufficient income, they expect him to fulfil his commitment as it's included in their calculation for minimum maintenance requirement. If it's just a safety net (because you otherwise have enough money coming in), the government will only go after him if you claim public funds irregularly.
You need to remind him that in either case his commitment is legally binding.
 
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