Armed Forces pay review 2023 – Q&A for soldiers and their non-UK families

The 5% increase in salary from August 2023 means that serving personnel will meet the minimum income requirement (MIR) to bring a spouse to the UK (£18,600) once they have served for six months, and will meet the MIR to bring a spouse and a child to the UK (£22,400) once they join their unit from August 2023.

I have a spouse and a child, how soon can I bring them over?

There are two ways of meeting the MIR:

  1. Cat A: You must show you have earned at least £1,866 per month before tax for the six months prior to the date of application. The amount earned per month cannot drop below £1,866.
  2. Cat B: You must show that you have earned £22,400 in total over the 12 months prior to the date of application (the amount earned per month can vary) and the final payslip must show a salary of at least £1,866. 

The pay increase is backdated to April 2023, does this mean I can count my payslips from April to sponsor my spouse and child?

No, the backdated pay will only be shown on your August payslip, so the payslips from April-July will not meet the MIR if you are making a Cat A application and you are currently only earning £22,286 (£1,857 per month). However, as explained above, if you can show you have earned at least £22,400 in total over the 12 months prior to the date of application, then you can use the payslips towards the Cat B application and can apply from August 2023 (when your monthly income will be £2,066). The backdated pay in August 2023 will be enough to push you over the £22,400 total for the year. 

I don’t have any children, how soon can I bring my spouse over?

You will meet the MIR to bring a spouse within 6 months of enlisting, so theoretically you are able to bring your spouse to the UK before you finish training. However, you should bear in mind that you won’t be eligible for SFA until you join your unit. If there is alternative accommodation for your spouse until you are eligible for SFA, such as through private rental or family members, then this is accepted but you will need to provide evidence. Contact the F&C team for further advice.

I have two children, when can I bring my family over to join me?

The MIR for a spouse and two children is £24,800, so you will still have to wait for approximately four years after finishing training before you will be earning enough with your salary alone to bring both children over. However, the shortfall in annual salary is £1,304 from year 1 and only £400 from year 2. 

If you are able to get permission for a second job you may be able to meet this shortfall within a month or two depending on how much you earn from your second job. Once you have earned that extra amount, you can then submit a Cat B application showing that you have earned £24,800 over the past year and that the final payslip shows an income of at least £2,066.

The other alternative is to bring your spouse to the UK first in order for them to gain employment. Your income can then be combined to bring your children over. For further information about this route as well as more guidance about bringing family to the UK, please see


I feel more confident following the information you've given me


    Does the anticipated new spouse MIR increase that is set to change for spring 2024 affect military personnel? Or will the MIR remain the same?

    Please I have served in the army for 4 years 6 months and due to the pay rise , my annual income has rise to 25,936.68 since august and September. does this means I can apply for visa for my wife and two children.

    Also I do two different side Jobs , can I use 6 months pay slip from each side jobs to apply under cat B

    So people from Commonwealth countries have to live without family and kids before they earn enough to bring kids over?Whilst other families are whole, we commonwealth have to wait?Just because we don’t earn enough? Thats unfair don’t you think?. If there was a war on we will suffer equally as our Uk bros, and we rightly should. BUT when it comes to these kinda situations we are somewhat overlooked I think!

    Hi Ozzy,

    Thank you so much for your comment. AFF regularly raises the disadvantage that non-UK families face with the Minimum Income Requirement with the Army, MOD and key decision makers. Please contact our F&C team access our support and to share your evidence. The team can be contacted via

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