Family Visa

Family Visa

You can apply under the ‘family of a settled person visa route if you want to join a family member who is living permanently and settled in the UK. Under this route Immigration rules, you can live for more than 6 months and can extend your stay in the UK. You are also allowed to work and study in the UK on the UK Family Visa. There are different rules which may apply when you apply for a Family Visa to join a family member who is living permanently and settled in the UK. The rules to join a family member in the UK may vary depending on what your relationship to the settled person is and what is your current nationality.
The UK family visa application process is very complex. To apply for under the family visa route, you need to meet certain UK Family Visa requirements and provide number of documents for a successful visa application. Our experienced consultants will provide you up to date guidance and information to prepare documents for a successful family visa application.

Family Visa Routes

Only certain relatives can apply to stay with or remain in the UK under the family visa route to join a Person who is either a UK citizen or have a permanent residence (indefinite leave to remain). The various family visa routes under which you can apply are:
  • Join your partner (spouse, fiancé(e), civil or unmarried partner)
  • Join your parents (if you are under 18)
  • Come to look after your child (if they are under 18)
  • Come to be looked after by your family (if you are a dependent adult child, parent, grandparent or sibling)

Partner or spouse visa

You can apply as a partner if your spouse/partner is a British citizen or has settled status (should have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or proof of permanent residence) in the UK or if they have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.
To join your partner in the UK you need to satisfy the following conditions:

  • You will need to prove that you and your partner are both over 18.
  • You both are either married or civil partners.
  • You have been living together in a relationship for a minimum of 2 years at the time of your application.
  • Or if you are engaged you will enter into a civil partnership or will marry your partner within 6 months of entering the UK.
  • Along with above requirements you also need to provide documentation to prove that:
  • You have a good knowledge of English language.
  • You will also need to meet the financial requirement of £18,600 per year, rising to £22,400 for you plus a child and by a further £2,400 for each additional child
  • You and your partner have sufficient funds to adequately support and accommodate yourselves and any dependants without relying on public funds.
  • Initially you get visa for 2.5 years or 30 months to stay in the UK. You can apply to extend your visa for another 2.5 years from within the UK. You can apply for settlement once you’ve been in the UK for 5 years.

Proposed civil partner visa

The applicant has to submit an entry clearance application as a Proposed Civil Partner to register a Civil Partnership in the UK with a person present and settled in the UK. Civil Partner means a civil partnership that exists under or by the Civil Partnership Act 2004. The applicant will be granted leave to enter the UK for six months If the applicant’s application for entry clearance as a Proposed Civil Partner is successful. Once you enter the UK the Civil Partnership must be registered with the Registrar in the UK before the visa expire. Applicants are not allowed to work on this visa and will have no access to public funds.

The applicant will also have to meet the requirements of the Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules to qualify for this visa.

Adult dependent relative visa

UK Immigration rules allow dependant relatives to enter the UK if they are coming to the UK to be cared for. The applicants need to demonstrate that they are dependent on relatives who can be their parents, grandchild, brother, sister, son, or daughter, and they are settled and living permanently in the UK. To apply for an adult-dependent relative visa, you need to prove that: you need long-term daily care due to illness, disability, or age

  • You need long-term care to do every day personal and household tasks because of illness, disability, or age
  • The care you need is not available or affordable in your home country
  • The family member caring for you will be able to look after you, support you and accommodate you without using public funds for at least 5 years.

Note: Applicants applying for entry clearance as adult dependent relatives would be required to meet the English Language requirement, however the applicants are exempted from proving knowledge of English if the applicant is aged 65 or over or have long-term physical or mental condition that prevents them from meeting the requirement or to show that there are exceptional circumstances which prevent them from meeting the requirement.

Apply to Join parents in the UK

You may be eligible to apply under this route if at least one of your parents is settled and if you are under 18.

  • You need to prove that you will be living with your parents.
  • That you are not married/in a civil partnership
  • You’ll be supported and accommodated without using public funds.

Visa to look after your child in the UK

You need to prove that you either have sole responsibility for the child or that you have access to the child if they live with another parent or carer. You can apply for a UK family visa to come to the UK to look after your child if you meet the following requirements:

  • The child be to look after must be under 18
  • The child must be a British citizen or have settled status in the UK
  • The child must be living in the UK at the time of application

Along with the above requirements the applicant also has to prove that either:

  • The applicant has the sole responsibility for the child or that you have access to the child if they live with another parent or carer.
  • If the child lives permanently with another parent or carer who is British or settled in the UK and not the applicant’s partner, and you want to help raise them, the applicant needs to prove that they have access to their child in person, either agreed with the other parent or carer or by a court order.
  • The applicant needs to prove that the applicant is taking an active role in the child’s upbringing
  • You’ll also need to prove that you have enough available funds to support yourself without using public funds.


UK Family Visa applications to join UK citizens and permanent residents from non-European Union countries can be done online. Once the application is complete and submitted online You will then need to visit a UK visa application centre in your home country to submit your biometric information (photograph and fingerprints) for your UK biometric residence permit. You may have to pay the UK healthcare surcharge as part of your application. You will need to provide the following with your UK Family Visa application:

  • Current passport or valid travel ID
  • Previous passports
  • Proof of relationship to family member who you are joining
  • Proof that you can meet the financial or maintenance requirement
  • Proof of your knowledge of English
  • Tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where you must take a test
  • A list of countries where you need to be tested for tuberculosis is available here.

While processing times may vary depending on the post where you submit your application and number of application that post is dealing at the point when you submit your application, However the standard visa processing time for such applications is around 12 weeks after submission.

If your visa is granted the initial length of your UK Family Visa will be:

  • 33 months if you are joining a partner in the UK (27 months if you applied before 9 July 2012)
  • 6 months if you applied as an engaged partner
  • As long as your parent’s stay if you applied to join as a dependent child
  • No time limit if you applied to join British or settled parents
  • 33 months if you applied as a parent
  • no time limit if you applied as an adult-dependent relative

You can apply to extend to your visa or to remain in the UK once it’s due to expire so that you can remain in the UK. Family Visa extensions are normally valid for 2 years and 6 months, but this visa can be extended multiple times. If your partner or family member have been granted refugee status in the UK with leave to remain, you can join your partner or children under UK family European Union. You can apply for UK family European Union as a refugee if you were separated from your family when they were forced to leave your country or if they have been given 5 years’ leave to remain but haven’t been given UK citizenship.


If you want to appeal against a decision made on an application for a visa, our selected UK based immigration solicitors can help in relation to your application. Our immigration solicitors will provide you quick, responsive, dependable and professional immigration advice and assistance if required.


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