UK Family Visa Applications
A Family visa permits an individual to come to the UK to live with a family member when the period of stay will be more than six months. It is available to spouses, partners, fiancés, fiancées, those who will be entering into a civil partnership, children, parents and relatives who will be providing long-term care for you if you are dependent on them.
The aim of the visa is to permit those already in the country, for example, as a British citizen or an individual with settled status, to be joined by close family members and those who depend on them for care.
At IBB Law, our expert immigration solicitors have considerable experience in securing family visas for individuals from across the globe, enabling them to come to the UK to be with their relatives. As well as exceptional legal expertise in respect of immigration law, we are known for the high quality of client care and support that we provide.
We understand the importance of securing a Family visa that will allow you to be together with your loved ones, and we will ensure that your application has the best possible chance of success. and work visas.
Complete support for UK Family visa applications
We work with families from a wide range of countries, ensuring they have the visa that they need to be together in the UK. Our immigration services include the following:
- Checking your eligibility for a UK visa for family and advising you of any other potential visa options
- Making an application for a UK Family visa on your behalf
- Putting together the correct documents to accompany your UK Family visa application
- Advice and representation in respect of rejections or refusals of UK Family visa applications
- Renewing UK Family visas
For more information regarding our UK visa services, see Immigration Services for Individuals.
Why choose IBB Law for help with applying for a Family visa?
The IBB Law UK immigration team can offer you:
- In-depth knowledge of UK Immigration laws, policies and procedures.
- Hands on support from experts who keep up-to-date with developments in the law so that you always receive practical and accurate advice.
- A cost-effective and timely service with great attention to detail.
- Independently accredited immigration expertise with our team being ranked by leading client guide, the Legal 500 for Immigration Law.
Looking for immediate help with a UK Family visa application?
Our experienced immigration team can provide you with the help you need to make a strong application for a UK Family visa.
How to apply for a Family visa for the UK
The guide below provides information in the following key areas:
- Making a UK Family visa application
- UK Family visa refusals and rejections
- Renewing a UK Family visa
- Alternatives to a UK Family visa
- UK Family visa fees
- What rights does a UK Family visa give you?
- UK Family visa requirements
- Supporting documents for a UK Family visa application
- How long does it take to get a UK Family visa?
If you have a relative in the UK who is a British citizen or has settled status, you can apply for a visa to join them if you are their spouse or partner, engaged to them or if they are your parent or child. You may also be able to secure a visa to live with a relative who will be providing long-term care for you.
It is also open to you to apply if your family member has refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK or where they are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
Your visa application is likely to be refused if it is missing some information or if you have not provided enough evidence in support. We can advise you as to your options if you have received a refusal or rejection. Where an error has been made in the application, we can put together a fresh application on your behalf, including the required information.
In some circumstances, you may be able to ask UK Visas and Immigration to reconsider their decision if you believe that they have made an error. Occasionally it is possible to appeal a decision or request a review. We will explain the process to you where appropriate and represent you in working to gain the visa that you need.
Once you are in the UK, you can apply to extend your Family visa. This should be done before your existing visa expires, although generally, no more than 28 days from your visa can be carried forward to be added to your new visa.
After you have been in the country for a set period of time, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain. This is generally possible after five years, provided you have not spent substantial periods out of the UK during that time, but in some instances, you may need to have been in the UK for ten years, for example, where your partner only has a short-term visa or does not have valid immigration status.
Alternatives to a UK Family visa include the following:
Standard Visitor visa – a family visitor visa UK, known as a Standard Visitor visa, allows individuals to spend time in the country, provided it is for a period of less than six months
UK Student visa or Child Student visa – for those coming to the UK to study but who do not qualify for a Family visa
If you make your visa application from outside of the UK, the fee will be £1,523. Any dependants will also have to pay £1,523 each. The cost if you apply from inside of the UK is £1,033.
If you are an adult who needs to be looked after by a relative, the fee is £3,250 where the application is made from outside of the UK and £1,033 where the application is made from within the UK.
You will also need to pay the healthcare surcharge, which is usually £624 per person per year.
If you are granted a UK Family visa, you will generally be able to live, work and study in the UK. You will not be able to claim benefits or other public funding.
Once you have been in the UK for either five years or ten years, depending on your circumstances, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
The exact Family visa requirements will depend on the family member that you will be joining.
If you are applying as a spouse or partner, your spouse or partner must be a British or Irish citizen, have settled status in the UK, be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, hold a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish worker visa or have refugee status or humanitarian protection.
If you are applying as a parent, your child should be aged under 18 and have one of the above types of status and not be living an independent life. Where you are applying for a visa from within the UK, your child should have lived in the UK for seven continuous years, and it would be unreasonable for them to leave. You should have sole or shared parental responsibility for the child.
If you are applying as a dependent child aged under 18, you will receive the same permission as your parent.
An adult who is applying to enter the UK to be cared for by their parent, grandchild, sibling, child, brother or sister will need to show that they need help to carry out personal and household tasks and that this care is not available or affordable in their country. The relative will also need to prove that they will be able to provide care and support without claiming public funds for at least five years.
You will need to supply a range of documents giving evidence of the above, as well as information in respect of both you and your family member. This will include the following:
- Your valid passport or other travel and identity document
- Copies of any previous passports showing the photo page, visas and entry stamps
- A copy of your biometric residence permit, if you have one
- Details of any previous visa applications you have made
- Details of any criminal convictions
- Your National Insurance number, if you have one
- Details of your parents’ nationality and dates of birth if you are applying from outside of the UK
- Tuberculosis test results, if applicable
- Evidence of your financial position, such as up to date bank statements
- Evidence that you meet the required standard in the English language, for example, your degree qualification in a subject that was taught in English or the results of an approved English language test
You will also have to provide evidence in respect of your relationship with your family member. For example, if you will be coming to live with your partner, you will need to demonstrate that you have been living together for at least two years by providing documents such as joint bank statements showing your address or utility bills in both of your names and your shared address.
Putting the right documentation together to show that you are eligible for a UK Family visa can be complicated. We can advise you of the points that you will need to cover, and we will go through your documents to ensure that you have provided adequate evidence of each of them.
If you apply for a UK Family visa from outside of the UK, you will usually receive a decision within twelve weeks. Where you have applied from within the UK, your decision should be made within eight weeks.
You may be able to pay for a faster decision in some circumstances for an extra fee.
UK Visas and Immigration may require more information from you or may ask you to attend an interview.
Get immediate expert advice on applying for a UK Family visa
If you need expert advice and support with a UK Family visa application, our highly experienced immigration team will be happy to assist.