Types of UK Family Visas

You can apply to bring a family member to join you in the UK if you:

  • are a British or Irish citizen
  • are settled in the UK and have Indefinite Leave to Remain, permanent residence or settled status
  • have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • have a Turkish businessperson or Turkish worker visa

Spouse/Partner Visa

This visa lets spouses or unmarried partners to live and work in the UK with their partner for the visa duration. The partner visa is for unmarried partners who have been living together in a committed relationship akin to a marriage for at least 2 years.

Parent Visa

This visa is for parents of British or Irish citizen children in the UK who are settled and have indefinite leave to remain, permanent residence, settled status, are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status.

Child visa

This visa is for children under the age of 18 who wish to join or stay with a parent who is living in the UK. The application type and duration will depend on the status of the parent.

Adult Dependent Relative Visa

This visa is for close family members to join you in the UK if they require long-term care and financial support due to illness, disability, or age.

Fiancé(e) Visa

This visa allows entry to the UK for up to 6 months to marry your partner. Afterwards, you can apply for a spouse visa. No work is permitted during the engagement. You need evidence of being a fiancé/e or proposed civil partner and a plan to marry or enter a civil partnership within 6 months of arriving in the UK.

Ancestry Visa

This visa is for Commonwealth citizens, aged 17+, intending to work in the UK and have a UK-born grandparent. UK born grandparents include those born on UK Islands or British ship/aircraft.

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Family Visa FAQs

  • How long does it take to receive a decision on a family visa application?

    The Home Office currently estimates a family visa application made from outside the UK will be processed within 24 weeks and a family visa application made from within the UK should be processed within 8 weeks. However, this can vary depending on the complexity of your case and it may take much longer.

  • How much are the family visa application fees?

    The application fees vary depending on the visa and are subject to change. You will also need to pay the International Health Surcharge. If you cannot afford the application fees, you may be able to apply for a fee waiver, but this can be complex and requires evidence of financial circumstances.

  • Can I claim benefits on a family visa?

    You will not be able to claim benefits on a partner/spouse/parent visa unless you apply to have the conditions of your visa varied and your application is granted.

  • Who is exempt from the English language requirement?

    • Those 65 years old or over.
    • Those who have a physical or mental health condition that prevents them from meeting the requirement.
    • Those who are a national of one of the majority English-speaking countries that are exempt from meeting the English language requirement.
    • Those with specific exceptional circumstances that prevent them from satisfying the requirement.

  • What if I don’t meet the requirements for a family visa?

    You may still be granted a visa if you can provide evidence that it would breach you or your family’s human right to a family and private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights if your application is refused.

    If you are living in the UK, you may be able to make a private life application by providing evidence of the private life ties you have established during your residence in the UK.

    These are complex routes, and so you should seek legal representation to assist you.

  • Why might a family visa be refused?

    A family visa may be refused if:

    • You have not provided sufficient evidence of maintenance and accommodation.
    • The Home Office does not accept the claimed relationship between family members, for example that a marriage or partnership is genuine and subsisting or that there is a genuine parental relationship.
    • You have not provided sufficient evidence of dependence if you are applying for an adult dependent relative visa.
    • The Home Office does not accept that the financial requirements have been met or you have not provided specified evidence of finances.
    • You made your application on the incorrect form.
    • You do not meet the suitability requirements due to criminality or other issues.

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