Family Visas

Family Visas – Child, Spouse & Ancestry

Do you need to apply for a family visa? There are many different family visa types, including marriage visa, ancestry visa, dependent visa and child visa categories.

Spouse (husband or wife) and Civil Partner (same-sex married partner) Visa

A person who is either in the UK or outside the UK may apply for a visa as the spouse or civil partner of a person present and settled in the UK, i.e. someone who has either indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship. The applicant must already be married when they make a spouse visa UK application. The marriage visa will be granted for two years and it allows the visa holder to work without restriction.

Fiance or Proposed Civil Partner Visa

A person who is outside the UK and who is engaged to be married to a person present and settled in the UK (i.e. someone who has either indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship) may apply to come to the UK as their fiance(e) or proposed civil partner. The parties must have already met face-to-face. The visa will be granted for six months and does not allow the visa holder to work. As soon as the visa holder arrives in the UK they can marry their fiance(e) as soon as they are able to. They should in any case marry within the six-month period. Once the marriage has taken place the visa holder should then apply for a spouse/civil partner visa.

Unmarried Partner Visa

If a person has lived legally for at least two years in the UK as the unmarried partner (different sex or same sex) of a person present and settled in the UK (i.e. someone who has either indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship) they may apply for an unmarried partner visa, which will be granted for two years. This visa allows them to work. A person who has been living outside the UK in an unmarried partnership with a British citizen for at least four years may also apply under this scheme.

Dependent Parent or Grandparent Visa    

An elderly parent or grandparent of someone who is present and settled in the UK (i.e. someone who has either indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship) may be able to apply for a dependent visa for indefinite stay in the UK, but they must be able to show that they are wholly or mainly financially dependent on the child or grandchild in the UK.

Child Visa

If both the parents of a child under 18 living outside the UK are present and settled in the UK (i.e. they have either indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship) the child may be able to apply for a child visa for indefinite leave in the UK. If only one parent is present and settled in the UK it still may be possible to apply for a child visa, depending on the circumstances.

Parent of Child at School Visa

If there is a child under the age of 12 studying at school in the UK a parent of the child may apply for a visa to live in the UK and look after the child. This arrangement is only possible as long as the child is under 12.

Victim of Domestic Violence Visa

If a person has leave in the UK as the spouse, civil partner (same-sex partner) or unmarried partner (either same-sex or different sex) of a person present and settled in the UK (i.e. someone who has either indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship) and they have experienced violence from their partner which has caused the relationship to permanently break down, they may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK on this basis.

Ancestry Visa

The ancestry visa scheme is only open to Commonwealth nationals. The main requirement is very simple: if a Commonwealth national can show that they have at least one grandparent (not a parent) born in the UK they can apply from abroad for an ancestry visa which, if granted, will be granted for up to five years. This visa allows the visa holder to work without restriction.

Dependent of Person with Limited Leave in the UK Visa

In some cases, people who are in the UK on limited leave (for example as Tier 1 Migrants, Tier 2 Migrants, Sole Representatives, Ancestry Visa holders etc.) may be entitled to have their dependents (spouse/partner or children under 18) apply to join them in the UK for the period of their limited leave. If at some point in the future the person with limited leave applies for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, their dependents may be able to apply for indefinite leave in line with them.

 

Based on Spouse/Civil Partner/Unmarried Partner Visa

In many cases, a person who holds a family visa on the basis of a family relationship with a person present and settled in the UK, such as a spouse/civil partnership visa or unmarried partner visa, will eventually qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Until July 2012, family visas of this type were granted for two years and after two years, if the relationship was still intact, the visa holder could apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Anyone who was granted a visa under the rules in place before July 2012 may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after two years.

However, in July 2012 the rules changed and the requirements were made more difficult. Leave under these categories is now granted initially for two-and-a-half years. After this period a person may be able to, if the relationship is still intact, apply for a further period of leave of two-and-a-half years. After a period of five years in total, and if the relationship is still intact, the visa holder may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

 

European Nationals – EEA Europe Visas

There are a few different types of European visa applications, including EEA family permits and EEA residence cards. To find out which EEA Europe visa you need to apply.

EEA Family Permit

If a non-EEA family member of an EEA national (for example a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, child, grandchild or grandparent) who is outside the UK wishes to come to the UK to join their EEA family member, they must apply to the British Embassy for an EEA family permit. If this European visa is granted, they are entitled to come to the UK to join their EEA family member.

EEA Residence Card

A non-EEA family member of an EEA national (for example a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, child, grandparent) who is already in the UK can apply for an EEA Residence Card so that they can remain in the UK with their EEA family member. This can benefit someone who is in the UK on any visa category or even potentially someone who is here illegally.

Settlement/Permanent Residence

An EEA national and their non-EEA family members can apply for settlement (permanent residence) after having resided together in the UK continuously for five years.