There are many different types of family visas, including marriage visas, ancestry visas, dependant visas and child visas.
Spouses of UK citizens or permanent residents may come to the UK under the marriage visa category, and are able to study and work without restriction as soon as a visa is granted. The non-EU spouse must already be married to the UK spouse and the application can be made from inside or outside the UK.
- The applicant and the UK sponsor must have met before and both parties are willing to live together permanently
- There must have sufficient funds and accommodation arrangements without recourse to UK public funds
- Applicants must be at least 16 years old or above, their spouses living in the United Kingdom must be at least 18 years old or above
The initial visa is granted for 2.5 years. If the couple are still married and living together at the end of the 2.5 years, the applicant may apply for an extension for another 2.5 years. At the end of the 5-year period, the applicant may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain provided the couple still meet the conditions.
A person from outside the EU who is engaged to a settled person who has either British Citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain or both, may apply to enter the UK as a fiancé/ fiancée or a proposed civil partner. Both parties must have met before and the initial visa will be granted for a period of 6 months, within which a marriage must take place. Afterwards, the non-EU spouse may apply for a spouse visa.
If a non-EU national has been living in the UK as an unmarried partner of a settled person (holder of ILR or British Citizenship or both) for 2 years, he or she may apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa. The initial visa will be granted for 2.5 years. If both parties are still cohabiting and their relationship is still subsisting at the end of the 2.5 years, the applicant may apply for an extension for a further 2.5 years. At the end of the 5-year period, the applicant may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain given the couple still meet the conditions.
If a child (under the age of 18 years old) from outside the EU has parents who both have settled status in the UK (holders of ILR or British Citizenship or both), he or she may apply for a child visa to stay in the UK indefinitely. If only 1 parent has settled status, the child may still be eligible for a child visa, subject to individual circumstances.
An adult parent or grandparent who is dependent on a person settled in the UK (holder of ILR or British Citizenship or both) may be eligible to apply for a dependent visa with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. The dependent must show that they need daily care, which is unavailable or unaffordable in their home country, and that their child or grandchild in the UK has enough funds to maintain them for at least 5 years.
If a child under the age of 12 from outside the EU is studying in the UK on a Tier 4 (Child) visa, their parent may apply for a Parent of a Child at School visa to stay in the UK and look after them. The visa has to be renewed annually, and work is not allowed.
If a person has leave to remain in the UK as a spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner of a settled person (holder of ILR or British Citizenship or both), and their relationship broke down permanently because they were on the receiving end of domestic violence, then they may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain on this basis.
If you think you may be a victim of domestic violence, please kindly contact our office without any further delay.
Dependents of those who have limited leave to remain in the UK (Tier 1, Tier 2, Sole Representatives, Ancestry visa, etc) may apply to stay in the UK for the period of the main visa holder’s leave. At some point down the line when the main visa holder is eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, their dependents may also apply along with them without having to satisfy the residential requirements.
If a Commonwealth Citizen can prove that they have at least 1 grandparent who was born in the UK and was a British Citizen, then they may apply from abroad for an ancestry visa. If granted, it will be valid for 5 years and the holder can study and work without restriction. At the end of the 5-year period, the holder may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain, if not they can extend their ancestry visa for another 5 years.