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Requirements and types of UK family visa

UK allows foreign nationals to join their family members such as spouse, partner, fiance, children, parents, or other family members in the UK. A UK family visa is for those who have family members working and living in the UK.

Types and requirements of Family Visa

There are mainly four types of UK Family Visa.

1. UK Spouse/Marriage Visa

UK Spouse/Marriage visa allows British Citizens or settled persons or Refugee status or has left under Appendix EU in the UK to bring their spouse living outside the UK to join them in the UK. This type of Family Visa allows a non-British individual who is a spouse of a British citizen or one who is settled in the UK to enter and remain in the UK to live with their spouse in the UK for more than six months.
To be eligible to apply for a UK Spouse Visa, the first requirement is that you and your British partner must be over 18. There are other eligibility requirements as the followings: 1. Your partner must be a British citizen or settled in the UK or Refugee status or has left under Appendix EU. 2. Your marriage or civil partnership must be recognized in the UK. 3. At the time of application, your relationship must be genuine and subsisting. 4. If you are a fiance of a British citizen, you must provide evidence of the intention of getting married in the UK. 5. You must meet the financial requirement income of a minimum of £18,600 a year. 6. You must meet the English language requirement. For an unmarried partner visa, all the above requirements need to be met and you need to provide evidence of living together for at least 2 years in a relationship akin to marriage.

2. UK Parent Visa

If you have a British child or a child who is a resident of the UK without any immigration restrictions, you can apply for a UK parent visa to join your child in the UK. Your child should be a dependent UK resident under 18.
UK Parent visa requirements
If your partner in the UK is living with your child, you need to apply for a UK Spouse visa, this is also known as the 10-year Partner Route unless you are able to fulfil the financial and English language requirement where you can apply for 5-year parent route. You can apply for a UK parent visa only if you are no longer in a relationship with your child's other parent in the UK. The other eligibility requirements are the following: 1. On the date of application, your child must be below 18 and not living an independent life. 2. Your child must be a British citizen or has settled statuseslive such as indefinite leave to remain or the child has lived in the UK for 7 years and its not reasonable to relocate to another country. 3. You need to have shared or sole responsibility for your child. 4. If you have a shared responsibility, evidence of this should be provided. 5. You need to prove that you are taking an active role in your child's upbringing, and you plan to continue doing so. 6. You need to be able to maintain and accommodate yourself. 7. You need to meet the English language requirement.

3. UK Child visa

This type of family visa allows citizens or residents of the UK to bring their non-British children to the UK to live with them. One of the parents of the child must be already residing in the UK.
UK Child Visa requirements
You can apply for a Family visa to join your parent in the UK. If at least one of your parents has ILR or proof of permanent residence or British citizen or Refugee status or has left under Appendix EU. The child must be under 18, and you must -
  1. not be married or in a civil partnership
  2. not be living an independent life
  3. be supported financially without accessing public funds of any sort
One of your parents must also be applying for a visa as a partner joining the other parent or as a parent that has the sole responsibility of you If you are over 18, your parent can include you in their application as a dependent. You can apply separately in such cases also. If you were born in the UK, in most cases you would get the same permission to stay in the UK as your parent. If you are below 18, you can be added to your parent's application as a dependent, or you can apply separately. If you are over 18, and you were under 18 years of age when you came to the UK as a dependent, you still need to prove that your dependency continues.

4. Adult Dependent Relative

This visa is for adult dependent relatives such as parents or children over the age of 18 years of age. You need to establish that you are a parent, grandparent, child, sibling above the age of 18 years and that your sponsor is a British citizen, holding ILR or Refugee status or has leave under Appendix EU.
  1. The applicant or, if the applicant and their partner are the sponsor’s parents or grandparents, the applicant’s partner, must as a result of age, illness or disability require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks.
  2. The applicant or, if the applicant and their partner are the sponsor’s parents or grandparents, the applicant’s partner, must be unable, even with the practical and financial help of the sponsor, to obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living, because it is not available and there is no person in that country who can reasonably provide it; or it is not affordable.
  3. The applicant should be maintained and accommodated without recourse to public funds
All the above four routes require that the applicant can meet the suitability requirement and does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal. If you are looking for representations on any of the above routes you can get a free assessment from one of our lawyers at Visa and Migration Ltd. You can call 02034111261 or email
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Visa and Migration is a private OISC regulated company (F201500999) and is not an official Government body. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the UKVI website.