UK Family Visa

Information about the UK visas for family visits and joining the family in the UK

///UK Family Visas
UK Family Visas 2019-04-04T15:14:48+00:00

What is the UK Family Visa?

UK family visas are a category of UK entry and residence authorizations that are issued to those who want to establish a permanent family life with their UK resident family members.

There are few ways through which you can get a UK family visa:

  • As a spouse or partner of a UK resident.
  • As a parent of a UK resident.
  • As a child of a UK resident.
  • As a sickened, disabled or aged relative in need for long-term care from a UK resident.
  • On the basis of a private life.
  • As a widowed partner of a former UK resident.
  • As a separated spouse or partner.

Do I Qualify for a UK Family Visa?

You cannot get a UK family visa if your circumstances are as follows:

  • You’re already in the UK with a UK work visa, or a UK temporary student visa.
  • You’re living in the UK with a UK visitor visa with validity period of 6 months or less. The rule doesn’t apply for UK visitor marriage visa, or if you’re awaiting for a final court decision on a family or divorce matter.

What are the UK Family Visa Types?

There’s a range of UK family visa categories you may get depending which is your personal circumstances and your relationship with the sponsoring UK resident.

General description – About an individual in this category:

The UK Spouse Visa is issued to those who want to join their spouse in the UK or other partner who is either a British citizen, a settled person, a refugee or someone under the humanitarian protection.

Your relationship with your partner must be either a marriage, a durable relationship or civil partnership.

General description – About an individual in this category:

The UK Parent Visa is issued to parents of British citizens or settled persons or persons that have spent at least 7 continuous years in the UK.

To qualify for this visa the child must be younger than 18, or must have been that age when you’ve first applied for the UK family visa.

General description – About an individual in this category:

The UK Child Visa is issued to children of a settled person in the UK.

You have to be the dependent child living in the UK with your parent, who is making a joint application with you for a UK visa or an extension of stay in the UK.

General description – About an individual in this category:

The Visa for adults in need of care by a relative is issued for the purpose of taking long-term care from a relative who is a British citizen, settled person, refugee or under humanitarian protection in the UK. The person that needs this type of care has to be an adult of age 18 or older suffering from a disability or a medical condition, or who has reached the old age.

General description – About an individual in this category:

The Family visa on the basis of your private life is given to remain permanently in the UK, after having lived there for quite some time, due to your unfavorable personal circumstances for leaving the UK, or overlong residence in the UK.

General description – About an individual in this category:

Dependents of a deceased partner visa is issued to those who want to permanently remain in the UK, as a former spouse/civil partner/partner in a durable relationship, of a deceased British citizen or a settled person in the UK. You must have a valid family visa appropriate to the aforesaid relationship with the deceased sponsor, i.e. Spouse visa.


Separated or divorced dependent partner visa is issued for the purpose of remaining permanently if your relationship has broken down due of domestic violence from your partner. You must have had your last visa was as a spouse or partner of the aforesaid sponsor and public funds until application for settlement is processed.

How to Apply for a UK Family Visa?

You’ll be facing different application procedures for the UK family visa, depending if you’re applying from within or out the United Kingdom.

A joint application is possible when your sponsor applies at the same time with you for the appropriate permission to remain. Other than that, you’ve to make a single application.

Ways to submit supporting UK family visa documents

These are ways you may submit application documents for a UK family visa:

  • Post office. You’ve to send documents to the address specified on the application form.
  • Premium service centre. You’ve to submit documents in person, at the centre on the pre-appointed meeting.
  • Online. You’ll be instructed where to submit the documents after having submitted the online application.

Applying from outside the UK

If you’re outside the UK, you have to apply online and fill the form VAF4A.

Applying from within the UK

There are three options to apply in the UK for a family visa, between online, post office and in person (premium service).

You can apply from the UK for:

  • Extension of the current family visa period.
  • Settlement on a family grounds.
  • Switch into a UK family visa from another UK visa type. You must be sponsor’s spouse, partner, child or their parent to switch.

Applying online from inside the UK

You may choose to apply online to remain in the UK on a family basis as a relative or a partner, or a child, as well as on the basis of private life.

You can’t apply online from within the UK for a settlement on a family basis, nor if you qualify for a visa fee waiver.

Applying at a premium service centre in the UK

You have to book 45 business days in advance a meeting to apply this way. Visa premium service is a lot more costly than other forms, and your application is usually decided on the application day.

This service is valid only if you’re applying for settlement or extension of the period of stay. The appointment date to apply for ILR must be minimum 48 hours after you’ve passed ‘Life in the UK test’ and in 28 days after you’ve completed your qualifying period (years of continuous residence).

Documents to provide when applying in person for a UK family visa:

  • Confirmation of having paid respective fees.
  • Duly completed application form. Send SET (AF), SET (F), SET (LR) or SET (M) if you’re applying for settlement. Or, FLR (AF), FLR (FP), or FLR (M) if you’re applying for an extension.
  • Supporting documents of your visa application.
  • Health insurance number (if appropriate).

It costs £610 despite the regular visa fee to apply using the visa premium service and £75 extra fee if you book an appointment out of working hours.

Applying by post in the UK

You’ve to send the appropriate completed UK family visa form and supporting documents in the address specified in the form.

Preconditioned by your ability to cope with financial and English language requirement as well as your visa, two are ways to apply for a UK family visa by post:

  • If you meet such criteria, apply using FLR (M) Form.
  • If you don’t, apply using FLR (FP)

Your passport and other original documents will be returned to you through a recorded delivery.

Submitting Biometric information

After having submitted the application within the UK, you’ll be invited by a letter to submit your biometric information, such as fingerprints and biometric photographs.

What are the Required Documents to Apply for a UK Family Visa?

Your UK family visa application file must comprise of a duly completed application form and supporting evidence. Send these evidences in original format, accompanied by a certified translated copy in English or Welsh language, if they’re not originally in such languages. Besides the standard required documents for any UK visa you must also submit specific documents that are required for UK Family visas.

The documents required for a UK family visa application:

  • UK Biometric Residence Permit. (If appropriate).
  • Information on immigration history. (If applicable).
    • Detailed list of complete applications you’ve submitted for visa or similar immigration authorizations.
  • Information on criminal history. (If applicable).
  • Covered national health insurance.
  • Tuberculosis test results. If your citizenship qualifies you to take the test.
  • Evidence of minimum incomes. Required only if you’re applying as a partner and as a child of a sponsor with limited leave to remain – LLR or Her Majesty forces. You and your partner should have a minimum annual income of £18,600 and £3,800 for the first child plus £2,400 for each other child. This applies if you’ve a child who’s not a British or EEA citizen, nor a UK settled person.
  • Proof of English language skills.
    • Certificate of UK NARIC. It must confirm recognition of your degree/qualification for studies/research held in English language. The degree/qualification must be equivalent to at least a UK Bachelor degree, to qualify.
    • An approved English language certificate of CEFR A1level and higher. A1 level is required for your first-time visa application. A2 is needed when you apply for extension after having lived here for 2.5 years.
      • Exception from the requirement: You won’t need to confirm your English skills by any form if you’re older than 65. This also applies if you’ve a mental or physical condition that prevents you to meet the requirement. Likewise, exempt from this requirement are also citizens of the 16 English speaking countries, i.e. USA. This may also be relevant for partners of 2 and 5 years route.
  • Sponsorship undertaking form. A certifying document that your relative submits to the UK Department for Work and Pension, to undertake financial responsibility for you. It commits to cover your living, accommodation costs without using any UK public funds, and to give care for within your first 5 years of stay (If you’re applying to enter with a UK family visa on a permanent basis) and for the entire your stay (If you’re applying to enter with a temporary UK family visa).
  • Proof of financial capacity of your sponsor. It must show they’ve sufficient incomes to cover your living and accommodation costs without relying on UK public funds.

UK Family Visa application fees

The cost for submitting a UK family visa application varies based on a range of factors.

The full information on the UK family visa application fees:

Visa type From out of the UK From the UK online/by post From the UK using the premium service (in person)
UK Family visa as a partner, parent or child £1,523 £1,033 £1,643
UK Family visa for adult in need for care by a UK resident relative £3,250 £1,033 £1,643

Settlement in the UK on family basis

If your years of continuous residences in the UK with a UK family visa are 2, 5 or 10 you’ll be able to apply for an indefinite leave to remain, if you can meet the other requirements besides. The qualifying period for settlement permit differs based on the family visa you’ve been holding in such time.

Use SET (M) Form to apply for settlement on a family basis, of the following routes:

  • UK family visa as a partner of a UK resident. Settlement can be required after 2 years or 24 months of continuous residence here.
  • UK Family visa as a partner of a UK resident. Settlement can be required after 5years or 60 months, if for 2.5 years you’ve lived here with an extension of this visa period.
  • UK Family visa as a parent of a UK resident. Settlement can be required after 5years or 60 months, if for 2.5 years you’ve lived here with an extension of this visa period.

Use SET (P) Form to apply to apply for settlement on family grounds after 5 years spent, as a dependent relative of a refugee or a person under humanitarian protection.