People who have a close family member—usually a partner— living and working in a foreign country can apply for a family reunification visa. Family visas are usually long-term, and the qualification requirements can change based on which family member is sponsoring you.
What Is a Family Visa?
A family visa is a document issued for family reunification purposes in a foreign country. Usually, to qualify for a family visa, you need to have a family member, i.e., a spouse/partner, parent, sibling, or child who is settled in a foreign country and you want to join them.
Family Visa by Country
You can apply for a family visa for one of the following countries:
- US family visa application.
- Canada family visa application.
- UK family visa application.
- Japan spouse visa application.
- Australian family visa application.
- Germany family visa application.
- Austria family visa application.
Family Visa Fees by Country
Here’s how the family visa fees change from country to country:
|The US spouse visa||USD 325 plus extra fees|
|The UK spouse visa||GEP 1,464 (outside of the UK)|
|Australia partner visa||AUD 7,850 (outside of Australia)|
|Canada partner visa||CAD 1,040|
|Germany family visa||EUR 75|
Family Visa Types
Depending on your situation, several countries issue different types of family visas:
|Spouse Visa||You can apply for this type of family visa if you have a spouse in another country. You may also qualify for the visa if you are only in a registered partnership, including same-sex partnerships.*|
|Parent Visa||This type of family visa is suitable for you if you have a child who can sponsor you from a foreign country. Not all countries issue this type of visa, so you need to check availability beforehand.|
|Children Visa||You qualify for this type of visa if you have a parent you want to join in another country. Usually, you need to be minor to qualify for this visa, but there are exceptions from country to country.|
|Other Family Visa||A visa for immediate family members is for you if you have a sibling, grandparent, or close relative that can sponsor you for a family visa. However, this type of visa is rarely issued— only a few specific countries have this option.|
*Please note that family visas for same-sex partners may not be available in countries where such a relationship is not legally recognized.
How to Get a Family Visa?
To get a family visa, follow the application process listed below:
- Fill out the application form.
- Locate a visa application center.
- Get your documents ready.
- Attend the visa interview.
Fill Out The Application Form
First; you need to fill out the family visa application form. You may find a copy of the form in the relevant visa office, or it might be available online; either way, you must fill out the form and sign it. Please fill out the form with up-to-date and honest information.
Locate a Visa Application Center
You need to submit your family visa application to a corresponding visa office. This can be an embassy or consulate, a VHS global office, or even an application center in a neighboring country. Once you find the correct application center, you need to make an appointment to attend your visa interview and submit your application.
Get Your Documents Ready
To complete your application, you need to assemble the required documents and prepare them as required. Some of your documents (marriage certificate, divorce certificate, birth certificate, etc.) may need to be translated or verified with an apostille stamp as per the visa office’s instructions.
Attend the Visa Interview
After collecting your documents, you must attend the visa interview and submit your application. You will most likely need to attend the interview with your partner and answer questions regarding your relationship to verify your intentions for applying for a family visa.
Some visa centers will also ask you to pay the application fee the day of your interview, while others need you to pay beforehand and bring a receipt with your documents— they will let you know in advance.
Family Visa Requirements
For a family visa application, you must prepare the following documents:
- Family visa application form.
- Six-month valid passport.
- Passport pictures.
- Proof of relationship:
- Marriage certificate
- Certificate of registration (for registered partnerships)
- Proof of co-habitation (joint bank accounts, rental agreements, etc.)
- Shared child custody
- Police certificate.
- Proof of accommodation.
- Biometric details.
- Paid visa fee (if required).
- Health insurance.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Family Visa?
A family visa takes between one to two years to finish processing. Some countries like Australia may allow you to stay in the country while your visa is being processed— but this depends on your family visa type.
How Much Does a Family Visa Cost?
Your family visa fees may go from $160 to $1,500. The fees will vary depending on the visa type and the additional administrative costs.
How Long Does a Family Visa Last?
Your family visa is usually issued for the same duration as your partner’s initial visa— between five and ten years— then if your partner qualifies for citizenship, so do you.
Can You Work on a Family Visa?
You can work and study under a family visa. But, you have to keep in mind that some countries may restrict the number of working hours and what study programs you can follow while on a family visa.
Why Was My Family Visa Denied?
Your application for a family visa may be rejected for one of the following reasons:
- You do not have a valid relationship with your family member.
- You and your family member do not have enough money to finance your stay.
- You lied on your application form.
- You committed a felony.