Apply to join family living permanently in the UK

1.      Overview

2.      Exceptions

3.      Eligibility

4.      Knowledge of English

5.      Documents you need to provide

6.      Apply

7.      Extend your visa

 

1. Overview

You’ll need a ‘family of a settled person’ visa if you’re from outside theEuropean Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and you want to join, for 6 months or more, a partner or family member who’s living in the UK permanently.


You don’t need a ‘family of a settled person’ visa to visit your family for up to 6 months, but you should check if you need a Family Visitor visa.


Your family member can:


 If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply to:


Exceptions

You may need to apply in a different way if:


How long it takes

You should get a decision on your visa within 12 weeks.

Check the guide to processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.


Fees

Your situation

Fee

Joining your partner or parent

£956

Coming to look after your child

£956

Adult who needs to be looked after by a relative

£2,141

You may also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you need to pay before you apply.


What you can and can’t do with your visa

You can use your ‘family of a settled person’ visa to:

§  You can’t get public funds for yourself and any dependants.


Extend your stay

You may be able to apply to extend your visa or settle in the UK permanently.

2. Exceptions

You can apply for a family permit instead of a ‘family of a settled person’ visa if the person you’ll be joining is from a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) (excluding the UK) or from Switzerland.

If you’re already in the UK

You can’t apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa - you must apply to remain in the UK with family instead.


Reunite with a partner or parent in the UK

You should check if you can apply for ‘family reunion’ to stay with a partner or parent who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK.

Your relationship must have started before your family member’s departure from their home country because of persecution.


3. Eligibility

To apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, you must be from outside theEuropean Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.


Your partner or family member must have one of the following:


You must also prove that:


Joining your partner

You must prove that you and your partner are 18 or over and in a genuine relationship.

You must be one of the following:

You must prove that any previous relationships you or your partner had are permanently broken down.

You must also meet the financial requirement of:

§£18,600 per year if you’re applying only for yourself

§£22,400 per year for you and one child

§£2,400 per year for each additional child

Download ‘Annex FM 1.7: financial requirement’ (PDF, 478KB)

You won’t need to prove you have this money if you or your partner get certain disability benefits or Carer’s Allowance, but you’ll need to adequately accommodate and support yourselves and any dependants.


You’re engaged

You must prove that you plan to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK.

You won’t be able to work during your engagement.


Bringing your children

Your children must be under 18.

You must name your children on your application, but you’ll need to apply for them separately.


Joining your parents

You must be under 18 and all of the following must apply:

§you’ll be living with your parent or parents

§you’re not married, in a civil partnership or living an independent life

§you’ll be supported and accommodated adequately without using public funds, or you meet the financial requirement


Coming to look after your child

Your child must be under 18 and living in the UK

You must prove that you’re not able to apply as a partner and that either:

§  you’re the only parent of the child and you’re the only person who’s responsible for them (you have ‘sole responsibility’)

§  your child lives permanently with another parent or carer who’s British or settled in the UK and not your partner, and you want to help raise them

You must be able to support and accommodate yourself without claiming public funds.


Coming to be cared for - you’re an adult dependent relative

You must be dependent on a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter of someone living permanently in the UK.

You must prove that:

§  you need long-term care to do everyday personal and household tasks

§  the care you need is not available or affordable in the country you live in

§  the person you’ll be joining in the UK will be able to support, accommodate and care for you without claiming public funds for at least 5 years

§  you’re 18 or over


4. Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply, unless you’re applying in a 10-year route.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

§  passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening

§  having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways - check the guidance in the application form.

Exceptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of these countries:

You may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances - check the guidance in the application form.


5. Documents you need to provide

You’ll need to provide:

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances - eg a sponsorship form from your family member in the UK.

You’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

You must also provide documents to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements - read the guide to supporting documents for examples.

To check that you meet the financial and maintenance requirements, read‘Annex FM 1.7: financial requirement’ and ‘Appendix FM-SE’.


6. Apply

If you’re already in the UK, you should apply to remain in the UK with family instead.

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for this visa.

You may have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you need to pay before you apply.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in - check with your visa application centre.

North Korea

You can’t apply online if you’re living in North Korea.

To apply from North Korea you must download and fill in form VAF4A and appendix 2.

You might also need:

§  You should also read:

Apply in the UK

You can apply to extend your visa.


7. Extend your visa

You can apply to extend your visa towards the end of your stay.

You must apply before your visa expires.

When you’re eligible, you can apply to settle. Settlement means you can stay in the UK without time limits.

You may have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you need to pay before you apply.

Your initial stay will be:

You’re an adult dependent relative

Your initial stay will be:


Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.


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