Family Visas


Making the important decision to relocate with your family can be a difficult and emotional step. It is often made more difficult by the complex application process for obtaining a UK visa. The bespoke service provided by our immigration solicitors will help to make the process less stressful.

Partners

If your partner has British citizenship, indefinite leave to remain in the UK, asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK, then you may be able to join them. There are a number of requirements which both you and your partner will need to meet. These relate to your relationship, finances, accommodation and knowledge of the English language. You are expected to provide a lot of very specific documents in support of your application. Failing to do so will lead to the application being refused.

If you want to come to the UK to marry or enter into a civil partnership, you will need to provide evidence that your ceremony will take place within six months of arriving in the UK. Your visa will only be valid for six months and there is an expectation that you will marry during this time. You will then need to make an application to extend your leave as a spouse or civil partner.

If your application is successful, you will be given leave to remain in the UK usually for two and a half years. Before your leave expires, you will need to apply to extend your visa. Your financial and other circumstances will affect how many times you have to apply to extend your visa before you are eligible to make an application to settle in the UK. Settlement means you can stay in the UK without time limit.

Children

If you are a British citizen or have indefinite leave to remain, asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK then your children may be able to join you in the UK. To bring your children to the UK you will need to demonstrate that they are under 18 and not married, in a civil partnership or living an independent life. You will also have to prove that you are financially able to adequately maintain them in the UK and provide suitable accommodation.

Your children will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK if their parents are either living and settled in the UK or also making an application to settle in the UK. If only one parent is settled in the UK or applying to settle in the UK, then the application will only be successful if:

  • The other parent has passed away
  • The parent in the UK or applying to settle in the UK has had sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing
  • There are serious and compelling family or other considerations which make exclusion of the child undesirable and suitable arrangements have been made for the child’s care

Your children will need to make an application for limited leave to remain in the UK if one of their parents has been granted or is applying for limited leave to remain in the UK. Their leave will be granted in line with the non-settled parent. This is the case even if their other parent has settled status. Your children will only be able to apply to settle in the UK once the non-settled parent is eligible for indefinite leave to remain.

Parents

If your child is a British citizen and is living in the UK, you can apply to join or stay with them. You will have to prove that you are taking an active role in the child’s upbringing. You must be able to support and accommodate yourself without claiming public funds. You will also have to demonstrate that either:

  • You are the only parent of the child and you are the only person who is responsible for them
  • Your child lives permanently with another parent or carer who is British or settled in the UK and not your partner, and you want to help raise them

You may also be able to apply to stay in the UK on the basis of your relationship with a non-British child who has lived in the UK for more than least seven years. Evidence will have to be provided to demonstrate that it would not be reasonable for the child to leave the UK.

Adult Dependant Relative

If you are dependent on a British citizen or someone with indefinite leave to remain, asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK, you may be eligible to make an application to join them. You must over 18 years old and be related; either their parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter.

You must prove that:

  • As a result of age, illness or disability, 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 (even if you are given help by your family)
  • The family member you will be joining in the UK can able to support, accommodate and care for you without claiming public funds for at least five years

If your application is successful, then the length of your leave depends on the immigration status of the family member you are coming to join in the UK. If your family member is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, you will not need to extend your leave. If your family member has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK then your visa will expire at the same time as theirs. You will be able to make an application to settle in the UK once you are eligible to do so.

Why use Bishop & Sewell?

Our immigration lawyers have the expertise and experience to guide you through this difficult and sensitive area of law. Our team has assisted numerous individuals throughout the UK and worldwide, no matter how complicated their case, to obtain a positive result.

We are able to assist you with:

  • Making an application for leave to enter or remain as a fiancé, proposed civil partner, unmarried partner, spouse, civil partner, child, parent or adult dependant relative
  • Appealing to the Immigration Tribunal against a refused application

What should I do now?

If you are thinking about making an application for leave to remain in the UK on the basis of your relationship with a family member in the UK, our Immigration lawyers can provide you with quality legal advice to achieve the best possible outcome. Our Immigration team can answer your questions about the legal process, your rights and what the best option is for you.

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our Immigration solicitors please contact us on 020 7631 4141.

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Who to contact


For more information the following lawyers will be able to help with Family Visas.

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Mariam Khaliq
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Karma Hickman
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