The UK government supports family life to a great extent as compared to other countries. For this purpose, it has created two types of visas that allow legal entry to the families of UK citizens: family visas and settlement (permanent residence) visas. By obtaining these visas, spouses and children of the resident can also qualify for permanent residence.
One must meet the following requirements to use a family visa:
- Spouse of a UK citizen
- Parents of UK citizen
- Children of UK citizen
- Spouse of a dead UK citizen
- A divorced mother of children of UK citizen
Requirements for a family visa
A family visa is not too hard to acquire however, some situations deem you ineligible for this visa including:
- You are a UK resident on a work visa or student visa
- You are visiting the UK for 6 months on a tourist visa. However, if the visitor visa is obtained for marriage in the UK or if you are staying in the UK for a divorce or custody proceeding, this rule does not include you.
Types of Family Visa
The UK offers different types of family visas depending upon your eligibility and relation with the UK citizen. These visas also vary depending upon your status in your home country.
- Spouse visa
A spouse visa is particularly granted to the spouse of the UK citizen so they can live together. However, it is not necessary that you must marry the citizen, you can be their partner as long as he is a citizen, a legal refugee or a person staying in the UK under humanitarian status. You qualify as a partner if you are married or have a civil relationship with a UK resident.
- Parent visa
In order to successfully apply for a UK Parent Visa, there are 3 steps that you’ll need to take. You’ll first need to meet certain requirements in regards to your own finances and English language skills; second, it’s imperative that you’ve been granted or shared custodial rights with the other parent who is already residing in the UK; finally, one last requirement would be proving that both parties’ incomes combined equals £18,600 (or the equivalent), This is to ensure that you can cover their basic expenses such as rent, food, utilities and more.
Applying for a UK Parent Visa in the United States will cost you $2,653. If applying from inside of the country it’ll only cost $1,533 – but there is also an additional fee for health care and around $30 for getting a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). You may need to pay out of pocket if you’re indigent so make sure you file your application early enough to ask permission beforehand.
- Child Visa
If you are under 18 and financially dependent on your parent(s), you can apply for a UK child visa if your parent has settled status in the UK. In addition to this, you must meet the requirements for a dependent visa. You can apply when you’re aged 18 or over if you were financially dependent on your parent(s) and had permission to come or stay in the UK when you were under 18.
- If You Are Sick And Want Care From The UK Resident
This visa is for individuals who are dependent on a UK resident, citizen, settled person, refugee and person staying under humanitarian status. The individuals seeking this visa for ill people, disabled people, old people or any person who is older than 18 years and has no one to care for the other or a UK resident.
- For Private Life
This visa is only for UK residents who are older than 18 years and have been staying in the UK for at least 7 years and it is unfavorable for you to leave the country. In other words, it grants a permanent leave to remain a UK resident.
- Spouse Of A Dead Former UK Resident
If you are a partner or spouse of a dead UK resident, citizen, settled person or a person who had a permanent leave to stay and was your civil partner, you can apply for a family visa. However, you must have another type of family visa on this relationship when the resident was alive i.e a spouse visa.
- Divorced Or Separated Partner
If you entered the UK on a family visa before such as a spouse visa but your relationship did not work out and you are divorced or live separate from your partner due to reasons like domestic violence, you can apply for permanent residence in the UK. Your last visa must be based on the relationship with the UK resident until you apply for this family visa.
Family Visa complaints in the UK
There are many ways to challenge a refusal of your UK work visa application if it was not processed according to regulations. One of them is an Administrative Review which costs £80. When you do not qualify for an administrative review, another way to challenge the decision is by making a reconsideration request to the UK immigration authorities.
Citizens Advice provides citizens with support and information about available government-funded legal services for those who qualify. You can also reach out to family immigration experts to discuss your case in detail. Each type of situation requires a different approach, which is why it’s recommended to always get a consultation for your particular case. Many lawyers offer a complimentary first consultation session and you can get their guidance on what plan you should follow.
These lawyers ensure maximum efforts to help you acquire a visa. If you are facing difficulty in understanding the process or requirements, or if you’re facing rejections while applying for a family visa, contacting an attorney with years of experience is the best option. These lawyers are well versed in all immigration-related processes, which is why you have greater chances of securing a positive outcome if you take their assistance.