Gentili Stark
Gentili Stark

Family in the UK: Obtain a UK Family visa – Appendix FM

Are you hoping to join a loved one in the UK? Spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, children, parents and people with dependent relatives can bring their family to the UK with them.

With 20 years' experience in the immigration field, we can help you navigate the complex procedures behind a Family visa application.

Spouse, Civil Partner or Unmarried Partner visas

If you are a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of a British citizen, a person with settled status, refugee status, Humanitarian Protection, limited leave to remain under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) or as a worker or business person, you may be able to apply to join them or stay with them in the UK if you already here.

To apply to join your partner from outside the UK, you will need to:

  • Be over 18
  • Be in a genuine and subsisting relationship
  • Have sufficient knowledge of English
  • Have a gross annual income of £ 18,600
  • Provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds
  • Be of suitable character

If you meet the financial requirements, you should be granted 2.5 years leave to remain, and after 5 years of continuous leave, you would generally be eligible for indefinite leave to remain.

If you are already in the UK with leave to remain (unless you have leave as a visitor) or for a period of 6 months or less then you should generally be able to apply for leave to remain as a partner if you meet the requirements listed above unless that leave is as a fiancé(e) or granted pending the outcome of family court or divorce proceedings or you are on immigration bail.

If you apply from the UK and cannot meet all eligibility requirements, you may be able to get limited leave to remain if there are insurmountable obstacles to family life with your partner continuing outside the UK.

Parent Visa

A parent of a British child, a child with settled status, or with limited leave to remain under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) may apply to join them in the UK under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules.

The key requirements are:

  • the child must be under 18 at the time of the application
  • the applicant must have sole parental responsibility for the child or
  • the parent or carer with whom the child normally lives must be
    • a British Citizen in the UK
    • or settled in the UK, or in the UK with limited leave under Appendix EU
    • not the partner of the applicant -
  • the applicant must not be eligible to apply for entry clearance as a partner under Appendix FM
  • the applicant must qualify for on suitability grounds
  • the applicant must satisfy the English test requirement
  • and must provide evidence that they will be able to adequately maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants in the UK without recourse to public funds

You would generally get leave to enter for 33 months and will be eligible for Indefinite leave to remain after completion of 60 months of continuous leave; if you cannot meet the financial requirements, in exceptional circumstances, you may be granted leave to remain with recourse to public funds on a 10 years route to settlement. 

As a parent already in the UK who does not meet all the requirements, you may also apply for limited leave to remain if you have a genuine and subsisting relationship with a qualifying child (including a child who lived for at least 7 years in the UK) if you can demonstrate that it would be unreasonable to expect your child to leave the UK.

Child Visa

If you're settled in the UK, and you'd like to have your child join you, you may be able to secure a Child visa for them.

This visa usually has financial requirements. The child will be granted leave, in line with their parents' status, and they may be able to apply for settlement.

If you have limited leave to remain in the UK, you may be able to secure a child visa for them in line with yours if:

  • your child is under the age of 18 at the date of application
  • not married or in a civil partnership
  • have not formed an independent family unit
  • not be leading an independent life
  • one of the child's parents is in the UK with limited leave to enter or remain, or being granted, or have been granted, entry clearance, as a partner or a parent under Appendix FM and
  • the applicant's parent's partner under Appendix FM is also a parent of the applicant or
  • the applicant's parent has had and continues to have sole responsibility for the child's upbringing or
  • 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

Adult Dependent Relative visa

If you are a parent, grandparent, sibling or child aged 18 or over of a British Citizen, a person settled in the UK, with refugee status, Humanitarian Protection or limited leave to remain granted under EUSS, whom as a result of age, illness or disability require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks you may be able to apply for an Adult Dependent Relative visa from outside the UK.

If you can demonstrate that:

  • the care you require is unavailable or unaffordable in your home country
  • provide evidence that you can be adequately maintained, accommodated and cared for in the UK by your sponsor (relative in the UK) without recourse to public funds
  • you will be granted indefinite leave to enter, if your sponsor is British or settled in the UK, limited leave to enter in line with your sponsor in the other cases.

Extending or switching your visa

We will be able to advise you on how you can extend or switch your visa and if and how you can gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Family reunion within the Immigration rules with a refugee or a person with Humanitarian Protection in the UK

If you are the partner or the child under 18 of someone with refugee status or Humanitarian Protection in the UK, you may be granted leave to enter or to remain in the UK in line with your sponsor if in the case of a partner :

  • the marriage or civil partnership did not take place after the person granted refugee status left the country of their former habitual residence in order to seek asylum or you have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage or a civil partnership which has subsisted for at least two years before the person granted refugee status left the country of their former habitual residence in order to seek asylum; and
  • the relationship existed before the person granted refugee status left the country of their former habitual residence to seek asylum; and
  • the applicant would not be excluded from protection due to the commission of the Refugee Convention if they were to seek asylum in their own right; and
  • you intend to live permanently with the other as their partner, and the relationship is genuine and subsisting
  • are not within the prohibited degree of relationship; and
  • if seeking leave to enter, the applicant holds a valid United Kingdom entry clearance for entry in this capacity.

And in the case of a child:

  • is under the age of 18; and
  • is not leading an independent life, is unmarried and is not a civil partner, and has not formed an independent family unit and
  • was part of the family unit of the person granted asylum at the time that the person granted asylum left the country of their habitual residence in order to seek asylum and
  • the applicant would not be excluded from protection if they were to seek asylum in their own right; if seeking leave to enter, they hold a valid United Kingdom entry clearance for entry in this capacity

 Note that if the sponsor is British, even if he/she was previously a refugee or a person with Humanitarian Protection, you would not qualify for family reunion under the immigration rules. 

Family reunification outside the Immigration rules

If your case does not fall within the immigration rules on family reunion:

You may still apply for family reunification outside the rules under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights that protects under certain conditions the right to family life if you can show that there are exceptional circumstances justifying a grant of leave to enter the UK to your family member outside the rules. 

These applications are far more complex than under the Immigration Rules.  

How we can help

We have 20 years' experience in the field of immigration in the UK. We have an extremely high success rate. We are confident we can help you.

We will advise you on which visa you are eligible for and guide you through the application and extension process.

Our UK Family visa fees

Our fees depend on the complexities of your case, your immigration history and urgency. Before we take your instructions, we will agree on the fee with you. Our British Citizenship fee ranges from £ 1,700 to £ 3,500 plus VAT and disbursements.

We provide tailored solutions for our clients. For details on our services and fees, please see here.

To find out how we can help you today, contact us on 07968 902362 or e-mail contact@gentilistark.com. We will be in touch with you within 24 hours.

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