If you’re looking to live with a family member in the UK for more than 6 months you’ll need to apply for a family visa. The type of visa you’ll need will depend on who you’re applying to live with. Read more to find out the different types of family visas available below.
If you’re living outside of the UK, you’ll need a family visa to come and live with a family member in the UK for more than 6 months. You can apply for a family visa if you want to live with one of the following family members:
There are two reasons you may have the right to apply for a family visa:
If you’re in the UK on a family visa already, you can apply to extend your stay with a family member. You can normally extend your visa at any time before your current permission to stay in the UK expires, but for the most up-to-date visa information please visit the UK Government website.
However, if you’re extending your family visa to stay in the UK with the same family member you currently live with, just be aware that you’ll only get up to 28 days left on your current stay added to your new visa, so you don’t want to extend your visa too early.
If you’re planning on staying in the UK indefinitely, remember you have to have lived in the UK for a certain amount of time before you're eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. So before you extend your family visa it may be important to check how much time you need to be in the UK.
If you’re currently living in the UK on a different type of visa, for example, a study visa or work visa, you may be able to switch to a family visa in order to stay with your child, parent, fiancé or partner. You can normally switch visas any time before your current permission to stay in the UK expires, but for the most up-to-date visa information please visit the UK Government website.
If you're applying for a family visa to live with your fiancé or partner, you’ll be applying for a Spouse visa. The requirements for getting the Spouse visa vary slightly depending on whether you’re applying as a fiancé or partner. When applying as a fiancé or proposed civil partner you must prove that:
If you’re applying as a partner, you must both be 18 or over and you must plan to live together permanently in the UK after you apply. To apply for a Spouse visa in the UK, as both a fiancé and partner, your partner must:
Additionally, you need to be able to prove one of the following:
If you’re applying as a fiancé, you can stay in the UK with a Spouse visa for 6 months. If you’re married, you can stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months on a Spouse visa. After this, you’ll need to apply to extend your stay. For the most up-to-date visa information please visit the UK Government website.
You can add children to your Spouse visa application as dependents if they’re under 18 when you apply and are not living an independent life. This means they must still rely on you, meaning they still live at home.
Another type of family visa is a Parent visa, which allows you to apply to live in the UK to take care of your child. However, if you’re eligible to apply as a partner, you need to do that instead of applying as a parent.
If you’re applying for a Parent visa, your child must either be under 18 on the date you apply, or have been under 18 when you were first granted leave. They must not live an independent life, meaning they are dependent on you. Your child must be currently living in the UK for one of the following reasons:
In order to get a Parent visa in the UK, it’s also important that you can prove that you’re taking an active role in your child’s upbringing and that you plan to continue after you apply.
To prove this you must send evidence that comes from the government, school, court or a medical professional and shows you’re living with or caring for your child. Examples of this kind of evidence include:
You must also prove that you have a good knowledge of English by passing a Secure English Language Test and that you can financially support yourself without claiming public funds.
Once you get your Parent visa approved you can stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months on this visa. After this, you’ll need to apply to extend your stay. For the most up-to-date visa information please visit the UK Government website.
The cost of your family visa varies depending on which visa you apply for, so it’s best to check the UK Government website before applying.
Whether you can work on a family visa in the UK will depend on the type of visa you have, check the UK Government website.
Many visa applications require you to have a certain level of English language. You can prove your knowledge of English by passing a Secure English Language Test and then uploading your results as part of your visa application process.
You must pass at least level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale for your first visa application. However, you can choose to take a higher-level test if you want. All Trinity certificates are valid for life to be used as evidence of your achievement and performance in a Trinity exam. However, where certificates are used for UK visa or immigration purposes, Trinity has recommended to the UK Home Office that, for security reasons, only certificates less than two years old should be accepted.
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