Family and Dependant Visas

There are several different visa types for family members or dependants from outwith the EEA and Switzerland who wish to join and live with a family member who is resident in the UK. This page primarily addresses the 'Family of Settled Person' visa type, though depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for one of the other visa categories instead.

The rules and regulations about Family Visas can be complex, and from time to time the government makes changes to the eligibility requirements - so we usually recommend that you consult with an approved immigration adviser in order to give your UK visa application the best chance of success.

At Five Star International we are a family-run team of immigration advisers and solicitors, and we work exclusively on matters of immigration law. From our company base in Glasgow we provide immigration services throughout Scotland, including Aberdeen and Edinburgh. And we pride ourselves in offering a highly personal expert legal advice service to clients at an affordable price.

To discuss the details of your Family Visa application with one of our specialist immigration solicitors now please call +44 (0) 141 339 7373 or alternatively you can contact us by email at enquiries@fivestarinternational.co.uk.

Family of Settled Person Visa Requirements

If you come from outwith the EEA and Switzerland, and you wish to join a partner or family member living permanently in the UK, then you need a 'family of settled person' visa. If you are only visiting for 6 months or less you do not need this visa, but you may need a Family Visitor visa.

In order to qualify for the 'family of settled person' visa your family member must be a British Citizen, have settled in the UK, or have successfully claimed either asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK.

You must be at least 18 to apply for this visa, unless you apply as a child. You must be able to prove that your family relationship is genuine (ie legally recognised in the UK). You must intend to continue living with your family member once you enter the UK, and you must have a suitable place to live. Unless you apply as a child or a dependent adult you must demonstrate that you meet the English Language requirements. It usually takes around 12 weeks to process this type of visa application, and you will need to pay both a processing fee and a health surcharge.

If your application is successful, you will be allowed to join a partner (spouse, fiancé(e), civil partner, unmarried partner) or parent in the UK. You may also come to either look after your child, or be looked after by your family. While staying in the UK under this 'family of settled person' visa you will be allowed to work and study, but you cannot claim public funds.

Should you wish to join your partner in the UK you will need to demonstrate that you have an exclusive and genuine relationship - you must be married or civil partners, or have lived together in a relationship for at least 2 years, or be engaged to be married or to become civil partners, and any prior relationships have permanently broken down.

As a partner you must also prove you meet the minimum income threshold in order to be eligible, which is set around £18,600 per annum, or higher if you have one or more dependent children. It is possible to waive this requirement under certain circumstances, such as if you will receive disability allowances or carer's allowance, but even then you must demonstrate you have 'adequate maintenance' funds to accommodate and support you and your partner, along with any dependants.

Should you wish to join your fiancé in the UK, you must demonstrate that you will get married (or become civil partners) within 6 months of your arrival in the UK, and you will not be allowed to work during the period of your engagement. In this scenario you must apply separately in order to bring your children with you into the UK.

Should you wish to join your parents in the UK, you must be aged 18 or below, and you must be single and dependent on your parents. Unless you meet the financial requirement then it must be shown that you will be adequately maintained by your parents without recourse to public funds.

Should you wish to come to the UK to look after your child, your child must be under 18 and have the right to remain in the UK (eg they are a British Citizen). You can be eligible via 'sole responsibility' (you and only you are responsible for them). Alternatively if your child lives permanently with a parent or carer who isn't your partner, then you can apply to come to the UK to play an active role in helping to raise the child. In this case you may need to demonstrate that you have access rights to the child, and also that you can support yourself in the UK without recourse to public funds.

Finally, should you wish to come to the UK as an adult dependent relative, then you will have to show that you need long-term care (which is not available or affordable in your country) to help with routine personal and domestic tasks, and that your relative in the UK will be able to take care of you for at least 5 years without recourse to public funds. You must be 18 years of age, and your carer must be closely related to someone with permanent UK residence. This is a non-trivial route because of the extremely strict requirements you will need to meet, so we always recommend that you take expert advice before proceeding.

Other Types of Family Visa

If you are already living in the UK, then you must apply for a slightly different type of visa instead - called a 'remain in the UK with family' visa.

And if the person you intend to join is not from the UK, but instead is a national of the EEA or Switzerland, then you will need to apply for an 'EEA Family Permit' instead.

If you wish to stay with a parent or partner who has been granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK, then you may be able to apply for a 'family reunion' visa - provided you can show that your relationship with that family member started before they left their home country because of persecution.

Applying for a Family Visa

Family Visa applications can be complex and stressful, and because of their nature it is often vitally important to everyone involved that the application process is successful.

At Five Star International we have many years of experience dealing with all types of visa applications, including Family Visas. We are a family-run firm of immigration experts based in Glasgow, and we believe in providing a highly professional immigration service with a personal touch. Our in-house immigration solicitors in Glasgow have a tremendous amount of practical knowledge as well as legal expertise, ensuring that your visa application will have the best possible chance of success.

To discuss your Family Visa application with one of our friendly and knowledgeable immigration lawyers now please call +44 (0) 141 339 7373 - or if you prefer you can reach us by email at enquiries@fivestarinternational.co.uk.