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Family at home

Family Visa - UK

Apply as a partner or spouse

To apply as a partner, you and your partner both need to be 18 or over. Your partner must also either:

  • be a British or Irish citizen

  • have settled in the UK - for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence

  • be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status - they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021

  • have a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa

  • have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK


You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK after you apply.

If your partner has settled or pre-settled status you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.

 

What you’ll need to prove
You must be able to prove one of the following:

  • you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK

  • you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply

  • you are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner and will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving

 

You also need to prove you:

 

If you do not meet these requirements you may still be able to apply for a visa or extend your permission to stay if:

  • you have a child in the UK who is a British or Irish citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years and it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK

  • there would be very significant difficulties for you and your partner that could not be overcome if you lived together as a couple outside the UK

  • it would breach your human rights to stop you coming to the UK or make you leave

 

If you’re applying as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
You must prove that:

  • any previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended

  • you plan to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK

 

You will not be able to work during your engagement.

 

How to prove your relationship
Send evidence that:

  • comes from the government, a bank, landlord, utility provider, or a medical professional

  • confirms your relationship with your partner - for example, that you live together, share expenses or are married or in a civil partnership

  • is less than 4 years old

 

You can use things like:

  • a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate

  • a tenancy agreement, utility bills or council tax bills confirming that you live at the same address or pay bills together

  • a bank statement from a joint bank account, or confirming that you live at the same address

  • a letter from your doctor or dentist confirming that you live at the same address

 

If you do not have any evidence that meets this criteria, there is other evidence you can provide instead. However, it’s less likely that you’ll be given a visa in this case. Other evidence you can provide includes:

  • a one-off bill like vet’s fees or home repair costs

  • letters confirming you and your partner are on the voting register for the same address

  • student finance paperwork confirming that you live at the same address


Things like greetings cards, travel tickets, receipts, photographs and text or social media messages are not considered strong evidence of your relationship and are unlikely to help your application.

How long you can stay
You can stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months on this visa. If you’re applying as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner, you can stay for 6 months. After this you’ll need to apply to extend your stay.

If you extend or switch to this visa
If you extend your family visa or switch to this visa you can stay in the UK for 2 years and 6 months.

 

How to apply
You’ll need to prepare information and documents to provide with your application. How you apply depends on whether you’re in the UK or not.

 

Outside the UK
You must apply online from outside the UK.

 

In the UK
You must apply online in the UK.

Applying with your children
You can add children to your application as dependants if both of the following apply:

  • they are under 18 when you apply, or were under 18 when they were first granted leave

  • they do not live an independent life

Your child is living an independent life if, for example, they’ve left home, got married and had children.

When you can settle permanently
The earliest you can apply to settle in the UK (called ‘indefinite leave to remain’) is after you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years continuously on a family visa as a partner. You cannot include time you’ve spent in the UK:

  • on any other visa

  • as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner

Fees

How much it costs depends on how you apply. Let your bank know that a large amount of money will be coming out of your account - otherwise it might cancel your payment.

Apply outside the UK

Cost of joining partner, parent or child - £1,538 

Cost for each dependant added to your application - £1,538 each person

Cost for an adult who needs to be looked after by a relative - £3,250

Apply in the UK

Cost of joining partner, parent or child - £1,048 

Cost for each dependant added to your application - £1,048 each person

Cost for an adult who needs to be looked after by a relative - £1,048

Healthcare surcharge
You might also need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

For each adult (18 or older) it costs:

  • £1,560 if you’re staying for 2 years and 6 months

  • £1,872 if you’re staying for 2 years and 9 months

  • £3,120 if you’re staying for 5 years

For each child (under 18), it costs:

  • £1,175 if you’re staying for 2 years and 6 months

  • £1,410 if you’re staying for 2 years and 9 months

  • £2,350 if you’re staying for 5 years

How long it takes

  • If you apply outside the UK a decision will usually be made within 24 weeks.

  • If you apply in the UK a decision will usually be made within 8 weeks of your application date if you use the standard service.

  • If you use the super priority service a decision will usually be made:

  • by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday

  • 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend

 

Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.

It might take longer if your application is complex, for example you:

  • do not meet the minimum income requirement

  • cannot prove your knowledge of English

  • need to attend an interview

  • have not provided all the evidence that the Home Office needs

  • have a criminal conviction or another personal circumstance that needs to be reviewed

After you apply
You’ll need to attend an appointment to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). You’ll be told how to make an appointment when you apply.

Getting your documents back

You can ask for your passport and other documents to be returned if you’ve provided them with your application but need them urgently.

You might have to cancel your application to get your documents back.

If your application is approved

You’ll get a biometric residence permit. You can:

  • work

  • study

 

You cannot work or study if you’re applying for a visa or extending your stay to get married or become civil partners.

 

You cannot:

  • usually get benefits or other public funds for you or your dependants

  • apply to settle in the UK until you’re eligible

 

Need visa assistance?

Get in touch via email so we can start working together.