Family and Private Life Visas

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.

You must show that:

  • 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 (unmarried partners)
  • 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
  • Any previous marriage or civil partnership that either of you was in has permanently broken down.
  • You meet our English language requirement, unless you can show that you qualify for an exemption you can support yourselves and any dependents without help from public funds
  • You have adequate accommodation where you and your dependents can live exclusively and without needing public funds.

The financial requirement for such applications state that you must demonstrate that your partner (or both if you are in the UK with valid leave to remain) have a gross annual income of at least:

  • £18,600; plus
  • £3,800 for a first child (who is not British or settled); plus
  • £2,400 for each additional child (who is not British or settled).

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.

You must apply to extend your visa before your leave expires.

You can apply to enter or remain in the UK as the fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of a British citizen or someone who is settled here.

You must obtain a visa before traveling here, even if you are a national of a country whose nationals do not normally require a visa to visit the UK. You cannot apply as a fiancé (e) or proposed civil partner from inside the UK.

Your fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner must be:

  • Currently living and settled in the UK or
  • Returning to the UK with you to live here permanently.

You must show that:

  • You are both at least 18 years old on the date when you would arrive in the UK or when we would give you permission to remain.
  • You both intend to marry or register a civil partnership within a reasonable time (6 months).
  • You both intend to live together permanently as husband and wife or civil partners after you are married or have registered your civil partnership.
  • You have met each other.
  • You meet our English language requirement, unless you can show that you qualify for an exemption.
  • Until you are married or have registered a civil partnership, there is somewhere for you and any dependents to live without help from public funds.
  • There will, when you are married or in your civil partnership, be adequate accommodation where you and any dependents can live exclusively and without help from public funds and
  • You and any dependents can be supported without working or needing public funds, before you apply to extend your stay as the husband, wife or civil partner of a British citizen or settled person.

The financial requirement for such applications state that you must demonstrate that your partner has a gross annual income of at least:

  • £18,600; plus
  • £3,800 for a first child (who is not British or settled); plus
  • £2,400 for each additional child (who is not British or settled).

Once you have entered into marriage, you can apply in-country to switch into a spouse visa

You can apply to live in the UK to care for your child.

Your child must either:

  • be under 18 on the date you apply
  • have been under 18 when you were first granted leave and not live an independent life

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

Your child must be living in the UK. One of the following must also be true:

  • they’re a British or Irish citizen
  • they’ve settled in the UK - for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • they’re 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
  • if you’re applying in the UK, they must have lived in the UK for 7 years continuously and it would not be reasonable for them to leave

You must show that you have parental responsibility

You need to have sole or shared parental responsibility for your child.

If you share parental responsibility, the child’s other parent must not be your partner. They 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

If the child lives with their other parent or carer, you must have access to the child in person, as agreed with the other parent or carer or by a court order.

What you’ll need to prove~
You must be able to prove that you’re taking an active role in your child’s upbringing and you plan to continue after you apply. For example you could provide letters from your child’s:

  • school confirming you take them to school or go to parent evenings
  • doctor, dentist, or health visitor confirming that you take them to appointments
  • other parent confirming how much contact you have with your child

If you provide a letter from the other parent, you’ll need to include proof of their identity. This should be an official document which has their signature on it, for example a copy of their passport, tax return or photocard driving licence.

English language and financial requirements
You must also prove you:

  • have a good knowledge of English
  •  can financially support yourself without claiming public funds

If your child or any other dependants live with you, you must also prove you can financially support them without claiming public funds.

If you do not meet the English language and financial requirements you can still extend your permission to stay if:

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

How long you can stay
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.

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

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 country for 5 years continuously with permission to stay (‘leave to remain’) as a parent.

You can apply for a family visa to join your parent in the UK.

You may not need a family visa if at least one of your parents has indefinite leave to remain or proof of permanent residence.

If you were born in the UK - you’ll get the same permission to stay as your parent.

If you’re under 18

You can either:

  • be added to your parent’s next application as a dependant
  • apply separately

To apply separately, you’ll need to know what kind of permission to stay in the UK (‘limited leave to remain’) your parent has.

If you’re over 18
Your parent can only include you in their application as a dependant if you:

  • got permission to come to or stay in the UK (‘leave to enter or remain’) on a family visa when you were under 18
  • do not live an independent life
  • are applying from inside the UK

You’re living an independent life if, for example, you’ve left home, got married and had children.

You were born outside the UK
Whether you can apply depends on your age and how your parent applied.

If you’re under 18
You must:

  • not be married, in a civil partnership or living an independent life
  • be financially supported without claiming public funds

One of your parents must also be applying or have applied for a visa or to extend their permission to stay as a:

  • partner - and the partner they’re joining is your other parent
  • parent - and they have sole parental responsibility for you

Otherwise, you might still be eligible to apply if there are serious reasons to let you come to, or stay in the UK and there are plans for your care.

If you’re over 18
Your parent can include you in their application as a dependant, or you can apply separately yourself. You can only apply if you:

  • got permission to stay in the UK (‘leave to remain’) on a family visa when you were under 18
  • do not live an independent life

Apply from outside the UK
Apply at the same time as your parent. Your parent must be applying to enter the UK as the partner of one of the following:

  • a British or Irish citizen
  • a person with indefinite leave to remain
  • a person settled in the UK - for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • a person from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein who has pre-settled status - they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
  • a person with a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
  • a person with refugee status or humanitarian protection

Apply separately
Which form you need to fill in depends on whether your parent has leave to enter or remain in the UK on a 5 or 10-year route to settlement as the partner of:

  • a British or Irish citizen
  • a person with indefinite leave to remain
  • a person settled in the UK - for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • a person from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein who has pre-settled status - they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
  • a person with a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
  • a person with refugee status or humanitarian protection

You will qualify for Indefinite leave after 5 or 10 years depending on which route your parent was granted leave.

You can come to live permanently in the UK as an adult dependent relative of someone who is already a permanent resident here.

One of the following must also apply to the relative:

  • they’re a British or Irish citizenthey’ve settled in the UK - for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • they’re 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
  • they have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

You can apply for permission to settle permanently here (known as 'indefinite leave to enter or remain') if you are:

  • Aged 18 or over and
  • A parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son or daughter of a British citizen or person settled in the UK.

You can apply to join a settled person in the UK if:

  • You need long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks, such as washing and cooking.
  • The care you need is not available in the country where you are living, either because it is not available and there is no person in the country where you are living who can reasonably provide it or it is not affordable.
  • Your sponsor can show that he or she is able to provide adequate maintenance, accommodation and care for you without having to rely on public funds. Your sponsor will need to sign a sponsorship undertaking form to confirm that they will be responsible for your care without relying on public funds for a period of at least 5 years.

How long you can stay
How long you can stay depends on the status of your family member.

If your family member is British, Irish or settled in the UK. Your stay is unlimited. You will not need to apply to extend or settle.

If your family member has pre-settled status. They must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021. You can stay as long as your family member stays. You’ll need to apply to extend or settle when they do.

Your unmarried or same-sex partner must be a British citizen or someone who is settled here they must be:

  • Currently living and settled in the UK or
  • Returning to the UK with you to live here permanently (if you are currently outside the UK).

You must show that:

  • You are both at least 18 years of age.
  • Any previous marriage or civil partnership that either of you was in has permanently broken down.
  • You are not related by blood.
  • You have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership which has been existing and genuine (not like a 'marriage of convenience') for at least 2 years.
  • You both plan to live together permanently.
  • You meet our English language requirement, unless you can show that you qualify for an exemption you can support yourselves and any dependents without help from public funds - see the Maintenance page and
  • You have adequate accommodation where you and your dependents can live exclusively and without needing public funds.

The financial requirement for  such applications state that you must demonstrate that your partner  (or both if you are in the UK with valid leave to remain) have a gross annual income of at least:

  • £18,600; plus
  • £3,800 for a first child (who is not British or settled); plus
  • £2,400 for each additional child (who is not British or settled).

CAN YOU 'SWITCH' IF YOU ARE ALREADY IN THE UK?

You may be allowed to switch into the category of unmarried or same-sex partner if:

  • You are currently in the UK with permission as the unmarried or same-sex partner of a relevant points-based system migrant, and you are still that person's partner or
  • You entered the UK in a different immigration category (for example, as a student), and you have been given permission to live here for a total of more than 6 months since your most recent admission to the UK. 

You will not be allowed to switch if:

  • You have entered or remained in the UK in breach of the immigration laws (for example, by overstaying your visa) or
  • Your relationship began after a decision was made to deport or remove you from the UK or
  • You came to the UK as a visitor with permission to stay for 6 months - you must leave the UK and apply from your country of residence.

If you apply but cannot meet all the requirements for this category, you will be refused and your application fee will not be refunded.

Your unmarried or same-sex partner must be:

  • Currently living and settled in the UK or
  • Returning to the UK with you to live here permanently (if you are currently outside the UK).

You must show that:

  • You are both at least 18 years old on the date when you would arrive in the UK or when we would give you permission to enter or remain.
  • Any previous marriage or civil partnership that either of you was in has permanently broken down.
  • You are not related by blood.
  • You have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership which has been existing and genuine (not like a 'marriage of convenience') for at least 2 years.
  • You both plan to live together permanently.
  • You meet our English language requirement, unless you can show that you qualify for an exemption.
  • You can support yourselves and any dependents without help from public funds.
  • You have adequate accommodation where you and your dependents can live exclusively and without needing public funds.

You can only apply on the basis of your private life if you’re already living in the UK.

You must be able to prove that you’re:

  • under 18 and you’ve lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to leave the UK
  • between 18 and 24 and you’ve lived continuously in the UK for more than half your life
  • 18 or over, have spent less than 20 years in the UK and would have very significant problems living in the country you’d have to go to - for example, you do not speak the language and could not learn it
  • 25 or over and you’ve been in the UK continuously for 20 years

How long you can stay
If your application is successful you will be granted the 10 year to Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Disclaimer: The information provided above only provides general guidelines on Immigration Law and these rules change regularly (last update March 2021). It is highly recommended that you call our office for more in-depth advice and assistance.

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