Family Visa for the UK

Family Visa for the UK

Family Visa for the UKFamilies hoping to stay together in England have a formal route through the UK immigration system. This system includes multiple family visa categories, each designed to accommodate particular family dynamics and situations, including spouses, parents, kids, and adult dependents.

Although one of the main benefits of the UK family visa program is the chance to reunite with family, applying for a UK family visa has grown difficult. It may be very stressful for both the applicant and their family. 

The cost is significant due to increasing minimum income requirements, expensive application fees, healthcare surcharges, and the requirement for expedited processing or legal counsel. The protracted processing timeframes, which can span many months, increase stress levels, making planning more difficult and extending the time spent apart. Applicants handling the process alone may overlook the regular changes to immigration legislation and application criteria.

These elements can put a lot of strain on families, trying their resilience and resources. Therefore, careful planning is necessary to ensure that the family ties remain strong and stable during the application process and fulfill the stringent requirements of the visa process.

This article will guide you in deciding whether you intend to relocate your family to the UK or if they already live there.

Types of UK Family Visas 

The UK provides a variety of family reunion routes, each suited to various family dynamics and situations. There are several types of family visas for the UK; these are:

  • Spouse or Partner Visa
  • Child Visa
  • Parent Visa
  • Family visa based on your Private Life
  • Family visa for an adult requiring long-term care from a family member
  • Spouse or Partner Visa for the UK

Those who are married to, in a civil partnership with, or a committed relationship with a British citizen or someone with settled status in the UK are eligible to apply through the applying as a spouse or partner route within the UK family visa system.

Eligibility Criteria for Spouse or Partner Visas in the UK

Relationship Status:

The applicant must be lawfully married to a British citizen or someone with permanent residency in the United Kingdom or be in a civil partnership. Partners who are not married must demonstrate that they have been wedded for a minimum of two years. 

Financial Requirement:

In the absence of public assistance, the sponsoring spouse must either meet the current minimum income requirement of £29,000 yearly or have enough savings to finance the visa.


In the UK, the couple is required to offer suitable housing. 

English Language Requirement:

The candidate must possess the necessary level of English language proficiency, often attained by taking an authorized English language exam or having an English-taught degree.

Application Procedure for Spouse or Partner Visa UK

Applications must be completed online with the required supporting documentation and paperwork. Applicants must also provide photos and fingerprints at a visa application center.

Decisions on applications outside the UK can take up to 24 weeks, though processing periods can vary. For a fee, applicants can choose priority services to speed up the procedure.

The initial validity of the visa, if granted, gives the applicant a 2.5-year stay in the UK. Under the five-year ILR procedure, this may result in the need to ask for additional extensions and, ultimately, settlement after five years.

Documents Required for Spouse or Partner Visa UK

To apply as a spouse or partner, you must submit a complete set of supporting documents, such as: 

Certificate of Marriage or Civil Partnership:

Used as evidence of relationship by spouses and civil partners. 

Evidence of Cohabitation:

Unmarried partners may be able to prove they live together with the help of joint leases, utility bills, or bank statements with the same address. 

Financial Proof:

Pay stubs, bank statements, and job offers prove the sponsor has the necessary funds.

Details on the accommodations:

A lease agreement or property inspection reports attesting to appropriate living quarters.

English Proficiency:

An English language certification is an authorized test score or degree certificate meeting the language requirements. 

Parent Visa for the UK

One of the most important ways for parents to stay with their children who are British citizens or have settled in the UK is through the UK family visa system’s application as a Parent Visa option. This pathway is designed for parents who must take on or continue providing primary care responsibilities or want to participate actively in their child’s daily upbringing. 

If this application is approved, the parent can live lawfully in the UK, working, engaging actively in their child’s life, and supporting their growth and well-being.

Eligibility Criteria for Parent Visa

For a parent to be eligible for an application for a UK family visa, they need to fulfill specific requirements: 

Parental Relationship:

Eligible candidates must be the parents of children under eighteen who reside in the United Kingdom and are either British citizens or have obtained settled status. 

Sole Responsibility:

The petitioner must show that they are the child’s only caregiver or, at the absolute least, that they have access rights to the child. It may apply when the other parent cannot care for the child. 

Financial Requirement:

The parent must show they can sustain themselves without using government funds, much like the spouse visa. Whether a sponsoring child or another sponsor satisfies specific income standards determines the financial threshold.

English Language criteria:

Candidates must also fulfill these criteria, usually demonstrated by completing an approved English language exam or possessing a pertinent educational credential.

Application Procedure for Parent Visa UK

Applicants must fill out the necessary online applications and provide comprehensive details about their history, child, and situation in the UK. However, Depending on local laws, applicants may submit all supporting documentation electronically or in person at a visa application center, along with their online application. 

Additionally, applicants must provide biometric data, such as fingerprints and pictures, at a specified visa application center. Though processing times vary, decisions are usually made within 24 weeks after the application date. Processing more quickly could be possible for a price.

If granted, the parent’s visa will enable them to reside in the UK, typically with the option to apply for additional leave to stay and possibly settle down permanently.

Documents Required for the Parent Visa UK

In general, the following paperwork is needed to apply as a parent successfully: 

The child’s birth certificate:

To establish the parent-child relationship.

Evidence of Sole Liability:

This could be letters from the child’s school, court orders, or other pertinent records outlining the parent’s responsibilities and participation in the child’s life. 

Financial Evidence:

Documents demonstrating the parents’ ability to support themselves financially and participate in their child’s upbringing, such as bank records and employment histories. 

Proof of English Language Proficiency:

Test scores or certifications attesting to the applicant’s linguistic qualifications.

Child Visa for UK

Usually, to properly apply to be a parent, the following documentation is required: 

The birth certificate of the child to prove the parent-child bond. Proof of Individual Liability could include court orders, letters from the child’s school, or other relevant documents that detail the parent’s role and duties in the child’s life. 

Financial Evidence records, such as bank accounts and work histories, show the parents can provide for their needs and actively engage in their child’s development. Test results or licenses verifying the candidate’s language abilities.

Permission to live in the UK, go to school, and take advantage of the stability of a family life is granted to those who are successful in this category.

Eligibility Criteria for Child Visa UK

For a child to apply for a family visa to the UK, they need to fulfill the following requirements: 

Age Limit:

Must not have turned 18 at the time of application. 


Have a dependent child of one or more parents who are British citizens, have settled status, or are seeking a visa as a parent or partner and have the child’s application filed separately. 

Status of Single:

The child cannot get married or participate in a civil partnership. 

Living Situation:

The youngster shouldn’t be living alone, handling their own money, or living in a separate residence. 

Application Procedure for the Child Visa UK

Usually done online, the application comprises comprehensive forms regarding the child’s situation and relationship with the sponsoring guardian or parent. The supporting paperwork must be submitted electronically or at a visa application center during a scheduled appointment. 

Depending on age, the youngster may be required to submit biometric data at a visa application center. Though they vary, processing times usually start 24 weeks after the application date. Particular visa application centers provide accelerated processing for a surcharge, which can reduce the waiting time.

The visa will allow the youngster to go to the UK and live with their family if granted. The normal validity of this visa is up to 18, after which they may apply for additional or permanent leave to stay under family or private routes.

Documents Required for Child Visa UK

When applying for a minor, the following paperwork is usually needed:

Birth Certificate:

To demonstrate the parent or guardian’s residency in the United Kingdom. 

Parents’ Consent:

Unless the resident parent bears sole responsibility, the non-accompaging parent must provide written consent for the application, demonstrating joint responsibility. 

Proof of Financial Support:

Documents such as bank statements and other financial records attesting to the parent or guardian’s ability to earn the minimal income needed to sponsor the kid and reside in the UK. 

Details of Accommodation:

Evidence that sufficient accommodations are in place so the child won’t financially drain the public funds.

Family visa for an adult requiring long-term care from a family member

The UK family visa system applies as a Family visa for an adult requiring long-term care from a family member visa. It serves adult family members who need long-term personal assistance that can only be given by relatives in the UK because of age, disease, or disability.

This type of visa is meant for people who, due to lack of access or cost, cannot receive the required standard of treatment in their country of origin. Applicants must show they can give the necessary care without public subsidies and have a close family member in the UK, such as a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, or other relative.

However, If this application is approved, the candidate and their family will be allowed to reside in the UK, where they will receive the necessary care and assistance.

Eligibility Criteria for the Family visa for an adult requiring long-term care

Adults who want to travel to the UK to live with a relative must fulfill strict requirements: 


The applicant must be a British citizen in the UK with settled status, refugee leave, humanitarian protection, or as a grandparent, parent, child, or sibling over 18.

Long-term Care Requirements:

The applicant must be too old, disabled, or unwell to get long-term care in their native country because the medical assistance is too expensive. They must also require long-term care to do daily personal and household duties. 

Care Provision:

The relative in the UK must be able to offer sufficient care without using government funding.

Application Procedure for Family Visa for an adult requiring long-term care

The necessary online forms, which include personal data, relationship details, and the grounds for needing care in the UK, must be completed by applicants. You must send all necessary paperwork with the online application or brought with you when you make an appointment at a visa application center. 

At the visa application center, the applicant must also present a photo and their fingerprints. 

To access the NHS in the UK, applicants must also provide payment for the healthcare surcharge with their application.

Adult dependent visas usually take 24 weeks to process. However, the application is approved, the applicant will typically receive a visa that opens up the possibility of an indefinite leave of absence, enabling them to live permanently in the UK.

Documents are required for a Family Visa for an adult requiring long-term care.

We will carefully review the supporting material to determine the applicant’s circumstances and whether the required medical thresholds are satisfied.

  1. Medical documentation includes thorough medical records and a statement from a physician or other health care provider explaining the nature of the ailment or handicap and why care is unavailable in the applicant’s native nation. 
  1. Birth certificates, marriage licenses, or other official records attesting to the applicant’s relationship with the UK relative serve as proof of relationship. 
  1. Financial Proof: Documentation, such as bank records and housing data, demonstrating that the applicant’s UK relative can provide for and accommodate them without using public funds.

Family visa based on your Private Life

The UK visa application process based on the Your Private Life option is intended for people having strong, long-standing personal links to the country. This route acknowledges people’s right to regularize their status based on their ties to the nation, especially those who might fall outside the usual family visa categories. 

Applicants who have lived continuously in the UK for an extended period, often at a young age, and whose expulsion from the country would be arbitrary or excessive given their level of social, cultural, family, or economic integration into UK society are usually considered eligible.

Given that their life and connections are deeply ingrained in the UK. This visa category allows applicants to stay, work, and study there.

Eligibility Criteria for a Family visa based on your Private Life

In the context of UK visa applications, the notion of private life is predicated on demonstrating a significant and lasting link to the UK. If an applicant satisfies any of the following requirements, they may apply through this route: 

Long Residence:

They have spent at least 20 years in the UK. 

Less than 20 Years of Residency but Strong Connections: Although they haven’t resided in the UK for over 20 years, they have strong ties to the country, making it unreasonable or difficult to move away. 

Young Adults:

Individuals who have spent at least half of their lives continuously residing in the UK and range in age from 18 to 25. 

Exceptional Circumstances:

Applicants cannot continue living outside the UK without significant hardship in extraordinary circumstances.

Application Procedure for a Family visa based on your Private Life

Applicants must fill out the application form on the UK Home Office website. You must send all supporting documentation for the private life claim with the online application. 

In addition, applicants must present pictures and fingerprints at a specified visa application center. 

A healthcare premium is usually requested as part of the application to account for possible NHS usage. Applications based on personal circumstances may take longer to process; however, applicants should anticipate a 24-week turnaround time. If approved, the visa typically grants the applicant a 30-month stay in the UK. This period may then be extended, and ultimately, the applicant may be granted unlimited leave of absence.

Documents required for a Family visa based on your Private Life

It is essential to provide supporting documentation to demonstrate the applicant’s right to a private life: 

Proof of Residence:

Records demonstrating an individual’s continuous residency in the United Kingdom, such as utility bills, work or school transcripts, or rental agreements.

Statements from the Heart:

However, thorough autobiography outlining the applicant’s connections to the UK and any challenges they could encounter if forced to depart.

Letters of Support:

Attestations of the applicant’s ties to and contributions to the neighborhood from employers, friends, or community figures.


In short, maximizing the benefits of UK family visas takes careful planning, dedication, and in-depth study. However, You may improve your chances of having a successful visa application by being aware of the many types of visas, satisfying the financial and eligibility requirements, supplying thorough supporting documentation, overcoming typical obstacles, and keeping track of processing dates and costs. 

Please get in touch with us if you need assistance or have any more questions. We are available to assist you at every stage.


Is the family visa application process quick and easy? 

Getting a family visa can be difficult and time-consuming. It requires meeting particular qualifying requirements, obtaining thorough documentation, and occasionally enduring prolonged processing wait times. Every kind of family visa has needs and difficulties, including those for parents, partners, and children.

Is it simple to convert from any other visa to a Family Visa? 

It can be challenging to convert from one type of visa, like a work or student visa, to a family visa. So, You must fulfill specific requirements; in certain circumstances, leaving the UK and applying overseas may be necessary. 

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Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

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