Essential things you need to know about a family visa in the UK

Being alone in a new country can be a lonely and disheartening experience. Of course, no one wants to be separated from their loved ones or relatives for long. That is why if you’re planning to immigrate to the UK, why not try a family visa? A family visa is a suitable option, especially if you wish to be with your family members in the UK.

Meanwhile, if your situation involves being separated from your spouse and wanting to join them in the country, what about a fiance visa? If you want to settle and get married in the UK, you can be qualified for a Fiance visa and join your beloved partner in the UK. Fiance visas work in such a way that you can enter the UK for six months, during which time you need to marry your UK-based fiance. This is also under the category of family visas, alongside a slew of several other categories, with varying eligibility requirements for each. Ultimately, opting for a family visa allows you to have people accompany you in your new home and gives you the chance to join your loved ones in the UK.

That said, this article will discuss all the essential things you need to know about a family visa. This will include the eligibility requirements, the types of family visas, and things you can expect during the application process.

What is a Family Visa?

UK family visas are under the category of residence and UK entry authorizations which are typically issued to individuals who want to have a permanent residence in the UK with their resident family members.

While there is no specific or set UK family visa, there are several kinds of family visas that are under different categories. These are often used by partners or relatives of British residents and nationals who want to accompany or join them in the UK. Moreover, these visas also vary in processing time, length, and cost, with each having a different set of requirements depending on your background, relationship and intent. Most cases usually require applicants to prove their relationship to their UK relative, which, in this case, is deemed the ‘sponsor.’

Requirements for Family Visa

To qualify for a family visa, you must either be:

  • The grandson/granddaughter of a British national/resident who was born in the UK
  • A partner, spouse, or close relative of a settled person or British citizen
  • The family member or relative of a person residing in the UK, if you are planning to visit for a temporary period
  • A dependant partner, spouse, or close relative of an individual who possesses a valid entry clearance in the UK

As mentioned above, you will be required to provide proof of your relationship with your family members to make sure that it is genuine. For this, you will need important documentation such as birth/marriage certificates, photographic evidence, and more. In other cases, this also includes proof or evidence of correspondence, spending time, and living together.

In certain cases where your entry clearance in the UK requires your UK-based relative to act as the sponsor for your visa, you will need to prepare a letter of sponsorship. Your letter of sponsorship must include essential information about how you’re related to the applicant, how often you currently see each other, and how long you have known them. This should also come with evidence that can prove that your identity is who you claim to be and that you have valid entry clearance, are a settled person, or are a British citizen.

Different types of family-based visas

You must remember that there is no established ‘Family visa.’ That said, if you want to accompany your relative or partner to the UK, you will need to find the category that fits you best. These include:

  • Ancestry visa
  • Spouse, civil partner, and unmarried partner
  • EEA Family Permit
  • Dependant children
  • Family visit visas
  • Dependant adults

Some of these visa types are permanent, while others are temporary. For instance, a spouse visa can last as long as two years and a half and may lead to ILR. Meanwhile, family visit visas are only temporary and allow the visa holder to visit their family member in the UK for a short period of six months before they can return home.

Moreover, each visa type also falls under a different category, which is why you need to learn the specific types of requirements for the visa you plan to apply for.