Reuniting with Family in the UK: Understanding Different Family Visa Options - The Leamington Observer

Reuniting with Family in the UK: Understanding Different Family Visa Options

Leamington Editorial 28th Mar, 2024   0

Family reunions have been made possible by knowledgeable immigration attorneys in London using visa alternatives like the Parent Visa. Whatever the applicant’s place of origin, they provide expert advice to elucidate the necessary paperwork for this visa path. This guarantees prompt processing and improves the chances of receiving a Parent Visa. The team invites interested parties to get in touch for a conversation.

What is the UK Parent Visa?

The purpose of the UK parent visa is to allow parents to join their kid who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United Kingdom without facing any immigration limitations. It’s crucial to remember that this visa may only be requested if the kid is a dependent resident of the UK who is less than 18.

Family Visa Requirements UK

Both the family member residing in the UK (known as the sponsor) and the family member planning to visit the UK must fulfill some family visa conditions. The particular requirements will change based on the kind of visa being sought for.

The sponsor is required to:




  1. Possess a valid UK visa, such as a business, study, or employment visa, allowing dependents to accompany you. Certain visas, such as the Youth Mobility Scheme visa, need separate applications and do not permit dependents to travel with the bearer.
  2. Be a UK or Irish national, or have settled status in the UK (e.g., Indefinite Leave to Remain or settled status), or be an EU national or a citizen of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein with pre-settled status (provided they started living in the UK before January 1st, 2021).
  3. Hold a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa, have refugee status or possess humanitarian protection in the UK.

The family member applying for the UK family visa must:

1) Qualify as a spouse, partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner, child, parent, or relative for whom the sponsor will provide long-term care.


2) Be financially dependent if applying as a child, meaning they do not live independently, are unmarried, and reside with the sponsor (except if attending university or boarding school).

3) Demonstrate the ability to financially support themselves and their dependents in the UK (except for children).

4) Exhibit sufficient proficiency in the English language.

5) Have a clean criminal record and not pose a threat to UK security.

A family immigration solicitor can evaluate eligibility for a family visa, offering comprehensive guidance on required documentation, processing times, and associated fees.

UK Spouse Visa/Partner Visa

The UK spouse visa or partner visa, part of the Family Visa UK scheme, allows eligible individuals to join their partner in the UK, granting them the right to live, work, and study in the country. To qualify, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be in a civil partnership or marriage with their UK-based partner
  • Have cohabited with their UK-based partner in a relationship for a minimum of two years

Additionally, both the applicant and their UK-based partner must demonstrate an annual income of at least £18,600, with additional financial requirements for children. Applicants are also required to demonstrate English proficiency at level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

Holders of the spouse or partner visa are initially granted permission to stay for up to 2 years and 9 months, with the option to extend for a further 2 years and 6 months. Subsequently, they may apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

Required Documents for Parent Visa Application

To apply for a UK parent visa, you must furnish the standard documents typically required by applicants, including:

  • A valid passport with at least one blank page for visa placement
  • Previous passports
  • Two passport-sized color photos meeting ICAO standards
  • Evidence of meeting English language proficiency requirements
  • Proof of financial capability as outlined previously
  • Evidence of parental responsibility, such as photographs of you together

Additionally, you’ll need to provide supplementary documents containing the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Details of any previous immigration applications, if applicable
  • Details of any criminal convictions, if applicable
  • National insurance number, if applicable
  • Parent’s date of birth and nationality if applying from outside the UK
  • Tuberculosis test results if required by your country
  • Translations of documents not in English or Welsh

How to Apply for a UK Parent Visa?

The application process for the UK Parent Visa closely resembles other application procedures, varying based on your location. If applying from outside the UK, online submission is required, along with completion of form VAF4A.

If you’re already in the UK, you have multiple options. You can apply online, by post, or at a premium service center. To utilize the premium service, you’ll need to complete the form and schedule an appointment, or make an online application and book an appointment.

How Long Does it Take to Get a UK Parent Visa?

The quickest way to receive a response for your visa application is by applying in person within the UK, with a decision typically provided within a day.

However, when applying outside the UK, the processing time extends up to 12 weeks. Applying within the UK, either online or by post, results in a processing period of up to 8 weeks.

However, processing times may be further prolonged if:

  • The income requirement is not met
  • English proficiency cannot be demonstrated
  • An interview is required
  • There is a criminal record
  • Not all necessary documents have been provided

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