You need a family visa to live with a family member in the UK for more than 6 months.
If you are outside the UK
You can apply for a family visa to live with your:
- spouse or partner
- fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
- relative who will provide long-term care for you
If you are in the UK
You can apply to extend your stay with your family member if you are already in the UK on a family visa.
If you came to the UK on a different visa, you might be able to switch to a family visa to stay with your:
- spouse or partner
When you can apply to extend or switch
You can extend or switch at any time before your current permission to stay in the UK expires.
You must live in the UK for a certain amount of time before you are eligible for settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’)
If you’re extending to stay with the same family member, you’ll only get up to 28 days left on your current stay added to your new visa.
How long it takes
A decision will usually be made:
- within 12 weeks if you apply outside the UK
- within 8 weeks if you apply in the UK
It might take longer if your application is complex, for example you:
- do notmeet the minimum income requirement
- cannotprove 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
In some instances Reeds Immigration can apply for your visa application on a same-day basis.
Other ways you can stay
You might be able to apply to settle in the UK if you had permission to stay in the UK as a partner when either:
- you were the victim of domestic abuse
- your partner died
You might be able to apply for ‘family reunion’ to join a partner or parent who has either:
- refugee status in the UK
- humanitarian protection in the UK
You can apply for an EEA family permit if your family member is from the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, or UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.
When you cannot get a family visa
In some circumstances you cannot apply for or switch to a family visa.
Your family member has a work visa or student visa
You cannot apply for a family visa if your family member is in the UK temporarily on a work visa or student visa. You can apply to stay with them as a dependant instead.
You have a visitor visa or a visa for 6 months or less
You will usually need to leave the UK to apply for a family visa if either:
- you have permission to be in the UK as a visitor
- your visa is for 6 months or less
However, you might be able to switch to a family visa in the UK if you have either:
- a 6-month family visa as afiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
- permission to stay in the UK for the outcome of a family court case or divorce
Contact us now to see how we can assist.