In the twelve months ending March 2017 the UK increased the number of family-related visas granted, including both EEA family permits granted to non-EEA nationals and visas granted to dependants of other visa holders, by 2%, to 136,787*.

This is no surprise, family ranks with work, education and asylum, as one of the four major categories of non-EU migration into the UK.

What is a Family Migrant?

A family migrant is any person who comes to the UK with the intention of joining or accompanying a family member – for example, a parent, child, sibling or grandparent.

There are various reasons why a family migrant might receive a family visa enabling entry to the UK. For example, they might have a close family member who is a British citizen, or perhaps a family member who is not yet a UK citizen but is classified as a settled' migrant. Such cases are known by the umbrella term "family unification" migrations.

Another circumstance in which a family member might receive a family visa is that of a "dependent" achieving entry to the to the UK as a recognised family member of someone who has migrated to the UK with temporary leave to remain.

Find a Family Visa Lawyer with Oratto

Whether you are hoping to gain entry to the UK to extend a stay in the UK or have some other issue relating to a family visa and immigration, Oratto's specialist members can help you and your family work confidently towards these ends.

Oratto's member family visa lawyers specialise in the full spectrum of immigration and family visa work, including Home Office and UK Border Agency asylum applications. They work right across the country and can help guide, support and represent you through the entire process.

What Are the Financial Requirements?

Unless you are a refugee or have humanitarian protected status or are in receipt of specific benefits, you will need to meet certain financial requirements in order for your spouse, partner or fiancé to be eligible for a visa.

If you are applying for a spouse or partner you will need to prove that you earn at least £18,600 a year, £22,400 if you are applying for a spouse or partner and a child, and £2,400 more for every additional child.

Who Needs a Family Visa?

Any spouse, partner or fiancé of a person residing and living in the UK needs a family visa in order to live in the UK for an extended period: up to six months in the case of a fiancé and up to 33 months in the case of spouse or civil partner – shorter visits require only a visit visa.

Partners of UK-based workers in these circumstances are known as dependants, while the person already working and residing in the UK is known as the sponsor.

Applications for family visas should be made from outside the UK and, in order to minimise the possibility of any unnecessary delays, rejections or other hitches, should be made with the assistance of a specialist family visa lawyer who can help ensure everything is carried out in the correct way and to your best advantage – family visa appeals can take as long as nine months to resolve so it is essential to get things right from the start.

Spouse and civil partner visas can be renewed for a further two years and six months and an application to settle in the UK can be made after five years. Fiancé visas can be renewed after six months if marriage has occurred and applications to settle permanently can be made after five years.

Depending on the status of the person residing in the UK, you will need a different type of family visa. These are as follows:

  • British citizens and naturalised citizens: Family of a settled person visa
  • Settled persons in the UK: Family of a settled person visa
  • EEA nationals living in the UK whose dependents are not from the EEA: EEA family permit
  • Those getting married in the UK and intending to live together in the UK: Family of a settled person visa
  • Those with refugee or humanitarian protected status: Family reunion visas

Additionally, partners of those with Tier 2 (General) visas or Tier 4 visas can apply as dependents of those visa holders.

Oratto Family Immigration Advice

For help with eligibility requirements, specific circumstantial advice and more, Contact Oratto today for experienced guidance on applying for a family visa from our member immigration lawyers