Who can apply for the UK family visa?


You can join your family member through a UK family visa. It permits you to stay with your spouse, parent, or child—it divides into the mentioned types. You should apply for the one that suits your family member.

This article determines who is eligible for the UK family visa, requirements, the application process, and FAQs.


What is a UK family visa?

If you have a relative who wants to join you in the UK, you can bring him/her through the UK family visa. The visa permits your relative to enter the country and stay for a long term (longer than six months). If the relative wants to stay for up to six months, he/she can apply for a tourist or visitor visa.

UK family visa authorizes long-term stay and residency in the UK. So the application is a bit harder than a UK visitor visa.


UK family visa categories

Depending on who will join you in the UK, the relative needs to apply for:

  • UK Spouse visa; when you wish to bring your spouse, fiancé, fiancée, partner, or proposed civil partner to the UK.
  • UK Parent visa, when you want to bring your parents to the UK.
  • UK child visa. In case you seek to bring your child to the country.
  • People in need of long-term care. Close family members who need long-term care from their children, grandchildren, or siblings living permanently in the UK can also apply through family visas.
  • UK ancestor visa.


Who can apply for a UK family visa?

As explained, UK family visa has different subcategories. The requirements and eligibility principles for each one are different:


Spouse visa

  • Being at least 18.
  • The relative you will join must be a British citizen.
  • The British officials must have recognized your marriage.
  • The couple must have lived together for two years.
  • Have enough funds to cover expenses.


Parent visa

  • The child must be under 18.
  • He/she can not have an independent life.


Child visa

  • One of the parents must have a permanent residency or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
  • The other requirements change by the child’s situation. For instance, being under or over 18 or born inside or outside the UK.


People in need of long-term care

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a medical condition or disability that needs care.
  • An old-aged person in need of protection.


The requirements for a UK family visa

The requirements for a UK family visa are different and depend on the subcategory. The British officials could also ask for specific supporting documents. The new rules after Brexit might be a bit unclear. However, a common list of requirements could be as follows:



Providing that you are applying from outside of the UK, you need a blank page in your passport. It can to be older than years ago either.


Personal information 

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Name of parents


Previous immigration 

If you have made immigration applications before, provide a copy of the documents.


Criminal background 

You need a history of your criminal convictions or a clean record certificate. Get a clean record certificate from the Police or Judiciary officials translated into English.


TB test

The nationals of a few countries need to take a TB test to enter the UK. If you are among them, you need to take the test in a verified center.



If you have any type of insurance, provide it to the officials.


Email address 

You need a verified email address to begin the online application. Remember that you need to have access to the email and its password. You might have to get out of your account on the UK visa and Immigration website and return later to check it, upload further documents, etc.


Proof to have enough funds 

Proving you can support yourself in the UK depends on your condition. Yet, the officials need documents verifying it. The amount you need depends on your situation and the number of family members.


Language proficiency 

Providing a language proficiency certificate to be eligible for a UK family visa is essential. You could prove it through the below ways:

  • Passing an approved language test, for instance, IELTS.
  • Have a verified qualification from an English-speaking country.
  • You come from an English-speaking country, or English is the dominant language.
  • Have an academic qualification that was taught in English.

You are exempt from the language proficiency if:

  • You are over 65 years old.
  • You suffer from a disability or have a serious condition.

You are a resident or national of one of the below countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA


Attention: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, if you can’t take an English test, you need to contact the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre to ask for advice.


Proof of relationship 

You need formal documents proving your relationship with your relative. It could be a birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc. If you are joining your spouse or law partner, the officials need stronger proof:

  • Photos of the marriage ceremony,
  • Screenshots of WhatsApp chats or any other application
  • Something you pay for together
  • A rental agreement that proves you have lived together.


Biometric residence permit (if have any)


You need to get your original documents translated by a verified translator.


The EU residents bringing family members to the UK

After Brexit, the family members of the EU citizens could apply for pre-settled or settled status. The relative might be able to apply if you have got to the UK before 31 December 2020.

If you want to bring your child to the UK and he/she was born after 31 December 2020, you still can bring him/her to the UK.

Whether your family member can apply for pre-settled or settled status is up to how you are related to them.



How to apply for a UK family visa?

The application process for a UK family visa could be a bit different. It depends on the type of family visa you need. You can visit the article for each visa to know more. However, a few common steps you have to follow is as follows:


1. Application

You need to begin your application to the UK visa and Immigration website. Before doing so, you need an email address to register with the website.

You might also need a printer to print the receipt. Complete every part with the true form of your documents. You need to determine a place to submit the supporting documents.


2. Requirements

Gather the requirements for the UK family visa you choose. As explained, the requirements are different by the type of visa that suits you. Collect everything as the details.


3. Submitting supporting documents

You determine a place to submit the requirements on the UK visa and immigration website. Call the center or embassy to schedule a meeting. Get there on time and bring all the documents.


4. Processing

Wait until the officials work on your application and decide on it. If they require further documents, they will ask you to submit them.

When the visa is ready, the authorities will send it to you, or you might have to pick it up.

Note: The mentioned procedure is a general one, and you might have to go through different steps. Visit the type of UK family visa you need and see the complete steps.


New rules to enter the UK over COVID-19 pandemic

When you want to enter the UK, you might have to:

  • Get a COVID-19 test in three days before you start your journey.
  • Complete the online form to explain where you will stay in the UK.
  • Stay in quarantine for ten days at the address you provide to the British officials.


How long can you stay in the UK under a family visa?

It’s up to the situation of your family member living in the UK. If the family member is a citizen, you can stay as long as he/she stays. In case your relative has humanitarian protection or refugee status, you can stay in the UK as long as he/she stays.


Let’s sum up…

You can join your family member through a UK family visa. The text explained there are different types as a parent, spouse, and child. You choose the visa based on which family member to bring.

The text explained the eligibility principles for each type, a few of the requirements, and the application process.

As explained, you should visit each article for complete-detailed information.

If you have information about visas, please share it with us in the comment section.

Providing that you have questions, our team is ready to answer them.


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