Bringing Family To The UK

Our Immigration team has a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with those wishing to bring their foreign-born spouse and/or family members to the UK to join you.

Eligibility requirements for entering the UK via the Parent or Spouse Route depend on whether the child / spouse in question is British or ‘settled’ (meaning they have naturalisation or indefinite Leave to remain in the UK or whether the spouse has the same.

The requirements we have displayed are not exhaustive. The level of funds required by those individuals wishing to bring family members to the UK will vary according to the category in question, and will be higher in some circumstances than others i.e. when bringing dependants to the UK.

For further expert and professional advice and assistance in relation to family visas, including with regards to fees and the amount of funds needed for each of the respective family visa categories, application methods and processing times and the necessary requirements and eligibility criteria, please do not hesitate to contact our immigration team who are ready and able to help you.

We can also assist with renewal/extension of leave where appropriate and applicable, bearing in mind the need to provide timely instructions.

Please be advised that Immigration Rules are always changing.

Contact us for the latest help, advice and information with regards to your query.



Who needs to apply for this visa?

If your spouse and/or family members come from outside the EEA, then they will need to apply for visas to enter and remain in the UK.


A spouse visa, (also known as a UK marriage visa), allows individuals who are married to a person settled in the UK – i.e. are not subject to any visa restrictions, to come to the UK to live, work and/or study.

What are the requirements for a Spouse Visa?

To obtain a UK spouse visa, the following requirements must be met:

  • You and your spouse must be 18 years old or over
  • You must have met each other and be legally married
  • You must intend to live together permanently
  • You must have enough money to support yourselves (and any dependents) without claiming public funds
  • You must have suitable accommodation for you, your spouse and any dependants
  • You must satisfy the English language requirements

If you are already residing in the UK under a different visa – for example, a Student Visa, then you may be able to switch to a spouse visa, as long as you and your spouse meet the eligibility requirements.

What other Family Visa categories are there?

There are four main categories of family migration:

  • Unmarried Partner
  • Dependent Child
  • Adult Dependent Relative
  • Parent Visa

UNMARRIED PARTNER VISA – what are the requirements?

  • You and your sponsoring partner must both be 18 years of age or over and intend to live together on a permanent basis.
  • You must show that any previous relationship that you or your partner was involved in has ended.
  • You need to show that you have been living with your partner for at least two years in a relationship similar to marriage. You will need to provide documentary evidence confirming this.
  • You and your partner must have sufficient funds to support yourselves (and any dependants) without claiming public funds.
  • You must have suitable accommodation available for you, your partner and any dependants.
  • You must also satisfy the English language requirements

DEPENDENT CHILD VISA – What are the requirements?

  • The child must be under 18 years; and
  • Must not be leading an independent life, be married or in a civil partnership and have no children of their own

ADULT DEPENDENT RELATIVE VISA – What are the requirements?

  • Your family member must be over the age of 18
  • He or she must be a close family member; i.e. a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son, or daughter
  • As a sponsor, you must be a British citizen or at least settled in the UK with Indefinite Leave to Remain
  • The applicant must be outside the UK at the time of application
  • Your relative will need to provide evidence that he or she requires long-term personal care on a day to day basis and that no public finds are required to assist with this
  • The care needed must not be available or reasonably requested in the country where they reside.

PARENT VISA – What are the requirements?

If you have a child in the UK, as a parent, you can apply for a visa to join them via the ‘Parent Route’. The term ‘parent’ is defined as:

  • a natural (biological) parent
  • an adoptive parent
  • a step-parent where the biological parent has died
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