This guidance relates to the latest UK Spouse/Partner Visa Processing Time after Biometrics 2021 for Entry Clearance (aka Settlement), Leave to Remain (LTR) (aka Extension or Switching) and...
Appendix FM | Family Visa UK
The Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, covers the UK family visa requirements under the 5 and 10 years routes for:
- spouse or civil, unmarried, same-sex partner entry clearance, extension and ILR applications
- fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner
- bereaved spouse or partner
- victims of domestic violence
- dependent children
- adult dependent relatives
- parent of a British child visa
- private life
- Exceptional and Compelling Compassionate Circumstances
Dependant Joining or Accompanying
The UK family visa route covers visas where an individual is applying for a visa based on their relationship to a British citizen or person settled in the UK. However, the route does not include the joining or accompanying ‘ntry clearance applications. In fact, the ‘joining or accompanying’ route is for those individuals who are applying for visa based on their relationship to another migrant who is neither a British Citizen nor settled in the UK and is on a route without a specific visa for dependants.
Article 8 | Family Visa UK
Following applicants can apply for UK family visa under Article 8 on or after 9 July 2012:
- partner – such as fiancé or fiancée, proposed civil partner, spouse, civil partner and those living together in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application with a person who is either a British citizen, present and settled or in the UK with limited leave as a refugee or person granted humanitarian protection
- a bereaved partner (other than a fiancé or fiancée or proposed civil partner) in the UK of a deceased British citizen or person settled in the UK
Moreover, an applicant can make an invalid application under Appendix FM because of Article 8 family or private life. Accordingly, an applicant can make an invalid application under Article 8:
- as part of an asylum claim, or as part of a further submission in person after the refusal of an asylum claim
- where a migrant is in immigration detention
- in an appeal
Please note, the Home Office only considers Article 8 leave to remain applications under the 10-year family settlement route. Therefore, the Home Office only considers valid UK family settlement visa applications under the 5-year route.
Requirements | Family Visa UK
The requirements for UK family visa greatly depend on the type on the application. However, it is important to establish genuine relationship with the UK sponsor. For a spouse visa application, an applicant usually needs to meet the following requirements:
- Status of the UK sponsor
- Min age of 18 years
- Prohibited degree of relationship
- Couple to have met in person
- Genuine and subsisting relationship
- A valid marriage or civil partnership
- The previous relationship has broken down permanently
- Intentions to live together permanently
- Financial and Maintenance requirements
- Adequate Accommodation
- English Language CEFR A1 or A2
Meaning of a Spouse or Civil Partner | Family Visa UK
Please note, under the Immigration Rules a spouse or civil partner can be:
- Wife or a Husband a British citizen
- Wife or a Husband already settled in the UK but not British
- Common-law husband/wife
- Spouses granted settlement on arrival
- Civil Partner a British citizen
- Civil Partner already settled here but not British
- Same-sex partner
- Other spouses
- A victim of domestic violence after leave to remain granted as a spouse/partner
- Deceased husband after leave to remain granted as a wife
- Deceased wife after leave to remain granted as a husband
Fees and Processing Time | Family Visa UK
Indeed, depending on the type of the application, the UK Visa Fees for family settlement applications varies from £388 to £3,250. However, the application charges for the spouse visa applications are £1,523. Moreover, for leave to remain and ILR applications the Home Office fees are usually £1,033 and £2,389, respectively. However, certain applicants on human rights grounds can apply for exemption as well.
The UK family settlement visa processing time under Appendix FM of Immigration Rules is usually 60-120 working days (12-24 weeks). However, applicants can purchase the priority visa service to fast track family visa applications within thirty working days. The additional charges for the priority settlement service are £573 for entry clearance applications.
Right of Appeal | Family Visa UK
An applicant can exercise the right of appeal on human rights grounds after refusal of UK spouse, partner, dependent family member settlement visa application. However, depending on the nature of the refusal reasons an applicant can opt for a reapplication after refusal of UK family visa under Appendix FM.
Statistics | Family Visa UK
During 2008-18, a total of 435,681 made under the family settlement routes. However, during the period the number of UK family visa ILR grants was highest in 2009 (72,239) and lowest in 2017 (5,420). Nevertheless, the total settlement grants under the family route increased to 15,751 in 2018. Furthermore, during 2008-18, the greatest number of grants under the family route has been made to spouses and partner i.e. wives (227,098) and husbands (118,776). However, the number of grants to parents, grandparents, other and unspecified dependants has dwindled in the recent years due to changes in the immigration rules. In fact, a non-EEA adult dependent relative (such as parents, brother, sisters etc.) needs to demonstrate that because of an illness, age or disability, the applicant requires a level of long-term personal care. And the relative in the UK (i.e. sponsor) is the only person, who can provide such long-term personal care without recourse to public funds
UK Family Visa Refusal Rate
The average refusal rate for applications under Appendix FM of Immigration Rules for family settlement is 20-25%. However, the refusal rate various from country to country. For instance, the UK family visa refusal rate in 2019 amongst the top twenty was the highest for Nepali (31.91%), Eritrean (29.92%) and Ghanaian (29.50%) nationals. In fact, the UK family visa refusal rate during 2019 was also high for Sudanese (28.11%), Syrian (27.65%), and Nigerian (27.60%) nationals. Moreover, within the top 20, the lowest UK family visa refusal rate in 2019 was for Iranian (9.64%), South African (9.96%), Iraqi (10.79%), US (11.10%) and Australian (12.07%) nationals. The UK family (spouse) visa refusal rate 2019 for nationalities not included in the top twenty was 22.31%.