Category: Family Visa UK

This category explains the details of UK family visa requirements under Appendix FM of Immigration Rules for spouse/civil partner, fiance and dependent family members such as children, parents, brothers, sisters etc. Please note, the 5-year route under Appendix FM is for those who meet all the requirements of Immigration Rules at every stage. Therefore, if an applicant does meet all the requirements then is not eligible under the 5-year route. However, if exceptional circumstances may apply then the decision-maker can consider such applications under the 10-year route. Moreover, applicants can apply for settlement under the 10-year route on private life only from inside the UK.

Apparently, 50-60K people apply for UK family visa every year. However, due to lack of information and understanding, quite a few are unable to make a successful application. Therefore, the focus of the posts in this category is to provide free guidance and insight for making a successful application. Nevertheless, if you intend to seek professional advice for fresh application, reapplication or spouse visa appeal after refusal then may contact immigration specialist solicitors London.

Please note, the posts in this section only relate to settlement on the basis of family and private life under Appendix FM. Accordingly, the category does not cover the details of settlement grants under other routes such as:

  • Claim to the right of abode upheld & other grants
  • Own right or on a discretionary basis relating to work, asylum, special vouchers
  • Commonwealth citizens resident on 1 Jan 1973

The UK Family Visa Route under Appendix FM

Indeed, the Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, covers the requirements of UK family visa under the 5 and 10 years routes for:

  1. spouse or civil, unmarried, same-sex partner entry clearance, extension and ILR applications
  2. fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner
  3. bereaved spouse or partner
  4. victims of domestic violence
  5. dependent children
  6. adult dependent relatives
  7. parent of a British child visa
  8. private life
  9. Exceptional and Compelling Compassionate Circumstances

The Meaning of Spouse or Partner

In fact, the meaning of a spouse or partner under the Immigration Rules may relate to:

  1. Wife/Husband a British citizen
  2. Wife/Husband already settled in the UK but not British
  3. A victim of domestic violence after leave to remain granted as a spouse/partner
  4. Common-law husband/wife
  5. Spouses granted settlement on arrival
  6. Civil Partner a British citizen
  7. A deceased husband (wife) after leave to remain granted as a wife (husband)
  8. Same-sex partner
  9. Other spouses
  10. Civil Partner already settled here but not British

UK Family Settlement Visa Applications under Article 8

In fact, 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 in the UK or in the UK with limited leave as a refugee or person granted humanitarian protection
  • 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 on the basis 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.

Dependant Joining or Accompanying

The UK family visa route covers visas where an individual is applying for a visa on the basis of their relationship to a British citizen or person settled in the UK. However, the route does not include the ‘joining or accompanying‘ entry clearance applications. In fact, the ‘joining or accompanying’ route is for those individuals who are applying for visa on the basis of 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.

How much does UK family visa cost?

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.

Type of UK Family Settlement Visa ApplicationUK Family Visa Fees 2020
Dependant child£1,523
Parent of a child under Appendix FM£1,523
Other dependant relatives – (ADR)£3,250
Refugee dependant relative£388
Indefinite leave to enter the UK as the dependant of a member of the armed forces under Appendix Armed Forces to the Immigration Rules.£2,389
Certificate of entitlement (Right of Abode)£388
Leave to Remain Fees£1,033
ILR Fees£2,389

Family Visa UK: how long does it take?

The UK family settlement visa processing time for applications under Appendix FM of Immigration Rules is usually 60-120 working days (12-24 weeks). However, applicants can purchase the UK settlement priority visa service to fast track family visa applications within 30 working days. The UK fast track visa fees are £573.

What is the UK family visa refusal rate?

Perhaps, the average refusal rate for applications under Appendix FM of Immigration Rules for family settlement is approximately 20-25%. However, the refusal rate greatly various from country to country. For instance, the In fact, the UK family visa refusal rate in 2019 amongst the top 20 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%) and South African (9.96%) nationals. And also for 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 20 was 22.31%.

NationalityDecisionsUK Family Visa Refusal Rate
United States3,22411.10%
South Africa2,0399.96%
Sri Lanka1,61515.54%
Other nationalities17,55022.31%

Right of Appeal

In fact, 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.

UK Family Visa ILR Grants 2008-18

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 15,751in 2018.

YearFamily Settlement Grants
Total Grants435,681

UK Family Visa ILR Grants by Category

During 2008-18, the most 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 mainly 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.

Total Grants345,87459,3428,01122,454