Family Visa | UK Visa Blog

This category explains the details of UK family visa requirements under Appendix FM of Immigration Rules for spouse/civil partner, fiancé, and dependent family members such as children, parents, brothers, sisters etc. Indeed, 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. In fact, applicants can apply for settlement under the 10-year route on private life only from inside the UK. Moreover, the posts in this section only relate to settlement based on family and private life under Appendix FM. Therefore, 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

Please note, 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.


Now YOU can get the Best Advice and Representation for All Types of UK Visa and Immigration Matters!

Get in TouchStudy Abroad

UK Family Visa Immigration Rules

Appendix FM

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 entry 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

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
  • 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.

Right of Appeal

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 Requirements

The requirements for UK family visa 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

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

UK Family Visa Fees and Processing Time

Application Fees

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.

Processing Time

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.



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%.

UK Family Visa Applications: Latest Blog Posts

UK Spouse Visa Appeal Process First Tier Tribunal

UK Spouse Visa Appeal Process First Tier Tribunal

This explains the appeal process of the First-Tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber (FTTIAC) for challenging the UK spouse, unmarried partner, and fiancé visa refusal decision. Moreover,...

Get in Touch

Now YOU can get the Best Advice and Representation for All Types of UK Visa and Immigration Applications!

11 + 13 =

*What Happens Next?

Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually, within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

Have an enjoyable day!