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 on the basis of 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, nearly 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.

Get Professional Advice

If you intend to seek professional advice for fresh application, reapplication or spouse visa appeal after refusal then may contact immigration specialist solicitors London. Moreover, for study abroad in UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc. you may fill the online form to start the admission process.

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 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.

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
  • 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.

Requirements | Family Visa UK

The requirements for UK family visa greatly depends 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

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 30 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 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

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%.

UK Spouse, Unmarried Partner, Fiancé Visa Refusal Appeal Process

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, provides the guidance on the FAQs relating to filling, time limits, fees,...

A Guide to Exceptional and Compelling Compassionate Circumstances

This relates to considering exceptional and compelling compassionate circumstances in a UK family visa application under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. Accordingly, explains the legal bindings- under ECHR Article 8 and paragraph GEN3.2 & GEN3.3 Appendix FM...

A Guide to Bereaved Partner ILR Requirements under Appendix FM

This relates to bereaved partner ILR in the UK for spouse and a civil partner under the family route as per Appendix FM of Immigration Rules. Accordingly explains the eligibility and suitability requirements for the grant of indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved...

How to File an Immigration Appeal against Spouse Visa Refusal?

This guidance explains: How to File an Immigration Appeal Against a UK Spouse, Family or Partner Visa Refusal Decision? Accordingly, provides the details of UK Visa and Immigration Appeal Rights, Types, Procedure, Fee, Time Limits, Processing Time and Success Rate....

A Guide to UK Spouse Visa Refusal Reasons under Appendix FM

In terms of Appendix FM, a UK spouse, civil, unmarried, same-sex partner and fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner visa refusal reasons may relate to failure to meet the eligibility requirements such as relationship, financial, maintenance, accommodation, English...

A Guide to UK Spouse Visa English Test Requirements 2021

This relates to UK Spouse Visa English Language Test Requirements and Exemptions under the Immigration Rules. If an applicant can't avail exemptions then needs to meet the CEFR Level A-1, A-2 or B-1 English Language requirements for UK spouse visa entry clearance,...

A Guide to UK Spouse Visa Accommodation Requirements 2020

This relates to Adequate Accommodation Requirements for UK spouse or partner visa under Appendix FM. Accordingly, discusses the details of: what is a Proof of Adequate Accommodation in the UK for spouse visa application? Moreover, also provides a supporting documents...

UK Spouse Visa Timelines 2021 for Family Settlement

This guidance relates to UK spouse visa processing time after biometrics 2019 and 2020 for partner/family settlement, leave to remain and indefinite leave to remain (ILR) applications - with Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update. Moreover, also provides the details of UK...