Family Life in the UK
If you need advice for private or family life application under Article 8 of the immigration rules, call our immigration solicitors on 0203 909 8399 or contact us online.
If you need to remain to the UK and you are permitted to apply within the UK, this page will outline what you need to do. If you are outside the UK and need to enter the UK this page is not relevant to you. You can apply if you extend your existing family of a settled person visa or you wish to switch to a family of a settled person visa.
Who are classed as family members via this visa route?
- A British citizen.
- Person settled in the UK.
- Person having asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK.
Note: You may also be able to apply to remain with your child if they’ve lived in the UK for at least 7 years. You might need to choose a category (known as a route) to apply in each route has different eligibility requirements.
If your partner is one of these then you need to apply under a different route
- Your partner is from the EEA or Switzerland.
- Your partner originally had a temporary visa as a worker.
- You are the victim of domestic violence or your partner has died.
- You applied for a family of a settled person visa before 9 July 2012.
- You want to reunite with a partner or parent who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK.
If you entered the UK in one of these then you cannot apply under this visa route:
- as a visitor
- in the UK for less than 6 months unless you got your visa to get married or become civil partners or you got your visa to wait for the outcome of a family court or divorce.
- on temporary admission or release (you don’t have a visa) unless you apply in a 10-year route.
What if I am in the UK and I want to apply under this visa route?
If you entered the UK on a different visa route than family you might be allowed to switch into this visa if:
- You are both married.
- You both are in a civil partnership.
- You both have been living together in a relationship for 2 years.
Note: Both parties need to be 18 or over. If you apply for this visa, you and your partner must intend to continue your relationship after you apply. You also can ally under the 2, 5 or 10 year routes. Below explains both options to you.
Family life as a parent (5-year route)
To meet this eligibility requirement you must be able to prove that:
- you have enough money to adequately support and accommodate you and your dependents without relying on public funds.
- you have good knowledge of English if you are 18 or over.
Family life as a parent (10-year route)
- You can also apply in this route if your child has lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years.
- You must meet the eligibility requirement for the parent routes.
- You must also prove that it would not be in your child’s best interests to leave the UK with you.
If a child lives with you, you will need to either have:
- Sole parental responsibility
- Shared responsibility and your child’s other parent is a British citizen or is settled in the UK.
Note: If your child lives with their other parent, you must have access rights and shared responsibility for looking after your child. Your child’s other parent must be a British citizen or settled in the UK.
You must also be able to prove that:
- You and your child are both living in the UK.
- Your child is under 18 or was under 18 when you applied for a family of a settle person visa to join them.
- You are continuing to take an active role in your child’s upbringing.
- You are not eligible to apply for a visa as a partner.
Private life in the UK (10-year route)
You must be able to prove that you are:
- Between 18 and 24 and you’ve lived continuously in the UK for more than half your life.
- 25 or over and you’ve been in the UK continuously for 20 years.
- 18 or over and you’ve spent less than 20 years in the UK, but you find it hard to live in another country, eg because you have no friends or relationships there.
- Under 18 and you’ve lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to leave the UK.
Family life as a partner (10-year route)
You must meet the eligibility requirements for the partner routes and you must also be in one of these situations:
- There are serious reasons you and your partner can’t live together as a couple in another country.
- You have a child in the UK who is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years and it wouldn’t be in their best interests to leave the UK with you.
You could also apply under the Parent routes if you meet the requirements which are:
- A natural (biological) parent.
- An adoptive parent.
- A step-parent where the biological parent has died.
Note: A ‘Parent’ is classed as one of the above options.
Types of relationships accepted by the Home Office
- You are married or a civil partner.
- You are living together in a relationship for 2 years*
- Engaged to be married or to become civil partners.
*Home Office will accept evidence if not living together but you need to demonstrate other means of communication.
If you or your partner were previously married and you wish to apply for a visa to visit your partner or apply as an unmarried couple you must first get your decree absolute or your application will be rejected. To find out more about what is a decree absolute click here.
Exemption to the financial rules
If your partner receives certain disability benefits or Carer’s Allowance, they are exempt from this rule however, you will still need to demonstrate you can adequately accommodate and support yourselves and any dependants.
You may have to provide evidence of this to at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening. If you obtained an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree then this would suffice. You might be able to meet the English requirements in other ways.
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