The UK government strongly believe that families have the right to stay together where possible and have various options available to facilitate this. There are however strict regulations and the process can be complex, you should seek expert legal guidance to pursue any UK visa application.
To be eligible to join family members in the UK you must meet the criteria as set out in Appendix FM of the immigration rules https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-fm-family-members.
You will need to provide genuine proof to meet the regulations for example; you must be of a good character. You must also be in a relationship with a UK citizen or be the spouse of one. By spouse, it means you must be married, engaged, in a civil-partnership or have been cohabiting for at least two years.
Children under 18 may join parent who are settled in the UK which also applies to parents residing in the UK on a PBS (points based system) visa. In some circumstances, an older dependant relative may also join relatives in the UK.
If you are a parent of a child that is currently settled in the UK you may be eligible to apply for a visa to join them. However, if you are unable to demonstrate financial stability and that you can support yourself and your child this may be a problem.
You may also be eligible to join relatives in the UK who are settled in the UK under humanitarian protection or recognised refugee status.
You must be intending to live long-term in the UK and be able to demonstrate that you have a good understanding of the English language and life in the UK, you may need to take and pass a test for this.
- If your family has refugee status, humanitarian protection, settled in the UK or a British citizen then you can apply to join them.
This type of visa is applicable to family members of an individual who has fled to the UK from their home country and has humanitarian protection or refugee status however you must have been part of the family unit prior to your family member fleeing to the UK.
This type of visa is restricted to those who can prove that they desperately need their family member to care for them if they are unable to afford to pay for or secure the relevant care in their home country.
This type of visa is applicable to those who are over 17 years of age, a citizen of the commonwealth and can prove on of their grandparents was born in the UK.
Typically, other than those who have come to the UK as a finance/fiancée are allowed to work.
There is no set cost for bringing your family to the UK as it completely depends on the type of visa that you require. Along with the application fee you will be required to pay a health surcharge for access to the NHS however those applying for a refugee family reunion visa do not need to pay the surcharge.
You will receive an initial visa which will be valid for one month to allow you travel to the UK. Once you arrive in the UK you will need to collect your biometric residence permit (BRP) from the post office, this will state the amount of time you may reside in the UK. Your BRP must be collected within 10 days of your arrival in the UK. Should you be a fiancé/fiancée entering the UK your passport would be stamped with an allowed period of 6 months.
Should you need to renew your visa you should apply for the extension no less than 28 days before the date of expiry.
Typically, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain after you have resided legally within the UK for 5 years however your eligibility will depend upon which visa you entered the country under.
You may able to appeal a refusal via an independent immigration tribunal. If you have applied through the PBS (points based system) you may then pursue an administrative review via the UK visa and immigration service.