VISA4UK Settled status in the UK

Family visas: extend your stay in the UK

Family Visas in the UK - extend

1.Overview-Family Visa UK - extend

You need a ‘family of a settled person’ visa if you want to stay (‘remain’) with a family member or partner (for example, spouse) who’s living in the UK permanently and you’re:

You can apply if you’re eligible and you need to:

  • extend your existing ‘family of a settled person’ visa
  • switch to a ‘family of a settled person’ visa

Your family member or partner can:

  • be a British citizen
  • have settled in the UK
  • be your partner who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

You may also be able to apply to remain with your child if they’ve lived in the UK for at least 7 years.

Exceptions

You may need to apply in a different way if:

  • you’re outside the UK
  • your partner’s from the EEA or Switzerland
  • your partner originally had a temporary visa as a worker
  • you’re 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

How long it will take

A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks if you apply online or by post
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances, for example, if you have a criminal conviction

Fees

How much it costs will depend on how you apply.

Who you’re applying for Online or by post In person (premium service)
You £993 £1,583
Family members £993 each £1,583 each

You must also pay the healthcare charge as part of your application. Check how much you need to pay before you apply.

You might not have to pay any fees if you’re destitute and applying on the basis of your human rights. If you’re eligible, you must apply by post.

How long you can stay

You can stay for 2 years and 6 months. You’ll be able to apply to extend again towards the end of that.

You can also apply to settle permanently in the UK once you’re eligible.

What you can and can’t do

You can use your ‘family of a settled person’ visa to:

You can’t usually get benefits or other public funds.

2. Exceptions

You may need to apply a different way depending on where you or your partner are, or your situation.

You’re outside the UK

You should apply to join your family in the UK if you’re not already in the UK and you don’t have a valid ‘family of a settled person’ visa.

Your partner’s from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland

You can apply for a family permit if your family member is from a country in the EEA (excluding the UK) or Switzerland.

Your partner originally had a temporary visa as a worker

If your partner was in the UK on a temporary visa before settling or becoming a British citizen, you may have to apply as a ‘dependant’ (partner) in their original visa category.

Find out how to apply as a ‘dependant’ (partner or child under 18) if your partner or parent settled as someone with a:

You’re the victim of domestic violence or your partner has died

You may be eligible to settle in the UK if you’ve been staying in the UK with your partner on a ‘family of a settled person visa’ and in that time:

  • your relationship with that partner broke down because of domestic violence
  • that partner died

You applied for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa before 9 July 2012

You may be able to settle permanently in the UK instead of extending if 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

You should check if you can apply for ‘family reunion’ to stay with a partner or parent who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK.

You can only apply inside the UK if:

  • this is your first application for family reunion
  • your relationship with your family member started before their departure from their home country because of persecution

3. Eligibility

Your family member or partner can:

  • be a British citizen
  • have settled in the UK
  • be your partner who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

You may also be able to apply to remain with your child if they have lived in the UK for at least 7 years.

You need to choose a category (known as a ‘route’) to apply in - each route has different eligibility requirements.

The route you choose affects how soon you can apply to settle permanently in the UK - there’s a 2-year route, a 5-year route and a 10-year route.

Read the guidance for the 5 and 10-year routes.

You can apply to extend or switch in any of these routes if you’re eligible, except if you have permission to be in the UK:

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.

If you’re in the UK on temporary admission or release (you don’t have a visa) you can only apply to switch if you both:

  • apply in a 10-year route
  • can prove you’ve been in the UK for more than 6 months before you apply

You can also switch between routes if your eligibility changes.

Your application might be refused if, for example, you’ve:

  • got a criminal record in the UK or in another country
  • provided false or incomplete information to the Home Office
  • broken UK immigration law

Read the full guidance on refusals.

Partner routes

Partners are 2 people who are 18 or over and in a genuine relationship - you must be able to prove one of the following:

  • you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK
  • you’ve been living together in a relationship for 2 years

You and your partner must intend to continue your relationship after you apply.

Partner (2-year route)

You can only extend your ‘family of a settled person visa’ in this route if you:

  • applied as a partner before 9 July 2012
  • are not eligible to settle
  • have kept to the terms of your visa

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the partner routes and you must also prove that:

Partner (5-year route)

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the partner routes. If you’re 18 or over you must prove that you have a good knowledge of English.

You must also meet the financial requirement of:

  • £18,600 per year if you’re applying only for yourself
  • £22,400 per year for you and one child
  • £2,400 per year for each additional child
Download appendix

You won’t need to prove you have this money if you or your partner get certain disability benefits or Carer’s Allowance, but you’ll need to adequately accommodate and support yourselves and any dependants.

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

Parent routes

‘Parent’ means:

  • a natural (biological) parent
  • an adoptive parent
  • a step-parent where the biological parent has died

If the child was born in the UK but isn’t a British citizen and their birth parents are unable to look after them, anyone who takes on parental responsibility will also be considered a parent.

If the child lives with you

You need to have either:

  • sole parental responsibility
  • shared responsibility and the child’s other parent is a British citizen or is settled in the UK

If you have a partner and you’re eligible to apply under the 5 or 10 year partner routes, you must apply through those routes. Don’t apply through the parent route.

If you apply as a parent when you’re eligible to apply as a partner, your application as a parent will be refused and you won’t get your money back.

If the child lives with their other parent or carer

The parent or carer the child usually lives with must be a British citizen or settled in the UK.

You must have access to the child in person, as agreed with the other parent or carer or by a court order.

If you have a partner and you’re eligible to apply under the 5 or 10 year partner routes, you must apply through those routes. Don’t apply through the parent route.

If you apply as a parent when you’re eligible to apply as a partner, your application as a parent will be refused and you won’t get your money back.

You must be able to prove that:

  • you and the child are both living in the UK
  • the child is under 18 or was under 18 when you applied for a ‘family of a settled person visa’ to join them
  • you’re continuing to take an active role in the child’s upbringing
Read the guidance for parents if your child lives with their other parent or carer.

Family life as a parent (5-year route)

Your child must be a British citizen or settled in the UK. You must meet the eligibility requirements for the parent routes and you must also be able to prove that:

Family life as a parent (10-year route)

You can also apply in this route if the child has lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years.

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the parent routes.

You must also prove that it wouldn’t be in the child’s best interests to leave the UK with you.

Private life in the UK (10-year route)

You must be able to prove that you’re:

  • 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’d 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

You’re a child

You may be eligible to settle in the UK if your parents are settled.

You can also check if you can apply as a family member.

You were born in the UK

You’ll get the same permission to stay as your parents if you’re a child who was born in the UK. You can either:

4. Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply, unless you’re applying in a 10-year route or you’re exempt.

Exemptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English or take a test if:

  • you’re over 65
  • you have a physical or mental condition

You also won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

You also may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances – check the guidance for the partner (2-year and 5-year routes) or parent (5-year route).

Academic qualifications

You can prove your knowledge of English if you have a degree or academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree
.

Take an approved English language test

You can prove your knowledge of English by passing an approved English language test with at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening
.

5-year route

You’ll need to take a CEFR A2 test when you apply to remain after 2 years 6 months if you took the CEFR level A1 test when you first applied.

If you were exempt from the requirement to do the CEFR level A1 test when you first applied, you’ll need to pass the test (CEFR A1) when you apply after 2 years 6 months.

5. Documents you must provide

You must provide the following documents for you and any family members who are applying with you:

You must also provide:

  • proof of your partner or family member’s British citizenship or immigration status, including a permanent residence card if they’re settled in the UK under EU law
  • proof of your relationship with your partner or family member
  • any other documents that prove you meet the eligibility requirements
You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

For the full list of the documents you need to provide, either:

  • read the application form if you’re applying by post
  • the online service will tell you what you need

6. Apply

You must apply:

  • from inside the UK
  • before your visa expires

If you’re outside the UK, you should apply in a different way.

How to apply

You can apply online or by post, depending on which route you’re applying in.

If you’re destitute and applying on the basis of your human rights, you must apply by post.

Partner (2-year and 5-year routes)

You can apply either:

Family life as a parent (5-year and 10-year routes)

Apply by post or in person - fill in form FLR(FP).

Family life as a partner (10-year route) and private life in the UK (10-year route)

You can apply either:

Where to send your supporting documents

Where you need to send your documents depends on how you’re applying. If you’re applying:

  • by post - send your supporting documents to the address on the form
  • at a premium service centre - take your supporting documents to your appointment
  • online - you’ll be told where to send the documents when you apply

7. Family members

You can include some family members in your application, depending on how you’re applying.

Family members must also pay the healthcare charge as part of your application. Check how much you need to pay before you apply.

Partner (2-year route)

You can only include your children under 18.

Private life in the UK (10-year route)

You can add your family members to the same application - you’ll be considered separately.

Any family members you include must also be eligible in this category.

Other routes

You can include your children who are:

  • under 18
  • 18 or over if they were under 18 when you originally applied in this category

This applies to you if you’re applying in the:

  • partner (5-year route)
  • family life as a partner (10-year route)
  • family life as a parent (5- and 10-year routes)

Children who are 18 or over

Your children who are 18 or over can make their own application if:

  • you can’t include them on your form
  • they’re eligible for Private Life in the UK (10-year route)

They can either apply:

Check if you’re eligible to make your own application.

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