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You’ll need a ‘family of a settled person’ visa if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and you want to join, for 6 months or more, a partner or family member who’s living in the UK permanently.
You don’t need a ‘family of a settled person’ visa to visit your family for up to 6 months, but you should check if you need a Standard Visitor visa.
Your family member can:
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply to:
You may need to apply in a different way if:
How long it takes
You should get a decision on your visa within 12 weeks. Check the guide to processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.
What you can and can’t do with your visa
You can use your ‘family of a settled person’ visa to:
You can’t get public funds for yourself and any dependants.
Extend your stay
You may be able to apply to extend your visa or settle in the UK permanently.
You can apply for a family permit instead of a ‘family of a settled person’ visa if the person you’ll be joining is from a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) (excluding the UK) or from Switzerland
If you’re already in the UK
You can’t apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa - you must apply to remain in the UK with family instead.
Reunite with a partner or parent 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.
Your relationship must have started before your family member’s departure from their home country because of persecution.
To apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, you must be from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Your partner or family member must have one of the following:
You must also prove that:
Your application might be refused if, for example, you’ve:
Read the full guidance on refusals.
Joining your partner
You must prove that you and your partner are 18 or over and in a genuine relationship.
You must be one of the following:
You must prove that any previous relationships you or your partner had are permanently broken down
You must also meet the financial requirement of:
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.
You must prove that you plan to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK.
If you or your partner has been married or in a civil partnership with someone else before, then you’ll need to provide proof that the relationship has ended when you apply. This could be:
You won’t be able to work during your engagement
Bringing your children
Your children must be under 18.
You must name your children on your application, but you’ll need to apply for them separately.
Joining your parents
You must be under 18 and all of the following must apply:
Coming to look after your child
Your child must be under 18, living in the UK, and either a British citizen or settled in the UK.
You must prove that either:
You must also:
If you’re the partner of the child’s parent you must apply to join as a partner.
Coming to be cared for - you’re an adult dependent relative
You must be dependent on a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter who is living permanently in the UK.
You must prove that:
You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.
You can prove your knowledge of English by passing a test at an approved test centre. You need to get at least CEFR level A1.
Check the current list of approved tests and test centres. This list changed on 6 April 2015 - tests on previous lists won’t be accepted.
Alternatively, you can give evidence that you have an academic qualification that both:
National of a majority English speaking country
You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of these countries:
You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if:
See the document about the English language requirement in the guidance for family members for more information.
You’ll need to provide:
You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances - eg a sponsorship form from your family member in the UK.
You’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.
You can only apply for this visa if you’re outside the UK.
You must apply online for this visa.
You can give details about how your application to come to the UK is in the best interests of your children. Put this in the ‘Additional information’ box when you apply online.
You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.
You may be able to get your visa faster or other services depending on what country you’re in - check with your visa application centre.
You can’t apply online if you’re living in North Korea.
To apply from North Korea you must download and fill in form VAF4A and appendix 2.
You might also need:
You should also read:
You can apply to extend your visa towards the end of your stay.
You must apply before your visa expires.
When you’re eligible, you can apply to settle. Settlement means you can stay in the UK without time limits.
You may have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you need to pay before you apply.
Your initial stay will be:
You’re an adult dependent relative
Your initial stay will be:
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UK Visa - navigation - find chapterStandard Visitor Visa UK Work visas - right to work in the UK Family visas in the UK Short student visas in the UK General student visas in the UK UK visa fees UK visa center UK visa sponsorship for employers Biometric residence permits (BRPs) Tourist and short stay visas Transit visas in the UK Right of abode in the UK Settled status in the UK Life in the UK test Prove your knowledge of English for citizenship and settling Sponsor visa - workers or students Brexit News - UK negotiation with EU How to complaints visa UK Countries EU and EEA visa-uk-home page