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UK Family Visitor Visa Requirements and Application

The UK family visitor visa is the same as the standard visitor visa and enables overseas nationals to visit family members in the UK for up to 6 months. For example, if you have overseas parents, they may be able to apply for a family visitor visa allowing them to visit you in the UK. It is possible to apply for a family visitor / standard visitor visa up to 3 months before you travel to the UK.

If you plan to make several frequent visits to the UK to visit your family, consider applying for a long-term standard visitor visa. Long-term standard visitor visas are granted for either 2, 5, or 10 years. Holders can enter and stay in the UK as many times as they wish during the period of their visa, but only for up to 6 months at a time.

It is important to note that you cannot get married on a family visitor visa UK. If you intend to get married in the UK during your stay, you will need to consider a different type of visa, such as a marriage visitor visa (if you don’t intend to live in the UK once married) or a fiancé visa (if you plan to live in the UK once married).

If you hold a current UK visa, such as a work visa, study visa, or business visa and want to bring your spouse or children to the UK for longer than 6 months, they may be eligible for a dependant visa. With a dependant visa, your spouse/partner and/or children will be able to stay in the UK as long as your visa remains valid.

A final point to bear in mind is that not everyone requires a visitor visa to come to the UK. For this reason, it is advisable to check if you need a visitor visa1 on the Home Office website before you apply.

UK family visit visa requirements

To qualify for a UK family visitor visa, you must meet the following family visitor visa UK requirements:

  • Hold a valid passport which will be valid for the total duration of your stay in the UK.
  • Have evidence that you genuinely intend to depart the UK at the end of your visit.
  • Have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependants during your time in the UK.
  • Be able to pay for your return or onward journey.
  • You must not intend to live in the UK or make the UK your main home by making frequent or successive visits.

If you do not have the necessary funds to support yourself and your dependants while in the UK or to cover the cost of your onward journey, you can ask your UK-based family member to cover your costs.

UK family visitor visa required documents

As part of the application process for a UK visa family visitor visa, the Home Office will ask you to provide certain information and documents. The UK family visitor visa documents required may include:

  • Contact details of your employer
  • Contact details of your family members in the UK
  • Details of any criminal, civil or immigration offences
  • Details of family members who are covering the costs of your trip and onward journey
  • Details of your parents (i.e. name and dates of birth)
  • Details of your planned travel to the UK (i.e. when you intend to arrive and leave)
  • Estimate of your costs while in the UK
  • Passport
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependants (i.e. bank statements)
  • TB test certificate, if required
  • Travel history for the past 10 years
  • Where you will stay during your visit
  • Your annual income
  • Your home address and duration of residence
  • Your onward / return travel ticket
  • Your partner’s details (i.e. name, date of birth and passport number)

Family visitor visa sponsor requirements

If you are being sponsored by another person to come to the UK, you may be asked to provide evidence of:

  • the support they are providing (i.e. accommodation, support funds, and funds for your onward journey)
  • how this support is being provided (i.e. bank statement showing savings or details of the accommodation being provided)
  • the relationship between you and your sponsor (i.e. family member)
  • your sponsor’s British passport or residence document

How to apply for a UK family visitor visa

To apply for a UK family visitor visa, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Complete and submit the online application form2
  2. Pay the application fee (see below)
  3. Book and attend an appointment at your nearest UK visa application centre (VAC) to provide your biometrics (fingerprint scan and photo)
  4. Upload any documents requested by the Home Office

In most cases, UK family visitor visas are processed within 3 weeks. You may be able to request a faster decision – the priority service costs £500 and provides a decision within 5 working days, and the super-priority service costs £800 and provides a decision within 1 working day.

Application fees for UK family visitor visa

UK family visitor visa

£100

2-year long-term UK family visitor visa

£376

5-year long-term UK family visitor visa

£670

10-year long-term UK family visitor visa

£837

Extending your UK family visitor visa

You may be able to extend your family visitor visa if you have permission to be in the UK for less than 6 months and you want to extend your stay up to the maximum of 6 months, e.g. if you have been in the UK for 2 months, you can extend your stay for 4 more months, but for no longer than 6 months in total.

You can only extend a visitor visa if you are an academic, or you are a graduate retaking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or doing a clinical attachment.

It is also possible to extend your visit under medical reasons. See our guide on the UK medical visit visa for more information.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards is a specialist in family immigration based in Central London. Our team of family immigration solicitors can handle all aspects of your family visitor visa and can help you with:

  • Preparing and handling all aspects of your family visitor visa UK
  • Overcoming any issues with your UK family visitor visa application including a UK visa refusal
  • Applying for a UK family visa
  • Explaining any other UK immigration options available to you


References

1 GOV.UK: Check if you need a UK visa

2 GOV.UK: Application form

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