If you are living outside the UK and want to come to the UK to stay with a partner or child for longer than 6 months’, then you will have to apply for a family visa. If you are already in the UK, you may be able to extend your family visa or if you currently have a different visa, you may be able to switch to a family visa whilst you are still in the UK. (This, however, would not be possible if your family member is in the UK under a work or student visa, but you may be able to apply to stay with them as a dependant instead).
In order to make an application on the basis of having a child or a partner in the UK, there are certain requirements you must meet under UK Immigration Rules. These are:
- Financial requirement: If you want to apply to stay with a child, you must be able to prove that you are able to maintain and accommodate yourself without recourse to public funds. You could provide tenancy agreements, utility bills, bank account statements and pay slips in support of this. If you applying to come to the UK to live with a partner, then you must prove that you both have a combined income of at least £18,600 per year, if you wish to apply via the 5-year route. If you do not meet this requirement, you still may be able to settle in 10 years.
- Educational requirement: You must have a good knowledge of English. To prove this, you could take an approved English language test with at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening. If you have been granted leave to remain on the five-year settlement route you will need the CEFR Level A2 to extend your stay.
- Relationship requirement: You must be able to prove that you are taking, and are willing to continue to take, an active role in your child’s upbringing. In order to prove this, you are required to provide documents such as letters from the child’s school confirming that attend school events/ parents evening or from a GP/ hospital to confirm your child’s appointments. You will also have to prove that you are the child’s parent or have parental responsibility. Birth certificates could be evidence of this.
If you want to apply on the basis of a private life, then there also requirements you have to be eligible for in order to stay in the UK:
- If you are under 18, you must have lived in the UK for over 7 years and you must be able to prove that it is unreasonable for you to live somewhere else
- If you are aged between 18 and 24, you must have lived in the UK for half of your life
- If you are over 18 and you have spent less than 20 years in the UK, and would have significant problems leaving, due to not being able to speak or learn the language
- If you are over 25 and you have been in the UK continuously for over 20 years.
Once you have made the application and submitted it to the Home Office with your supporting documents, you should expect to receive a reply in 12 weeks if you are outside of the UK or 8 weeks if you in the UK. Alternatively, you could apply for premium service and you could get a same day decision, however, this is more expensive than applying via post.
If you wish to make a private life, child of parent application, or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.