UK Immigration for Spouse & Family

UK Spouse & Partner Visa

UK Partner Visa

You need a 'family of a settled person' visa if you want to stay ('remain') with a family member or partner (eg. spouse) who's living in the UK permanently and you're:

  • Already in the UK
  • From outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
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 have lived in the UK for at least 7 years
  • 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 to get your UK partner visa?
  • A decision will be made on your application within 8 weeks
  • You'll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer
  1. If your supporting documents need to be verified
  2. If you need to attend an interview
    • because of your personal circumstances (eg if you have a criminal conviction)
How long you can stay?
  • You can stay for 2 and a half years. 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 for the UK partner Visa
You can use your 'family of a settled person' visa to:
  • Work (you can't work if you're extending a visa to get married or to become civil partners)
  • Study
  • Bring some family members ('dependants')
  • You can't usually get benefits or other public funds
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PBS dependants

Your family members ('dependants') can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. A 'dependant' is any of the following:
  • your husband, wife or partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they're currently in the UK as a dependant

Family members may apply to accompany them or to join the Main applicant if they have already travelled to the UK.

Dependants of Tier 4

Your family members (dependants) might be able to apply to join or remain with you in the UK.

A dependant is either:
  • your husband, wife or civil partner
  • your unmarried or same-sex partner
  • your child under 18 years old – including if they were born in the UK during your stay
You can apply to bring a dependant to the UK if you're:
  • sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts 1 year or more
  • a new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts longer than 6 months
  • a Doctorate Extension Scheme student


You must show that your dependants can be supported while they're in the UK.

Each dependant must have a certain amount of money available to them – this is in addition to the money you must have to support yourself.

The amount of money you need depends on:
  • the length of your course
  • where you're studying in the UK
  • whether you've finished a UK course or are currently studying

Family Members of EEA 'Qualified Persons'

An EEA national may be joined or accompanied to the United Kingdom by their family members, which may include EEA nationals that are not themselves exercising Treaty Rights and also non-EEA nationals.

Family members are broken down into two tiers: Immediate Family Members and Extended Family Members.

Immediate Family Members

Under Regulation 7 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 the immediate family members of an EEA national include:

  • Their Spouse or Civil Partner and
  • The direct descendants of either the EEA national or their spouse who are under the age of 21 or are their dependants

The dependant direct relatives in ascending line of either the EEA national or their spouse. (For example their parents or grandparents)

Where an EEA national has entered the United Kingdom as a Student their children must be dependant to be considered as family members. Further there is no provision to include dependant direct relatives in ascending line.

Following the landmark ruling in the case of Metcock and Ors v Ireland (Case C-127/08) the ECJ held that:

  • The right of a Non-EEA family member to join or accompany an EEA Citizen is not conditional on prior lawful residence in another Member State.
  • The right is also not conditional on physically accompanying their EEA Citizen family member from one country to another but rather the exercise of free movement of rights by the EEA Citizen that triggers the right to be accompanied by their spouse.
  • A Non-EEA spouse can accompany or join their EEA spouse irrespective of when and where their marriage took place and of how that spouse entered the host Member State.
  • An EEA national is not required to have founded a family at the time when he moves in order for his family members who are Non-EEA nationals to qualify for a Family Residence Permit
  • It was further held that there is no difference whether a Non-EEA national family member entered the UK before or after becoming a family member of an EEA Citizen.
Extended Family Members

Under Regulation 8 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 the extended family members of an EEA national include:

  • A relative of the EEA national, their spouse or civil partner who resides or resided in the same state as the EEA national and is dependent on the EEA national or a member of his household
  • A relative of the EEA national, their spouse or civil partner who on serious health grounds strictly requires the personal care of the EEA national, spouse or civil partner. The UK Border Agency state that 'health grounds' must be well beyond ordinary ill health and detailed medical evidence will be required detailing their medical condition and the need for personal care.

A partner of an EEA national in a 'durable' relationship with an EEA national. The Home Office has taken the view that the same criteria as for unmarried partners within the Immigration Rules must be satisfied i.e a requirement to have resided together for at least two years. A relative of the EEA national, their spouse or civil partner who would meet the Immigration Rules as a dependant relative.

An extended family member must have previously lived in another EEA state and their dependency on the EEA national, their spouse or civil partner must have existed either in that state or when they lived with the EEA national there.

XIPHIAS Immigration helps you and guide you in every way to fulfill your dreams to settle in UK. We have all the expertise to prepare your application and advice you before and after you come to UK on how to accomplish the conditions put forth by the UK Authorities.

Our Immigration consultants will reply your inquiry within 48 hours and provide you with FREE phone Consultation Service.

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