How Much Is a UK Family Visa?
If you intend to visit the UK and don’t have British residency, you’ll need some form of visa. Which kind of visa you apply for depends on how long you want to stay in the UK, what you intend to do while you’re in the UK, and often what country you’re coming from. Each visa also has its own application fees and requirements for the application, so you need to know your stuff before you apply.
If you have a family member already in the UK, you may be eligible for a Family Visa. Let’s look at what that is, how much it costs, and what you need to do to apply.
What Is a UK Family Visa?
A Family Visa for the UK is a bit of a misnomer as it isn’t one singular visa, but several different types of visa, depending on what kind of relation you have with the person in the UK. They allow you to stay in the UK for at least 6 months and may be extended before their expiry date from within the UK for an additional cost.
Family Visas include:
- A Partner or Spouse Visa
- A Parent Visa
- A Child Dependant Visa
- An Adult Dependant Relative Visa
You can also apply for a Family Visa if your spouse with British residency has died, or if you previously had permission to stay as a partner in the UK but are separated due to domestic abuse. Although not technically part of the Family Visa, you can also apply for a UK Ancestry Visa if your biological grandparent was a British citizen of the UK or former Commonwealth. A Fiancé(e) or Proposed Civil Partner Visa is also an option if you plan to marry a British resident within 6 months of arriving, however, this visa is only valid for up to 6 months.
To be eligible for any of these visas, your family member in the UK must be a legal British resident, and you must be able to prove your relationship with this person through legal documents. Text messages, photographs, birthday cards and travel tickets do not count as valid proof of a relationship.
What Are the Application Fees for UK Family Visas?
There are different application fees depending on the type of Family Visa you’re applying for.
When applying from outside the UK, the following costs apply:
- Partners, parents and children must pay £1,538 to apply
- Adult dependant relatives must pay £3,250 to apply, unless their relative has protection status, in which case they must pay £388 to apply
- Descendants applying for the UK Ancestry Visa must pay £531
- Proposed spouses and civil partners must pay £1,538
As well as the application fee, you may have to meet some alternative financial requirements and pay the immigration health surcharge. The immigration health surcharge enables you to use the free British public health system (NHS) while you’re in the UK. Even if you have private insurance or don’t use the NHS during your stay, you must still pay the charge and will not receive a refund.
For adults over 18, the health charge is:
- £1,560 for 2 years and 6 months
- £1,872 for 2 years and 9 months
- £3,120 for 5 years
For children under 18, the health charge is:
- £1,175 2 years and 6 months
- £1,410 2 years and 9 months
- £2,350 for 5 years
What Are the Requirements for a Family Visa?
Each family visa will also have different requirements depending on your type of application. However, there are general requirements that apply for each visa, including:
- A valid (in-date) passport for the applicant and UK resident
- Biometric photographs and fingerprints
- Proof of relationship between the applicant and UK resident (documents cannot be over 4 years old)
- Proof of accommodation in the UK
- Proof of sufficient ability to read, write, speak and understand English (if the applicant is between the ages of 19 and 64 and does not have a disability preventing them from communicating, or is applying from an English-speaking country)
- Proof of sufficient finances to cover your stay in the UK
- Pass the Life in the UK Test
- Tuberculosis vaccination record or test results as applicable
- Details of any criminal history
- Details of any previous immigration applications made
- Certified translation of any supporting documents that are not in English or Welsh. This should include confirmation of the eligibility of the translator i.e. their work details
- Photo page and any visa or entry stamps in previous passports
- Any other supporting documents that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has asked for
As you can see, there are plenty of requirements to meet when making your application for a UK Family Visa, so if it seems like too much or you need clarification on certain points, you can benefit from getting the assistance of a visa agency, like Synergy Immigration Solutions.
Are There Financial Requirements for UK Family Visas?
As well as paying the application fee and immigration health surcharge, in some cases you will be required to show a certain amount of money in your bank account to demonstrate to the British government that you have sufficient funds to cover the costs of your first month in the UK.
To be eligible for any of these visas, your family member in the UK must be a legal British resident, and you must be able to prove your relationship with this person through legal documents. Text messages, photographs, birthday cards and travel tickets can also be requested to demonstrate proof of a relationship.
How Do You Apply for a Family Visa for the UK?
You can apply for a Family Visa from outside the UK, extend your visa from within the UK, or switch from a different visa to a Family Visa from within the UK. The costs for each application process change, as well as the time the Home Office takes to respond to your application. However, each visa application can be done online via the gov.uk website, or you can pay for the services of a visa agency that will assist you through the whole application process to ensure the best outcome for you.
Can You Get British Citizenship with a Family Visa?
If your application for a UK Family Visa is successful, you will be given temporary residency in the UK for up to five years. You will not become a British citizen and you will not receive a British passport.
To become a British citizen, you must first have lived in the UK on a valid visa for at least 5 years and had Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) – also known as permanent residency – for at least 12 months. Or, you can apply for British citizenship if you have lived in the UK for at least 10 years on a valid visa. To get permanent residency, you must have lived in the UK on a valid visa for at least 5 years on most visas, except for the Innovator Founder Visa and the Global Talent Visa; with these visas, you can apply after 2 years or 3 years respectively.
Other exceptions are in place if you lived in the UK before the British vote to leave the EU (Brexit) as an EU citizen, or in certain other special circumstances such as living in the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker.
Once you have British citizenship, you can apply for a British passport, however, depending on your nationality, you may have to renounce your passport from your previous country, as not every nation allows dual nationality.
Need Help with Your Application?
Visa applications are complicated processes to get right, and it can be exhausting to go through it alone. Save yourself the hassle and stress, and contact Synergy Immigration Solutions today! Our team of experts are here to help each individual with their application for all kinds of UK visa, so no one needs to stress about their application.