Family Visas are a group of temporary visas for immediate family members of British residents to legally live, work and study in the UK. A temporary visa means that it has an expiration date, so the family member must either leave the UK or renew their Family Visa by a given date to enable them to abide by British laws.
How to renew a Family Visa and what your rights are after renewal, we’ll discuss now.
Renewing a Family Visa
You can easily renew your Family Visa online, known as extending, in the same way you apply for your Family Visa in the first place on the gov.uk site for Family Visas. When you first apply for your Family Visa, you’ll submit several documents as evidence of your relationship with the person who is resident in the UK, as well as to prove your knowledge of English, your financial status and other eligibility requirements. You also have to attend an appointment to have a biometric photo and your fingerprints taken so that your residency permit can be printed for you.
When you extend your Family Visa, the government will have your biometric information on record, however, there are still the same eligibility requirements to be met. You cannot request a Family visa for someone else, the applicant must apply themselves unless they are a child or have a disability that prevents them.
Documents for Family Visa Renewal
Renewing your Family Visa is easier than applying the first time as the government will have a record of you having successfully obtained a UK Family Visa before.
When applying to renew your Family Visa, you’ll need to provide:
- A passport and photo ID for both the applicant and family member in the UK
- Proof of relationship with the family member in the UK e.g. birth certificate or marriage certificate
- Evidence of a genuine relationship between applicant and family member e.g. both names on housing contracts or shared bills
- Proof of suitable accommodation in the UK
- Proof of English language skills (only for those aged 18 to 65)
- Proof of sufficient finances e.g. bank account statement or work contract showing regular payment
- Proof of negative tuberculosis test result if the applicant has lived in one of the government’s listed countries
- Any criminal history
- Any previous immigration applications
- Copies of entry and exit stamps or visas in old passports
- Details of any countries lived in outside of the UK
If you are a child applying for a Child Dependent Visa, or you don’t work and have regular payslips, you can provide evidence of your bank statements from savings accounts or from your parent or partner to show that you will be supported in some during your stay in the UK, even if you are not earning the money yourself.
You should also provide your biometric information (photos and fingerprints) with your application to avoid delays receiving your residency permit.
Family Visa Renewal Fees
When you apply for a Family Visa or renew your visa, you have to pay an application fee as well as the immigration health surcharge which permits you access to NHS services such as registration with a GP practice and hospital visits. Like most other British nationals, you will have to pay for any prescriptions or dental treatment.
The costs for renewing your Family Visa or applying from within the UK are:
- £1,048 for the application for partners, parents, children, adult dependents and any additional dependents included in the application
- £1,560 for the immigration health surcharge for adults, or £1,175 for children (under 18)
You can choose to pay an additional £1,000 to use the super priority service and receive a response from the Home Office within 2 working days. However, this service is not available for adult dependents.
Each applicant must also show evidence that they have sufficient funds or income to cover the costs of their stay, or that funds will be provided by their relative. For partners, you and your partner must earn at least £18,600 a year between you, and £3,800 extra if you have a child and a further £2,400 per each other child. If you do not have sufficient income, you can also show a minimum of £16,000 in savings in your accounts to be eligible.
You must provide evidence through payslips or bank statements and the sufficient funds must be present in your account for at least 28 days in the 31 days before your application. This is known as the 28-day rule.
When to Start Your Application to Renew Your Family Visa
The application process for Family Visas takes up to 8 weeks if you’re applying for or renewing your visa from the UK, and you must have a valid visa to cover your stay in the UK during the application process. Therefore, you must start your application at least two months before your current visa is due to expire to ensure that you are still legally permitted to remain in the UK while your visa application is being processed.
If your visa expires before you receive a response on your application from the Home Office, you will be required to leave the UK and your application will be withdrawn. You will not receive a refund for the fees you have paid.
When applying from the UK to renew your visa, if you don’t have enough time left on your visa you should pay for the super priority service to ensure you receive your Family Visa in time.
How Long You Can Stay in the UK After Family Visa Renewal
When you first apply for a Family Visa, you’ll usually be permitted residency for 2 years and 9 months. Each time you renew your visa you’ll be given a new visa for up to 2 years and 6 months. If you receive your new visa before your current visa has expired, you’ll receive a maximum of 28 days extra on your new Family Visa.
Although you can extend the Family Visa indefinitely, you need to show your intent to live in the UK each time as well as pay the application fees. Instead of renewing your Family Visa each time it’s due to expire, it may be advisable for you to apply for indefinite leave to remain, also known as settlement for EU citizens or permanent residency instead.
Obtaining Permanent Residency
In most cases, you can receive permanent residency after living in the UK for 5 years on valid visas. Some working visas permit you to apply for residency after 2 or 3 years, however, for Family Visas, you can apply after 5 years. Permanent residency is also known as indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as it allows you to remain in the UK indefinitely, although it can be withdrawn at any point if the individual is found to have committed any serious crimes or immigration crimes.
Once you have lived in the UK for 5 years and had ILR for at least 12 months, you can then apply for British citizenship if you wish. This does not guarantee you a British passport, but you can apply for one once you have received your certificate granting you British citizenship.
Some countries do not permit dual nationality, so you may have to renounce your citizenship when you receive British citizenship, so you should check with your country before applying in case your rights are affected.
Need Visa Help? – Contact Synergy Immigration Solutions
Applying for visas whether inside the UK or outside the UK can be challenging, as there are many conditions as well as documents needed as evidence. That’s why Synergy Immigration Solutions is here to help every individual with their application, so no one has to go through the process alone, and you can ensure you’re prepared for the application to increase your chances of success.