What Documents Are Required for Family Visa in UK?

Joining your family member in the UK is an exciting prospect; a new place, maybe a language and plenty of new work or study opportunities. But before you get too excited, you’ve got to think about the visa application process.

The conservative government have been quite tough on immigration for the duration of their leadership and things are only getting more difficult for potential visitors, workers, students and their families. So, increase your chances of success with your application, by gathering all of the necessary documents before you apply to know you’re fully prepared to provide the Home Office with everything they need to understand you and your UK relative’s relationship and intentions to live in the UK.

Fortunately, at Synergy Immigration Solutions, we’re used to helping people through the UK visa process, so we can tell you exactly what documents you need for your Family visa application and what else you need to be prepared for along the way.

How to Apply for a Family Visa for the UK

Visa processes are being simplified worldwide with a move to make most parts of the application online. You cannot request a visa for a family member, each applicant must apply by themselves on the government’s website or with the help of a visa agency.

How you apply depends slightly on which Family visa you are applying for. Family visas include:

  • Partner or Spouse visa
  • Parent visa
  • Child Dependent visa
  • Adult Dependant Relative visa

When you start the application online, select which Family visa you are applying for, submit the necessary documents, and pay the application fee and the immigration health surcharge if applicable. This charge is not necessary for some adult dependant relatives and those with family in the UK who have protected status.

The Family visa application fee and the length of time given to reside in the UK also change according to which Family visa you apply for, and whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa. The time taken to process the visa also changes according to which Family visa you apply for.

While you can work while in the UK on a Family visa, it may be beneficial to apply for a work permit directly instead.

Documents You’ll Need for the Family Visa

Documents You’ll Need for the Family Visa

Although the family member in the UK, known as the sponsor, cannot apply on behalf of their family members, they must also meet several eligibility requirements and provide some documents to help their relative’s application.

For the Family visa to be valid, the sponsor must be either:

To prove this, the applicant must submit a copy of their sponsor’s passport and residence permit with their application.

As well as evidence of their sponsor’s status in the UK, the applicant must also provide:

  • A copy of their passport which must be valid for their entire proposed stay in the UK
  • Proof of the relationship between the applicant and sponsor
  • Proof of suitable accommodation in the UK
  • Proof of A1-standard English language skills
  • Proof of sufficient finances to cover living costs for the proposed stay in the UK
  • Tuberculosis test results
  • 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
  • Photo page and any visa or entry stamps in previous passports
  • Any other supporting documents that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has asked for

Almost all applicants will have to provide each of these documents, however, there are some additional documents needed for some visas and exceptions for certain candidates.

Potential Additional Documents

For the Adult Dependant Relative visas, applicants must also show evidence that:

  • They have a long-term health condition which means they can no longer look after themselves
  • They require long-term care from their relative in the UK
  • They cannot access sufficient health care in their home country due to finances or accessibility
  • They will receive adequate care and suitable accommodation from their relative in the UK

Adult Dependant Relative visa applicants can also only be:

So you can bring your elderly or disabled mother to the UK, for example, but not nieces or nephews or other extended family members.

Exceptions to the Documents

Exceptions to the Documents

There are also some exceptions to the necessary documents if applicants meet certain criteria.

English Language Skills

Applicants aged 18 or under or 65 or over do not need to complete an English language test or prove their ability to effectively communicate in English. Nor do nationals from English-speaking countries or applicants with some disabilities. If the applicant has completed studies in English at university level or higher, a certificate of their qualification is also sufficient evidence of their English language skills.

Tuberculosis Test

Only applicants coming to the UK from one of the listed countries, or having lived in one within 6 months of the visa application will need to provide a negative tuberculosis test result with their application.

Application Fee

If you are applying for a Child Dependent visa and do not have sufficient finances to cover the costs of your stay due to low income or no housing, you can apply for a fee waiver.

How Do You Prove Your Relationship Status?

How Do You Prove Your Relationship Status?

The main question that gets asked about Family visas is ‘How do you prove your relationship status’? Unfortunately for some, you’ll need official documents to prove any kind of relationship between the applicant and sponsor; photographs, cards, texts or plane tickets do not count as official documents and will not be considered valid evidence of a relationship.

If you are married or in a civil partnership, the certificate of your union is sufficient to demonstrate your relationship with your partner. If you are proving you are the parent or child of a UK resident, a birth certificate or adoption papers are also valid evidence.

However, if you are coming to the UK to care for your child or co-parent, you will also need to provide letters from a solicitor or court signed by both parents that demonstrate your intention to come to the UK to take an active role in the upbringing of your child. If extending a Family visa or switching from a valid UK visa (not a short-term visa such as a visitor visa) you can also provide a letter from your child’s school or social worker showing you have an active role in their upbringing.

The hard part is proving your relationship with your partner if you’re unmarried. Evidence of your relationship can be no longer than four years old and you must be able to prove that you’ve been living together for the past 2 years. Evidence of your relationship status with your partner can therefore include:

  • Housing agreements with both names listed
  • Joint account bank statements
  • Utility bills addressed to both individuals

Family visa applications can therefore be very difficult, but short-term visas can be much easier if you wish to bring your relative to the UK for less than 6 months.

What Documents Are Needed for Family to Visit the UK?

To bring family for a visit to the UK for less than 6 months, you only need to meet the requirements for a Standard Visitor visa, which include:

  • Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your stay
  • Proof of address for your stay or reservations detailing touristic activities if not staying with family
  • Invitation letter from family if staying with a relative
  • Proof of your relationship with your family member
  • Proof your family member has suitable accommodation for you

Not every foreign national needs to apply for a visitor visa, so check before you start your application.

Need Help with Your Family Visa Application?

UK visa applications can be difficult to navigate – so why go it alone? Top visa agencies like Synergy Immigration Solutions are here to help you with your UK visa applications. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!

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