Unravelling the Complexities of a Family Visa Application in the UK

The UK is a popular destination for people looking to live and work there, but for migrants who also want to bring their family along, the visa application process can be a daunting process. With so many options and restrictions, it can be difficult to know where to start. This article will help to unravel the complexities of applying for a family visa in the UK, so you can be better prepared for your application.

What is a Family Visa?

A family visa is official permission to come to the UK to stay with family members who already live in the country. This can include a spouse, a partner, as well as dependent children. It is often the first step for those seeking to settle in the UK permanently.

How to Apply for a Family Visa

The exact steps you must take to apply for a family visa in the UK vary from person to person. Here are the general steps you will need to follow in order to make a successful application.

1. Choose the Right Visa

The first decision you need to make is which type of visa is most suitable for your needs. There are a few different types available, each with their own requirements. You should consider which conditions would be most beneficial for you and your family, and apply for the corresponding visa.

  • Spouse or Partner Visa: This visa is for married couples and civil partners who wish to live together in the UK.
  • Unmarried Partner Visa: This visa is for unmarried couples who have been in a relationship with each other for at least two years.
  • Child Visitor Visa: This visa is for children under the age of 18 who wish to visit the UK with their parent(s).
  • Dependent Child Visa: This visa is for children aged 18-24 who wish to continue living in the UK with their parent(s).
  • Family of a Settled Person Visa: This visa is for family members of someone who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
  • Family Member of a Refugee Visa: This visa is for family members of a refugee or a person who has been granted humanitarian protection in the UK.

2. Gather the Required Documents and Information

Next, you will need to gather the necessary documents and information that you need to start your application. Here is a list of some of the documents and information you will need.

  • Proof of your identity and nationality, such as a passport or birth certificate.
  • Proof of your family relationship, such as a marriage certificate or a family tree.
  • Proof of your financial circumstances, such as recent bank statements and salaries.
  • Evidence of English language ability, such as IELTS or TOEFL test scores.
  • Proof of accommodation in the UK, such as a rental agreement or utility bills.
  • Proof of health insurance in the UK.

3. Submit Your Application

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and information, you can submit your family visa application. The way you do this will depend on the type of visa you are applying for. For some visas, you may need to make a physical visit to the Home Office in order to submit your application, while for others you can do it online. You should refer to the UK Visas and Immigration website for specific instructions.

4. Await a Decision and Further Instructions

Once you have submitted your family visa application, it will be processed by the Home Office. This process can take up to 6 months, but it is usually significantly shorter for family visa applications. Once the Home Office has made a decision, they will contact you with their decision and any further instructions.


Q. How long does it take for a family visa application to be processed?

A. It usually takes up to 6 months for a family visa application to be processed by the Home Office, but it can be shorter in some cases.

Q. What documents and information do I need to submit a family visa application?

A. Generally, you will need documents such as proof of identity and nationality, proof of your family relationship, evidence of your financial circumstances, evidence of English language ability, proof of accommodation in the UK, and proof of health insurance in the UK.


Applying for a family visa in the UK can be a complex process. With the right preparation and understanding of the steps involved, however, it can be much less daunting. We hope that this article has helped to unravel the complexities of a family visa application so that you can better prepare for yours.