Midway through September, and in the grip of Brexit confusion, the Government made a number of statements in relation to UK family visas, as well as taking the step of reversing a previous decision that related to foreign students.
In his first statement as prime minister, Boris Johnson claimed that he could ‘unequivocally…guarantee [that], under this government, the 3.2 million EU nationals…will have absolute certainty for the right to live and remain. Unfortunately, this led the prime minister’s spokesperson to have to clarify that this did not in fact mean that new legislation would be proposed, and that Johnson would still be maintaining the EU Settlement Scheme. However, shortly after his appointment, he did reverse a decision made in 2012 by then-Home Secretary Theresa May that forced overseas students to leave the UK four months after finishing a degree. Instead, they will now be allowed to stay in the UK for two years after graduation to find a job. Johnson has said that the change would see students ‘unlock their potential’ and be able to begin careers in the UK. With all of the uncertainty, it is important to understand the different kinds of visa that you would be able to come into the UK on.
It doesn’t matter anymore if you are from inside or outside of the EU, If you are hoping to join a family member or spouse then it is important to know the different kind of family visa that you could be eligible for. These are currently:
- A spouse visa
- A child visa
- A visa for an unmarried partner
- An ancestry visa
You may also go through a UK dependent visa application if you are the spouse, partner or child of a settled person or a person in the UK on a visa that allows for dependents to join the main applicant. You also might be eligible to extent the current family visa that you are in the UK on, but you would have to seek expert legal advice to work out if you would be eligible for this.
Would I be able to bring my children?
If you apply for a visa on your child’s behalf, then this is the best option for your child to be able to come to the UK. This is known as a dependant visa, and one of these statements must be true in order for your child to be able to obtain one:
- One parent out of the two of you is already in the UK and the other parent is also applying for a visa at the same time as the child
- Both parents are present in the UK, and their child is going to be joining them from overseas
- The entire family are applying for visas at the same time and the parents will be entering the UK at the same time as their child or children
If you are the sole surviving parent of a child or have sole responsibility for them then you may qualify as a special case in which you may be allowed exceptions to the standard rules. You should obtain legal advice to find out whether you could receive help for this.
Could my spouse join me?
If you are a British citizen, settled in the UK with ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or living here with refugee status or humanitarian protection, then your spouse may be able to apply for a visa to join you. This is subject to the requirements that:
- You can prove your ‘genuine’ relationship
- You can prove that you have somewhere acceptable to live
- You meet the appropriate wage requirements to be able to have a dependant
With any visa category, it is likely the case that you will have to seek legal advice to know what the best family visa for your individual requirements is. If you ask for that advice today then you can soon have the right documentation. If you remain in the UK for a minimum period of 5 years you may be able to apply for a UK settlement visa when your family visa is due to expire, allowing you to stay in the UK indefinitely.