Family Visa

If you are an individual intending to immigrate to the UK with your family, Johnson Mackenzie Ltd. can help you. This guide will give you an overview of the main options available before you discuss the details of your position with our Immigration Adviser.

Fiance(e)s and Proposed Civil Partners
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You should apply in this category if you want to settle permanently in the UK after your marriage or civil partnership. (If you want to come and get married or register a civil partnership in the UK and you will then leave the UK, you should apply as a visitor for marriage or civil partnership.)

If you are outside the UK: If you are subject to immigration control and you want to come to the UK in this category, you can apply to do so if your fiance(e) or proposed civil partner is currently living in the UK and settled there OR returning to the UK with you to live there permanently.

Both you and your fiance(e) or proposed civil partner must be at least 21 years old (or 18 years old if either of you is a serving member of HM Forces).

You must obtain permission to enter the UK before travelling there, even if you are a national of a country whose citizens do not normally require a visa to enter the UK. This permission is known as ‘entry clearance’, and takes the form of a visa or an entry clearance certificate.

If you are already inside the UK: If you are currently in the UK with temporary permission to stay in a different immigration category (for example, as a student), you cannot switch into this category.

Husbands, Wives and Civil Partners
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If you are currently outside the UK: If you are subject to immigration control and you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen or person who is settled in the UK, you can apply for permission to come to the UK in this category.

Your husband, wife or civil partner must be at least 21 years old (or 18 years old if you or they are a serving member of HM Forces), and must be currently living and settled in the UK OR returning to the UK with you to live there permanently.

If your application is successful, we will give you permission to live and work in the UK for up to 27 months. This is called your probationary period. At the end of two years, you may apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) as the settled person’s husband, wife or civil partner.

If you are already in the UK: If you entered the UK in a different immigration category (for example, as a student), you may be allowed to switch into the category of husband, wife or civil partner if you were given a total of more than 6 months’ permission to live here since your most recent admission to the UK. This permission must have been given in accordance with the Immigration Rules, not ‘exceptionally’ (outside the Immigration Rules).

(The minimum of more than six months does not apply to you were given permission to enter as a fiance(e) or proposed civil partner, or as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a Tier 1 Migrant, and you are still with the same husband, wife or partner.)

If your application is successful, UKBA will give you permission to live and work in the UK for 2 years. This is called your probationary period. At the end of the 2 years, you may be able to apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) as the settled person’s husband, wife or civil partner.

Please note that, in most circumstances, you cannot marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK unless:

-You been given entry clearance expressly for the purpose of letting you marry or register a civil partnership in the UK; or
-You have a certificate of approval to marry or register a civil partnership in the UK.

Unmarried/Same-Sex Partners
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If you are currently outside the UK: If you are subject to immigration control and you are the unmarried/same-sex partner of a British citizen or person who is settled in the UK, you can apply for permission to come to the UK in this category. The relationship may be a heterosexual or same-sex relationship, but you must not be related by blood. Your settled partner must be currently living and settled in the UK OR returning to the UK with you to live here permanently.

If your application is successful, we will be given permission to live and work in the UK for up to 27 months. This is called your probationary period. At the end of the 2 years, you may apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) as the settled person’s unmarried/same-sex partner.

If you are already in the UK: If you entered the UK in a different immigration category (for example, as a student), you may be allowed to switch into the category of unmarried/same-sex partner if we have given you a total of more than 6 months’ permission to live there since your most recent admission to the UK. This permission must have been given in accordance with the Immigration Rules, not ‘exceptionally’ (outside the Immigration Rules).

(The minimum of more than 6 months does not apply to you if we gave you permission to enter as the unmarried/same-sex partner of a Tier 1 Migrant, and you are applying to extend your stay as that person’s partner.)

To switch into this category and be given permission to remain in the UK as an unmarried/same-sex partner, you must also meet all of the following requirements:

-You and your partner will both be at least 21 years old (or 18 years old if either of you is a serving member of HM Forces) on the date when we would give you leave to remain;
-Any previous marriage, civil partnership or similar relationship involving you or your partner has permanently broken down;
-You have not remained in the UK in breach of the immigration laws;
-You and your partner are not related by blood;
-You have met your partner;
-You and your partner have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership which has been existing and genuine (not like a ‘marriage of convenience’) for at least two years;
-Your relationship did not begin after a decision was made to deport or remove you from the UK;
-You and your husband, wife or civil partner intend to live together permanently;
-There will be adequate accommodation for both of you and any dependants without the need for public funds, and at least part of that accommodation (for example, a bedroom) is for your and your partner’s sole use; and
-Both of you will be able to maintain yourselves and any dependants adequately without needing public funds.

If your application is successful, you will be given permission to live and work in the UK for 2 years. This is called your probationary period. At the end of the 2 years, you may be able to apply for permission to settle permanently in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) as the settled person’s unmarried/same-sex partner.