In order to visit family members in the UK, one must apply for a visitor visa. There are several requirements people need to meet, but mainly, they must visit a family member and be outside of the European Economic area. A family visa for UK lasts for 6 months.
The application process for family visitor visa for UK can be done online. With the application, candidates must provide:
- current passport
- passport sized photographs in color (with white background),
- and bank statement, payslip or any other financial proof.
It should be mentioned that anyone applying for family visitor visa in UK should provide proof that they have enough money to support themselves when visiting. Besides the legal documents, applicants also need to provide proof of the family member they are visiting, letter of invitation, and in some conditions, evidence of immigration circumstances.
Take note that all documents must be original. However, additional copy is required. Documents not in English or Welsh need to be translated. Applicants also need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre. Although, extension of the visa is possible but it can only be done in the UK, in which the process usually takes 3 weeks. Applicants can file their application up to three months before they travel to the UK.
Everyone over 18 years old can apply for a visa, provided they have a family member living in the UK. Applicants must provide proof that their family member lives in the UK. Spouses/civil partners, children, parents or siblings, grandparents or grandchildren, spouse’s children or siblings, step parents, step children, a person with whom the candidate is in long term relationship are considered family members.
However, the family member in the UK should need to be British citizen, settled in the UK, under humanitarian protection or granted asylum in the UK before their family members can apply for the visa. To be eligible for Family visitor visa, candidates must provide proof they are visiting for less than 6 months, and they are going to leave the country after the end of the visit.
Application costs £83 to apply. For the long term visa, fees are:
1 year – £300
2 years – £300
5 years – £544
10 years – £737
Restrictions and Allowances
Visitors with granted family visit visa can stay in the UK up to 6 months. They can also study for up to 30 days. However, studying cannot be their main reason for visit. The visa comes with certain restrictions. Visitors cannot apply for work or run businesses, study for more than 30 days, marry or register a civil partnership, come for private medical treatment, bring family members with them, or change their visa to another.
Some candidates get visa for less than 6 months. During their time in the UK, they can extend their current visa for maximum of 6 months (counting the time they have been approved as well). To extend their visa, applicants can apply by post, or apply in person at a premium service centre. The fee for extending the visa is ?601 (by post) and ?1,001 (in person). Applicants get their response within 8 weeks if they have applied by post, and same day at the premium service.