Family of British citizens and settled persons

Family of British citizens and settled persons

This page explains who can come live in the United Kingdom as the family member of a British citizen or a settled person. A settled person is a person that was given permission to remain in the UK permanently (= Indefinite Leave to Remain, or ILR). If your sponsor is not a British citizen or does not (not) have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, please read our page on “Family members of Migrant Workers and Students”. If you are a husband, wife or civil partner, in addition to this page, please also see our separate “Partner” post here, for more information. If you are an unmarried or same-sex partner, in addition to this page, please read our separate post “Unmarried or same-sex partner” here, for more information.

Overview of visa categories open to the family members of British citizens, or people with settled status (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK.

UK Visa Category
Dependants of British Citizens or people with settled status
Brief description of Visa Category Immigration Rules
Partner This category is for the partner of a British citizen or a person who is settled here. A partner includes husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner. 277-289
Unmarried or Same-Sex partner This category is for the unmarried or same-sex partner of a British citizen or a person settled here. If you are subject to immigration control and you are the unmarried or same-sex partner of a British citizen or person who is settled here, this category allows you to enter or remain in the UK. The relationship may be a heterosexual or same-sex relationship, but you must not be related by blood. The requirements and process for applying as an unmarried or same-sex partner are the same as those for a Partner (see above) but the documents you must provide will be different. For more information, see the Documents required page on the UKBA website. 295
Fiancé(e) or Proposed Civil Partner This immigration category allows you to enter the UK if you are subject to immigration control and you are the fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner of a British citizen or a person who is settled here. You must intend to get married or register your civil partnership within 6 months of your arrival in the UK, and settle here together afterwards. 289-295
Children This category is for the child or children that wish to join a British citizen, or person with permanent settlement status (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) in the UK. By ‘child’ we mean someone who is under 18 years old.Children cannot normally come to settle in the UK unless both parents are settled here or have been given permission to settle here. The only exceptions are where:

  • 1 parent is dead and the other is settled or coming to settle here; or
  • the parent who is settled or coming to settle in the UK has had sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing; or
  • 1 parent is settled or coming to settle in the UK and there are serious reasons why the child must be allowed to come here.

The term ‘parent’ includes the stepfather or stepmother of a child whose father or mother is dead, both parents of an illegitimate child, and an adoptive parent in certain circumstances.

There are additional requirements for adopted children .

Your child must show that they:

  • are not leading an independent life;
  • are not married or in a civil partnership;
  • have not formed an independent family unit; and
  • are aged under 18.

If you or one of the child’s parents is applying to enter, remain, or has limited leave to remain in the UK as a partner or parent, you must meet the financial requirement. In all other cases you will need to show that you have accommodation where you can all live without help from public funds to bring your child to settle in the UK.

296-300
Adult Dependent Relatives This category is for adult dependent relatives of someone who is already a permanent resident in the UK. You can apply for permission to settle permanently here (known as ‘indefinite leave to enter or remain’) if you are:

  • aged 18 or over; and
  • a parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son or daughter of a British citizen or person settled in the UK.

You can apply to join a settled person in the UK if:

  • You need long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks, such as washing and cooking.
  • The care you need is not available in the country where you are living, either because it is not available and there is no person in the country where you are living who can reasonably provide it or it is not affordable.
  • Your sponsor can show that he or she is able to provide adequate maintenance, accommodation and care for you without having to rely on public funds. Your sponsor will need to sign a sponsorship undertaking form to confirm that they will be responsible for your care without relying on public funds for a period of at least 5 years.
317-319
Parent of a child in the UK This category is for the parent of a child in the UK. To qualify under this route you must be the parent of a child who is:

  • under the age of 18 on the date you apply;
  • living in the UK; and
  • a British citizen or settled in the UK.

You can apply under this route if:

  • you have sole responsibility for the child; or
  • if the parent or carer that the child normally lives with is a British citizen or settled in the UK, but is not your partner, and you do not qualify for entry clearance as a partner.

You must provide evidence that you either have sole responsibility for or access rights to the child or that you are taking, and intend to continue to take, an active role in the child’s upbringing. The documents you need to provide are listed on the application form.

EC-PT-D-ILTPT

Family members of British citizens or persons with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK: Application Forms and Guidance

Please note that, in terms of application forms, most applicants need to complete an electronic form. The forms listed in the table below are printed, handwritten forms. UKBA’s country finder tool will tell you if you have to submit an electronic of printed form. If you need to complete an electronic form, the application system will automatically generate the correct form for you. Please note that you will still need to print out your electronic form, and sign and date it! Please also note that all applicants whether they need to complete an electronic form or not, have to submit a handwritten Appendix. The Appendices are not (not) available via the on-line application system. You can find UKBA’s country finder tool here, and the on-line application system here.

Family of British citizens and persons with settled status (indefinite leave to remain)
Visa Category AppliCationForm Guidance to complete form Supporting Documents Guidance Additional form (Appendix) to be completed Paragraph Immigration Rules
Partners VAF4A See bottom of the application form Click here and here and here Click here 277-289
Unmarried Partner VAF4A See bottom of the application form Click here and here and here Click here 295
Same-sex Partner VAF4A See bottom of the application form Click here and here and here Click here 295
Fianc(e)e VAF4A See bottom of the application form Click here and here and here Click here 289-295
Proposed Civil Partner VAF4A See bottom of the application form Click here and here and here Click here 289-295
Children VAF4A See bottom of application form Click here and here Click here 296-300
Adult Dependent Relatives VAF4A See bottom of the application form Click here Click here and here 317-319
Parent of a Child in the UK VAF4A See bottom of the application form No document guidance document, but see here and here Click here EC-PT-D-ILTPT

Please note that immigration rules and regulations are complex and subject to continuous change. The information provided in this page is purely for informative purposes. Its use is entirely at your own risk. You should always consult the relevant government department for correct and up to date guidance.

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