What are the different types of UK family visas?

02 Oct 2023, 14 mins ago

If you are British or settled in the UK, your family members may be able to join you in the UK under the UK’s immigration system. In this blog, we discuss the main UK family visas.


Your partner can join you in the UK, however, they will need to meet certain eligibility criteria. Firstly, you and your partner will either need to be married/ in a civil partnership, or you must have been in a relationship and living together for at least two years.

Additionally, you and your partner will need to evidence that your relationship is genuine and subsisting as part of the application.  

Applications can be submitted under Appendix Family Member (Partner) of the Immigration Rules. You may be able to submit an application under Appendix EU, however, additional eligibility criteria will need to be met.


Your child can also join you in the UK, however, they will need to meet certain eligibility criteria. Your child will need to be under the age of 18 on the date of application and they must not be leading an independent life, i.e., they must still be dependent on you for support.

You will need to submit various documents to support the application. The appropriate documents will depend on the circumstances of the case.

If you are a British citizen, you may wish to consider whether your child is automatically British, and the subsequent steps that they can take to apply for British citizenship (if possible). This can be quite a complex area and therefore it would be best to seek legal advice in this regard.

Other family members

In exceptional circumstances, your parent, grandparent, child (over the age of 18) or sibling can join you in the UK; however, they will need to meet certain strict eligibility criteria. Most crucially, your family member must require long term personal care to perform everyday tasks as a result of age, illness or disability in order to be eligible. Additionally, the care that the applicant requires must not be obtainable in their home country.

Applications will be submitted under Appendix Dependant Relative, but caution must be taken before submitting an application under this route, as such applications have a very high threshold.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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