UK Family Visas for Australians

If you are an Australian citizen and want to live with your family members in the UK, you’ll need to apply for a UK Family visa. A successful visa application requires that you complete an online form and provide several supporting documents.

The process can be lengthy and complex, so if you need help, our experienced legal team at Total Law is on hand to provide you with personalised assistance. If you have any queries about family visas for Australians, or any of the other services we offer, feel free to call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.

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    UK Family Reunification For Australians: An Overview

    The UK Family visa is for Australian citizens who wish to live with a family member that is already residing in the UK. This visa type is required if you intend to stay with that family member for more than 6 months. For visits up to 6 months, it is likely that a Standard Visitor or Marriage Visitor visa will be necessary instead.

    The type of UK Family visa that you’ll require depends on a variety of factors, namely your specific circumstances and the relationship you hold with your UK-based family member.

    If you have a spouse, fiancé, child, parent, or relative providing long-term care in the UK, you may be eligible to apply. A UK Family visa will allow you to live, work and study in the UK, with the possibility of qualifying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and British citizenship in the future.

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    Eligibility Criteria for UK Family Visas

    When applying for a UK Family Visa, both you and your UK-based family member (often referred to as the sponsor) must meet specific requirements. These requirements vary depending on the type of family visa you are applying for, but generally include the following:

    Requirements for UK-based Family Member

    Legal Status in the UK: The sponsor must have legal status in the UK, such as being a British or Irish citizen, having indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or proof of permanent residence. If the sponsor is from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, they must have pre-settled status and must have started living in the UK before 1st January 2021.

    Relationship to Applicant: Your UK-based family member must be able to prove their relationship to you as either a spouse, fiancé, partner, child, parent, or dependent adult relative.

    Financial Requirement: Your sponsor must meet a minimum income threshold in order to prove that they can support you financially without any reliance on public funds.

    Adequate Accommodation: Your UK-based family member must provide evidence of sufficient living standards within their accommodation.

    Requirements for Visa Applicants

    Relationship Proof: Like your UK-based family member, you must also be able to prove your relationship to them.

    English Language Requirement: Most adult applicants need to prove their knowledge of English by passing an approved English language test at the required level or having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher. Some applicants, such as children or adults over the age of 65, are not required to provide proof of their English proficiency.

    Types of UK Family Visas

    There are a variety of UK Family visas available to Australians. Each has its own benefits, restrictions, and eligibility requirements. Below is an overview of each visa category:

    Partner or Spouse Visa

    The Partner or Spouse visa is for Australian spouses, fiancés or civil partners of British citizens and permanent residents. With this visa, you can stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months if you are applying as a spouse or civil partner.

    If you’re applying as a fiancé or proposed civil partner, you can stay for a maximum of 6 months. Visa extensions are possible and will allow for an additional 2 years and 6 months in the UK.

    In order to qualify for this visa, both you and your partner must be 18 or over. Additionally, you must prove that you are in a marriage or civil partnership that is legally recognised in the UK, or if you are a fiancé, you must prove that you have plans to marry or form a civil partnership within 6 months of arriving in the UK.

    You and your partner must also prove that you possess the financial ability to support yourselves and any dependents whilst you are in the UK.

    In April 2024, the minimum requirement has risen to £29,000, with this amount expected to rise further in the coming years to £38,700.

    Parent Visa

    If you are an Australian citizen with a child living in the UK, you might be eligible to apply for a Parent visa, which will allow you to live in the UK to provide care for them. If you are eligible to apply for a UK Family visa as a partner or spouse, however, you must do so instead of applying as a parent.

    To be eligible for the Parent visa, your child must be under 18 at the time of your application and must not be living independently. Additionally, you as the parent must fulfil a number of requirements. You must prove that you have sole or shared parental responsibility for your child.

    If the parental responsibility is shared, the other parent must not be your partner and must have UK citizenship or sufficient residency status. Moreover, you must provide evidence of having an active role in your child’s upbringing with recent government, school, court or medical documentation.

    A successful application will entitle you to live and work in the UK for 2 years and 9 months, with extensions available.

    Our immigration team has helped hundreds of people secure a family visa in the UK. Let us help you too. Contact Us

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      Child Visa

      The UK Child visa is designed to allow dependent children from Australia to live with and be under the care of their parent(s) in the UK. If a parent has indefinite leave to remain in the UK or proof of permanent residence, the child may not need a family visa and can apply to settle in the UK directly.

      To be eligible for a Child visa, the applicant must be under the age of 18, receive financial support from their parent(s), live with their parent(s) (unless studying full time away from home), and finally, they must not be married or in a civil partnership.

      The child’s parent must be applying or have applied as a partner or parent (with sole parental responsibility). Children over the age of 18 can be included in their parent’s application as dependents if they already have permission to stay in the UK from when they were under 18.

      Adult Dependent Visa

      Australian citizens that require long-term care from a relative in the UK can apply for the Adult Dependent Visa only if the care cannot be provides in Australia.

      The UK-based relative must be either your parent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister. Applicants must be able to prove that they need long-term care due to illness, disability, or age, and that such care is not available or affordable to them in their country. Additionally, applicants must be over 18 in order to apply.

      Australian applicants must demonstrate that their UK relative can accommodate and care for them for either the duration of the relative’s permission to stay or for 5 years if the relative is a British citizen or settled.

      The duration of stay that you are entitled to with this visa is unlimited if your UK-based relative is British, Irish, or settled in the UK. If your family member has pre-settled or protection status, you can stay in the UK as long as your family member remains there, but you’ll have to apply to extend or settle when they do.

      UK Family Visa Fees

      Application fees for the UK Family visa vary depending on who you’re joining in the UK and how you intend on applying:

      Apply outside the UK Apply inside the UK
      Cost to join your partner, parent or child £1,846 £1,048
      Cost for each dependent added to your application £1,846 per person £1,048 per person

      If you are applying for an Adult Dependent visa, you’ll pay £404 if your relative has temporary protection status and you are applying from outside of the UK. The cost is £1,048 if you are applying from inside the UK. If your relative does not possess any form of protection status, it costs £3,250 if applying from outside of the UK, and £1,048 if applying from inside the UK.

      You will also have to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your application. This usually costs around £1,035, but can vary depending on your visa and circumstances.

      UK Family Visa Application Process

      1. Prove Your Identity: You’ll either need to provide biometric information at a visa application centre or use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document. You’ll also need to create or sign into your UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account.
      2. Start Your Application: Applications for UK Family visas take place online and require that you submit all of the relevant information and documentation for your visa category, as well as pay the application fees and healthcare surcharge.
      3. Decision Timeline: A decision on your application is usually made within 24 weeks if you are applying from outside of the UK. If you’re applying from inside the UK, processing times can vary from 8 weeks to 12 months depending on the application. Regardless of where you are applying from, you may be able to pay a fee in order to receive a decision sooner.
      4. Successful Application: If your visa application is successful, you’ll receive a biometric residence permit or a digital immigration status, depending on how you applied.

      Family Visa to Permanent Residency in the UK

      For Australian family visa holders in the UK, there are specific routes that can lead to permanent residency, officially known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Here are the common routes to ILR for family visa holders:

      Partner or Spouse

      Eligibility: After living in the UK for 5 years on a partner visa, you can apply for ILR.

      Requirements: You must prove that your relationship is genuine and subsisting, meet the minimum income threshold, have no breaches of immigration laws, and pass the Life in the UK Test and an English language test at B1 level or higher.


      Eligibility: Parents can apply for ILR after living in the UK for 5 years on a parent visa, provided they continue to meet all the eligibility criteria, including having sole responsibility for the child or access rights.

      Requirements: Similar to partners, passing the Life in the UK Test and meeting the English language requirement are necessary.


      Eligibility: Children can apply for ILR if they are already in the UK and living with their parent(s) who are either British citizens, or hold ILR. The route and timing can vary depending on their visa category and age.

      Requirements: The child must not be leading an independent life, be married, or have formed their own independent family unit.

      Adult Dependent

      Eligibility: Adult dependent relatives of those settled in the UK can apply for ILR after living in the UK for a continuous period, typically 5 years, showing they have been continuously dependent on their UK-based family member.

      Requirements: They must have remained dependent on their family member for care, which they cannot get in their home country, and meet all other immigration rules.

      General Requirements

      Continuous Residence: You must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months during the qualifying period.

      Life in the UK Test: All applicants aged 18 to 65 must pass this test, demonstrating knowledge of British life and the English language.

      UK family visas can be complex. Allow our immigration team to help you. Contact Us

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        The Rights And Benefits Of UK Family Visa Holders

        Family visa holders in the UK enjoy various rights including the ability to work, access education for children and adults, and use National Health Service (NHS) facilities (provided the Immigration Health Surcharge is paid). While they generally cannot access public funds, there are exceptions based on specific conditions.

        Rights to work and study are complemented by protections under UK law, including employment rights and anti-discrimination laws.

        Integration into British society is supported through access to community and social services, helping family visa holders adjust and participate fully in UK life.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        At Total Law, our expertise in immigration law uniquely equips us to guide individuals through the intricate process of applying for a UK Family visa as an Australian citizen.

        We provide tailored consultations to address each individual’s specific needs and concerns. Our services encompass a wide range of assistance, from clarifying eligibility criteria and assisting with document preparation, to advising on the financial aspects of the application.

        For further assistance and to discuss how we can help with your UK Family visa application, contact us online or give us a call on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Yes, provided that both you and your partner or spouse can fulfil all of the necessary requirements and provide all of the correct documentation for a Partner or Spouse visa.

                  Yes, provided you meet the eligibility criteria for the Family Visa. However, visitors and those on short-term visas usually cannot switch in-country and may need to apply from their home country. Exceptions exist for fiancés and proposed civil partners under certain conditions.