Who is eligible for the UK Family Visa?
US citizens who are family members of British citizens and those who have settled status in the UK are eligible for the UK Family Visa. You should apply for the UK Family Visa if you intend to stay in the UK for longer than six months.
If you are a US citizen wanting to apply for the Family Visa, you need to meet one of the following criteria:
- The family member you wish to join in the UK is a British citizen
- The family member you wish to join in the UK has Indefinite Leave to Remain or settled status in the UK
- The family member you wish to join in the UK has refugee status or is under humanitarian protection in Britain.
There are several types of UK Family Visas depending on what your relationship with the person based in the UK is. Each of them comes with different requirements. The main Family Visas you can apply for are:
- Spouse Visa
- Child Dependent Visa
- Adult Dependent Visa
- Unmarried Partner Visa
What is the Spouse Visa UK?
The Spouse Visa UK allows US citizens to come to the UK to live with their spouse who holds British Citizenship or settled status. If your application for the Spouse Visa UK is successful, you will be able to legally live and work in the UK. At first, your visa will be valid for 33 months, if you are applying from the US, or for 30 months if you are applying from within the UK. After this period it is possible to apply for a visa extension.
If you want to apply for the Spouse Visa UK, you can complete and submit your application from the US. Nevertheless, you will have to come in person to have your biometrics registered. Then, you will need to pay application fees and submit the required supporting documents.
For your application to be successful, you have to meet the following visa requirements for US citizens:
- You and your partner are 18 years old or older
- Your marriage is legitimate in the eyes of the UK authorities
- You can provide evidence showing that you and your partner intend to stay and live together after your arrival in the UK
- You can show that you and your partner will have adequate accommodation after you arrive in the UK
- You can meet the financial requirements.
To meet the financial requirements and be eligible for the Spouse Visa, the person living in the UK needs to have an income of at least £18,600 per year before tax. For the first dependent child that is to come from the US, the person needs to earn an additional £3,800. For any other children after the first one, an additional £2,400 is required.
What is the Child Dependent Visa UK?
The Dependent Child Visa UK allows US citizens who intend to join their partners in the UK to bring their children with them. If your application is successful, your children will be able to live and study in the UK for as long as the visa have is valid.
If, however, you are a UK national applying to bring your child who is a US citizen to the UK, they will automatically be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain after their arrival.
The main requirement for the Child Dependent Visa UK is for at least one parent to be based in the UK. Additional requirements are:
- The child is younger than 18 years old
- The child is not living an independent life
- The child is not married and does not have their own family
- You are able to financially support the child after they arrive in the UK, without relying on public funds
- You can prove that you and the child are related.
If you are a US citizen applying to join your partner who is a British national or has settled status in the UK and you want to bring your child with you, it is also necessary to prove that taking care of the child is your sole responsibility.
The visa application fee for those applying from the US is £1464. For those applying from within the UK, the fee is £993. It is possible to use the premium service when applying from the UK. Then, the fee is £1583.
What is the Adult Dependent Visa UK?
The Adult Dependent Visa UK is granted to US citizens who require personal care from their relatives permanently living in the UK. This visa is awarded only if because of age, illness, or disability, the US citizen cannot take care of themselves on their own.
The additional requirements that need to be met for the person to be eligible for the visa include:
- You are 18 years old or older
- You are a parent, grandparent, sibling, or child of someone who has British Citizenship, settled status or is under humanitarian protection in the UK.
- You are able to prove that you cannot get the care you require in the US
- You can prove that the person you intend to join in the UK will be able to support you financially
- You can prove that you will have adequate accommodation after you arrive in the UK.
To apply for the Adult Dependent Visa UK, you need to be in the US. You can submit the application on the GOV UK website. In addition to filling in the application form, you will also need to submit the following documentation:
- Evidence showing that you are related to the person you want to join in the UK
- Evidence that you need long-term care because of age, illness, or disability
- Evidence that you cannot get the assistance you require in the US.
The fee for the Adult Dependent Visa UK is £3,250. If the person you want to join in the UK is under humanitarian protection, however, the fee is £388.
What is the Unmarried Partner Visa UK?
The Unmarried Partner Visa UK allows US citizens who are in a committed relationship with a British national or someone who has settled status in the UK to join them. Both heterosexual and homosexual couples can apply for the visa as long as they can prove that their relationship is genuine and that they intend to stay and live together in the UK permanently.
US citizens applying for the Unmarried Partner Visa need to provide evidence that one of the following statements applies to their UK-based partner:
- They have British or Irish citizenship
- They hold Indefinite Leave to Remain or settled status in the UK
- They are a citizen of a member state of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and were residents of the UK before 1 January 2021
- They are under humanitarian protection in the UK or have refugee status here.
Additional requirements for US citizens wanting to apply for the Unmarried Partner Visa include:
- You and your partner are 18 years old or older
- You and your partner are not related
- You and your partner have a genuine and ongoing relationship
- You and your partner have met each other in person and preferably have lived together
- You and your partner have no ongoing relationships with other people.
For those applying from the US or another country that is not the UK, the application fee is £1,523. You will also need to pay £1,872 for the Immigration Health Surcharge. In most cases, the application processing time is between 10 – 12 weeks. If you need to know the outcome sooner, you can apply for the priority service that costs £500 and allows you to receive the decision within 30 days. If your application is urgent, it is possible to pay £800 and have it processed within just 24 hours.
Our dedicated USA and UK immigration lawyers know how important family is and they can help you apply for any type of Family Visas. They will help you gather all the necessary evidence and will guide you through each step of the application. They will also offer personalized legal advice and answer all your questions.
Thanks to our team, you can avoid mistakes that could delay your application and you can make sure that you submitted all the required evidence. This way you can increase the chances of your application being successful. Your immigration lawyer can also write a Letter of Representation, addressing the Home Office, which can further enhance your application.
Our outstanding team of immigration lawyers offers high-quality services and helps clients achieve their goals. Contact our friendly advisors today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how they can support you with your Family Visa application.
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