FAQs: Family Immigration

Please note that the above questions and answers have been prepared from the emails, telephone calls and actual cases that we have dealt and have therefore not provided any names and addresses in order to keep client confidentiality.

Question:
I want to invite my mother who is a widow of 63 years of age to join me as my dependant in the UK. I am here on Tier 1 General visa and am completing my five year stay in the UK soon. What is the procedure?

Answer:
Please note that as you are not settled in the UK, you cannot  yet invite your mother to the UK as your elderly dependant. This Immigration Rule is only for those who are settled in the UK and have parents who requires the elderly parent to show they require long-term personal care of the relative in the UK as a result of age, illness and disability and that that care is not available in their home country, or if it is that it is not affordable. We would advise you to complete your five years in the UK and apply for your ILR before inviting your mother to come to the UK as your dependant.  We strongly advise you to take professional advice before making the application.

Question:
I am on a Tier 1 (General) visa and living in the UK for the last 2 years. I am divorced from my husband and have got two children under the age of 18 years residing with my ex-husband. I would like my children to join me in the UK. What is the procedure?

Answer:
Apart from the standard requirements of a visa application, you need to establish that you have ‘sole responsibility’ for the upbringing of your children.  In view of the information you have provided, that you have resided in the UK for two years, divorced your husband and that your children are residing with their father, it is clear that you do not have sole responsibility for the upbringing of your children.  Your children however could come to the UK in other immigration categories such as a visit or student visa.

Question:
I am a British Citizen and would like to invite my fiancée to come to the UK to meet my family but we have not yet planned to get married. What is the procedure?

Answer:
As you do not yet have definite plans to  marry, your fiancée should not make a fiancée  visa application at this stage. She should apply for a visit visa from the British Embassy in her country. Please note that she cannot switch to a fiancée visa whilst in the UK and she would have to return to her home country to apply. You would need to show good reasons why she wants to come to the UK, and that she has commitments to return to in her home country after the visit to the UK.

Question:
I came on a spouse visa and entered the UK in November 2012. I lived together with my husband in the UK since that time. Unfortunately my husband was diagnosed with cancer and he died in April 2013. I do not wish to go back to my country.  Is there any application that I can make to stay here in the UK?

Answer:
Yes. You can apply for ILR in the UK under the bereaved spouses provision of the Immigration Rules. Once you have ILR, you can apply for naturalization after a total of five years residence in the UK provided you fulfil the other requisites for naturalization as well.

Question:
I am from Belarus and am in a relationship with my partner who is a British Citizen. We have been living together for more than 6 years in a ‘relationship akin to marriage’. My partner does not wish to return to the UK. Can I make an unmarried partner application?

Answer:
If your partner is not willing to relocate to the UK, then it is not possible for you to make an application as an unmarried partner of a British Citizen. However, if he agrees to move to the UK, you can apply for entry clearance as an unmarried partner.  You would need to provide good evidence of your relationship and cohabitation covering at least the last 2 years. Please note that this is not a straightforward application and you should seek professional advice.

Question:
I am an international student and have recently undertaken a Muslim marriage in the UK with my fiancée who is a British Citizen. Is it possible for me to obtain a visa from here?

Answer:
Please note that apart from a church marriage, no other religious ceremony is yet considered to constitute a valid marriage in the UK.  You no longer need permission from the Home Office to get married and you can give notice to a marriage registrar to get married in the UK. The Muslim marriage is therefore not a legally valid marriage in the UK and you cannot make any application on that basis. You would have to wait until you have conducted a civil marriage ceremony and then apply to the Home Office for further leave to remain as the spouse of a British citizen.

Question:
I am going back to the UK to start a job of £17,000 a year salary. I have savings of £16,000. My wife intends to apply for her visa shortly after I leave for the UK and join me later. Do I meet the financial requirements? We do not have any children.

Answer:
You will need to show an annual income of £18,600 in the twelve months prior to the application.  You will need to provide the UKBA specified evidence (you would need to show 12 months’ worth of pay slips from your UK job and previous job overseas, amongst other evidence).  You can take into account savings (that have been held for 6 months) but you need at least £16,000 before you can count savings and then you need 2.5 times the income shortfall on top of the £16,000.  You would therefore need savings of £20,000 (2.5 x £1,600 plus £16,000) in order to meet the income requirements.  There may be other ways you can meet the financial requirements and we would need to know the full circumstances before we could properly advise. Please note: there is an ongoing court case regarding the legality of the Home Office’s financial requirements for spouse visas, we therefore strongly advise that you seek professional advice.

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