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UK Family Visas

If you are a UK citizen or have settled status here, you may be looking to bring your spouse, partner or fiancé/e to join you here, or wanting your family or dependants to join you. Or you may be a foreign national wanting to join your family here in the UK from abroad. In all such cases, you will need to apply for a UK Family visa.

There are different types of visa routes for families and we can advise you on the appropriate option for your circumstances and support you through the application process.  

Frequently asked questions

Here we look at some commonly asked questions on family visa routes and the application process.

With the granting of a spouse visa, your husband or wife, civil partner or unmarried partner is legally entitled to come to the UK from abroad to join you. In effect, you sponsor them to enter the UK and the non-EEA national will be able to enter the UK for a period of 2.5 years.  After which, an extension will need to be applied for before potentially being eligible for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after five years in this category, subject to the relevant requirements being met.

You have to be a British citizen, have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence in the UK or have UK refugee status or humanitarian protection in order to qualify for the purposes of being a sponsor.

We can advise you on the requirements and your eligibility for such a visa and help you and your partner through the application process.

The application is submitted online to the Home Office. Provided you have your partner’s permission, you can submit the application on their behalf.  There are strict criteria you need to meet for the visa application and it is sensible to take legal advice to make sure you are meeting all the application requirements before the submission of the application online.

Thorntons’ expert immigration team can guide you through the visa demands and process, ensuring you are in the best position for your application.

Yes, you can as long as you meet the requirements. These criteria include:

  • Financial requirements
  • Relationship requirements
  • Accommodation requirements


At Thorntons, we can advise you on what you need to do to bring your child to the UK, the options open to you and how to go through the visa process.

An EEA Family Permit is an alternative to a Spousal visa. With this, an EEA national is able to sponsor their non-EEA family member. It does not have financial requirements, which the Spousal visa does, which makes it easier. However, it is available only on a very limited basis because of the Brexit transition period.

Our immigration specialists can keep you up to date with changing immigration permits and visas, and advise you on the best route for your family immigration needs.

You will need to gather supporting documents to prove you meet the UK family visa requirements. You will then have to submit your Family visa application online to the Home Office.

As part of the application, you will need to give biometrics information, which is your fingerprints and digital photograph. This can be taken at various authorised centres in the UK and abroad, and you will be told where once you have submitted your visa application. There are slightly different application arrangements depending on whether you are applying from in the UK or abroad.

You can find up-to-date information on application fees on the Home Office website.

Yes, you can. We recommend you take legal advice for any appeal, as there may be better options in your specific circumstances. 

At Thorntons, our specialist immigration solicitors will assess the situation and discuss your options with you, including the merits of any appeal. For example, it may be appropriate to re-submit your application rather than appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal, particularly if you are appealing from abroad where the re-submission of your application may be quicker to determine as opposed to waiting for an appeal hearing which involves a long process.

Yes. You can apply to extend your two and a half-year visa for a further two and a half years if you meet the criteria.

This can be a route to achieving settlement status, where you can live and work in the UK free from immigration control. Following your visa extension, you can then apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years in this category and the relevant requirements being met.

How can Thorntons help?

Our expert Immigration Law team have worked with many individuals and families over the years and have made almost every type of visa and nationality application imaginable, including immigration advice on family visits and challenging refusals to visa applications. We can advise on almost every type of immigration and visa issue that families face and we are experts in using human rights law and European free movement laws to reunite families forcibly separated by borders.

Working closely with colleagues in our Family Law, Tax Law and Property teams, we can assist you with all aspects of relocating to Scotland and the UK.  We can also assist when things are tough – such as by advising on the immigration implications following divorce, separation or death of a partner.

Call the Thorntons Immigration Law team on 03330 430350 to find out more about our immigration services, or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you.

How can Thorntons help?

Our expert Immigration Law team have worked with many individuals and families over the years and have made almost every type of visa and nationality application imaginable, including immigration advice on family visits and challenging refusals to visa applications. We can advise on almost every type of immigration and visa issue that families face and we are experts in using human rights law and European free movement laws to reunite families forcibly separated by borders.

Working closely with colleagues in our Family Law, Tax Law and Property teams, we can assist you with all aspects of relocating to Scotland and the UK.  We can also assist when things are tough – such as by advising on the immigration implications following divorce, separation or death of a partner.

Call the Thorntons Immigration Law team on 03330 430350 to find out more about our immigration services, or complete our enquiry form and we will contact you.

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