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UK Family Visas

If you are a UK or Irish 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. 

Family visa routes

There are three main types of family visas: UK partner or spouse visas, children’s visas and visas for adult dependants.

A UK spouse or partner visa allows an individual to come to the UK from abroad to join their husband or wife, civil partner or unmarried partner, or fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner for an initial set period. Their UK-based partner or spouse is the sponsor for the application and has to meet certain requirements.

After the initial visa period of two and a half years, you can apply for an extension and will potentially be eligible for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after five years in this category, subject to the relevant requirements being met.

Our team can advise you on your visa eligibility and visa requirements, and help you and your partner through the process.

Find out more on our dedicated UK Partner and Spouse Visas page.

There are many different scenarios that could potentially require applying for a children’s visa or UK passport for children who are part of your family unit.  For instance, you may be now settled in the UK and looking for your children to join you here, or you are a British citizen living abroad now wanting to return to the UK with your children born or adopted abroad.

Our experienced immigration team can advise you on the options for your specific situation and help you negotiate the UK immigration system and process to obtain a visa or, in certain circumstances, a passport for children who are part of your family unit.

Find out more on our dedicated Visas and British Passports for Children page. 

The parent, grandparent or other dependant of a British or Irish citizen can apply to enter the UK on an adult dependent relative visa. The UK-based family member sponsors their relative’s application and can also apply on their behalf.  This visa route is also open to the adult dependants of a UK-based person with refugee leave or humanitarian protection status, and dependants of someone who have limited leave to remain in the UK under Appendix EU.

There are stringent visa requirements for applicants to meet and, unlike many other visas, there is also a significant element of subjective decision-making in the Home Office assessment. Because of this, it is very important to ensure you have the strongest case in place for your application. Our specialist team can talk you through the requirements and support you throughout the application process.

Find out more on our dedicated Visas for Grandparents, Parents and Other Dependent Relatives page. 

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.

We offer a fixed fee Initial Consultation Service. At this advice session, we will discuss your situation and advise you on your visa options, eligibility and application process, and then provide a follow-up advice summary email. We can also take care of all aspects of the application and act as your representative throughout the process with our Representative Service package.   

In addition, working closely with colleagues in our Family LawTax Law and Property teams, we can help 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 to book an initial consultation appointment, or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you.