Family visas: apply from outside the UK

3. Eligibility

To apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa, you must be from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Your partner or family member must have one of the following:

  • British citizenship
  • settlement in the UK
  • asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

You must also prove that:

  • you’re 18 or over, unless you’re applying as a child
  • your relationship to your family member is genuine and recognised in the UK, eg your marriage is legal in your country
  • you intend to continue living with your family member or partner in the UK after you apply (unless you’re a parent who has access to the child)
  • you and your family will have an adequate place to live in the UK
  • you have a good knowledge of English if you’re 18 or over - unless you’re applying as an adult dependent relative

Your application might be refused if, for example, you’ve:

  • got a criminal record in the UK or in another country
  • provided false or incomplete information to the Home Office

Read the full guidance on refusals.

Joining your partner

You must prove that you and your partner are 18 or over and in a genuine relationship.

You must be one of the following:

  • married or civil partners
  • living together in a relationship for 2 years
  • engaged to be married or to become civil partners

You must prove that any previous relationships you or your partner had are permanently broken down.

You must also meet the financial requirement of:

  • £18,600 per year if you’re applying only for yourself
  • £22,400 per year for you and one child
  • £2,400 per year for each additional child

You won’t need to prove you have this money if you or your partner get certain disability benefits or Carer’s Allowance, but you’ll need to adequately accommodate and support yourselves and any dependants.

You’re engaged

You must prove that you plan to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK.

If you or your partner has been married or in a civil partnership with someone else before, then you’ll need to provide proof that the relationship has ended when you apply. This could be:

You won’t be able to work during your engagement.

Bringing your children

Your children must be under 18.

You must name your children on your application, but you’ll need to apply for them separately.

Joining your parents

You must be under 18 and all of the following must apply:

  • you’ll be living with your parent or parents
  • you’re not married, in a civil partnership or living an independent life
  • you’ll be supported and accommodated adequately without using public funds, or you meet the financial requirement

Coming to look after your child

Your child must be under 18, living in the UK, and either a British citizen or settled in the UK.

You must prove that either:

  • you’re the only parent of the child and you’re the only person who’s responsible for them (you have ‘sole responsibility’)
  • your child lives permanently with another parent or carer who’s British or settled in the UK and not your partner, and you want to help raise them (you’ll need to prove you have access to your child in person, either agreed with the other parent or carer, or by a court order)

You must also:

  • prove you’re taking an active role in the child’s upbringing
  • be able to support and accommodate yourself without claiming public funds

If you’re the partner of the child’s parent you must apply to join as a partner.

Coming to be cared for - you’re an adult dependent relative

You must be dependent on a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter who is living permanently in the UK.

You must prove that:

  • you need long-term care to do everyday personal and household tasks because of illness, disability or your age
  • the care you need is not available or affordable in the country you live in
  • the person you’ll be joining in the UK will be able to support, accommodate and care for you without claiming public funds for at least 5 years
  • you’re 18 or over