Settlement: refugee or humanitarian protection

4. Family reunion

Your partner or child can apply to join or stay with you in the UK if:

  • you were separated when you were forced to leave your country
  • you’ve been given asylum or 5 years’ humanitarian protection but don’t yet have British citizenship

Your partner or child can’t apply if:

  • you haven’t received a decision on your asylum application
  • you’re under 18

If their application is successful, your family members will be allowed to come to or stay in the UK with the same permission (‘leave’) as you.


Your partner and any children must meet the following requirements.


Your partner is someone you’re in a genuine relationship with. You must be able to prove one of the following:

  • you’re married
  • you’re in a civil partnership

If you’re not married or in a civil partnership, your partner can apply if:

  • you were given refugee status or humanitarian protection on or after 9 October 2006
  • you’ve lived together in a relationship like in a marriage or civil partnership for 2 years and you’ve been given asylum or humanitarian protection after 9 October 2006

You and your partner must intend to live together and continue your relationship after they apply.


Your child is:

  • under the age of 18
  • going to live with you and your partner
  • going to be supported by you without using public funds
  • not married or in a civil partnership
  • not in full-time employment

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for family reunion.

You’ll also have to complete application form VAF4A with Appendix 4.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of your application.

Cuba and North Korea

You can’t apply online if you’re applying from one of these countries.

Download application form VAF4A with Appendix 4.

Read the guidance on filling in the form and the instructions for:

Apply in the UK

Your partner or child can apply to stay with you in the UK if all the following are true:

  • you have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • they’re making their first application to stay with you and they’re already in the UK
  • they can prove their relationship pre-dates your departure from your home country because of persecution

You must use form FLR(O) to apply if you have a residence card.

If you don’t have a residence card, apply in writing by letter or form FLR(O). Send the form or your letter to:

Complex Casework Directorate
Family Reunion
Admin Team
7th Floor
Capital Building
L3 9PP


There’s no fee for applying for family reunion for eligible family members.