In today’s globalised world, many people live far away from their loved ones for work, to study overseas or for romance.
But there often comes a time when they want to be reunited with their families, which usually means someone applying for a visa.
In the year ending March 2020, there were 56,908 visas granted for family reasons in the UK. Partner visas were the most common category with 40,784 visas issued. The remaining visas were for children and other dependents of UK residents and citizens.
For people outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland looking to join family in the UK, there are four main visa routes to consider.
The right visa will depend on your relationship to the family member in the UK. And your own personal circumstances, such as age, health and employment status.
For this article, we’re going to focus on dependent adult relatives by looking at who is eligible for this category and how to apply.
As we get older, many of us end up caring for loved ones, like parents, siblings, sons or daughters. But this can become difficult if you live in another country.
For British citizens, and those with settled status, permanent residence, refugee status or humanitarian protection, there is the option to bring dependent adult relatives to live with you in the UK. As long you meet the requirements.
To be eligible to apply, you need:
The reason for a family member to need care and support could be due to illness, age or a disability. You will also need evidence that this care can’t be provided in their own country. Or that it’s unaffordable for you.
The Dependent Adult Relative Visa is the most expensive application in the family visa category.
To apply from outside of the UK, it costs £3,250. To apply from inside the UK, it costs £1,033. Then there is the healthcare surcharge to consider and a fee of £19.20 to provide biometric information (fingerprints and photograph).
The amount of time it takes to get a decision will depend on where you are when you apply.
This should be taken into consideration before starting the application process. Especially if the family member needs urgent care.
However, if you’re in the UK and you need a quick decision, you can pay an extra £800 for a priority service.
Although it might be expensive to apply for this visa, it’s a generous category when it comes to the amount of time the visa holder can stay in the country.
Once a visa is granted, dependent adult relatives are given unlimited leave to remain in the UK. There is also the option to apply for settled status after five years.
The Dependent Adult Relative Visa is just one way to join family in the UK. If you’re from outside of the EEA and Switzerland and don’t need long-term care and support, there are other routes that might be suitable.
Then there is the Parent Visa for people that want to join children in the UK. This is often used by families following the breakdown of a relationship or marriage.
And the Dependent Children Visa is for children under the age of 18 that want to join a parent already living in the UK. Again, this is useful for families following a divorce.
As with many things in life, planning to move abroad to join family, or to bring family from overseas to join you in the UK is a big decision. But with the right information and advice, the application process can be made easier.
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