Immigration rules state that you must have a ‘family of a settled person’ visa if you plan to join or stay with a spouse, partner or another family member in the UK. This applies if you come from Switzerland or a country not included in the European Economic Area (EEA) and you have a family member who is a permanent resident in Britain.
Is a ‘family of a settled person’ visa right for you?
If you are visiting family in Britain for six months or less you will not need this type of visa, although you may need another visa as a Family Visitor.
You can apply for the ‘family of a settled person’ visa if you want to join a parent, spouse or partner in the UK; if you want to be with family to be looked after; or if you want to be in Britain to care for your child.
In order to be eligible, you must have a family member or partner who is either a British citizen or is settled legally in the UK. They could also have humanitarian protection or asylum in Britain.
Immigration rules for applicants
There are a number of other criteria that you must satisfy in order to be eligible for the ‘family of a settled person’ visa. Applicants must be over 18 in order to make an adult application, for example, and you must have a recognised and genuine relationship with your family member or partner.
Other eligibility rules include having plans to stay living with your partner or family member, unless you are a parent with access rights, and having somewhere adequate to live whilst in Britain. The immigration rules also state that you must have a good command of English unless you are under 18 or you want to stay in the UK to be cared for by an adult family member.
There are various reasons why your application may be refused. These include having a criminal record or giving incomplete or false information.
Joining a partner: the immigration facts
In order to be eligible for this visa you must have lived with your partner for at least two years, be married or civil partners, or be engaged. There are also financial requirements that may have to be met.
If you are engaged you will have to prove that you have plans to become civil partners or marry within the first six months of being in the UK, and you will not be eligible to work whilst you are engaged.
Staying in the UK
Immigration rules state that once you have a ‘family of a settled person’ visa you can work, unless you are engaged, and you are eligible to study. You cannot get public funds.
It may be possible to extend this visa or apply to become a permanent resident of the UK once you are eligible. Read more about changing your immigration status to a permanent resident in our ‘Guide to ten-year long residence applications‘.