Apply for, Extend or Switch a Family Visa

Family visas: apply, extend or switch

You need a family visa to live with a family member in the UK for more than 6 months.
 
If you are outside the UK
You can apply for a family visa to live with your:
  • spouse or partner
  • fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
  • child
  • parent
  • relative who will provide long-term care for you
If you are visiting the UK for 6 months or less, check if you need a Standard Visitor visa or Marriage Visitor visa.

If you are in the UK

You can apply to extend your stay with your family member if you are already in the UK on a family visa.
If you came to the UK on a different visa, you might be able to switch to a family visa to stay with your:
  • spouse or partner
  • child
  • parent
You might be able to apply to stay on the basis of your private life if you have lived in the UK for many years already.

When you can apply to extend or switch

You can extend or switch at any time before your current permission to stay in the UK expires.
You must live in the UK for a certain amount of time before you are eligible for settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) - check how much time you need before you extend your visa.
If you are extending to stay with the same family member, you will only get up to 28 days left on your current stay added to your new visa.

Fees

How much it costs depends on how you apply.
 
Your situation - Joining your partner, parent or child
Apply outside the UK - £1,523
Apply in the UK - £1,033
 
Your situation - Each dependant added to your application
Apply outside the UK - £1,523 each person
Apply in the UK - £1,033 each person
 
Your situation - Adult who needs to be looked after by a relative
Apply outside the UK - £3,250
Apply in the UK - £1,033
 
Let your bank know that a large amount of money will be coming out of your account - otherwise it might cancel your payment.

Healthcare surcharge

You might also need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

If you are applying to extend or switch in the UK

You will need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

Get a faster decision on your application

If you are applying from the UK, you may be able to pay an extra £800 for the super priority service to get a faster decision.
You cannot use the super priority service if you are applying as an adult coming to be cared for by a relative.

Once you have got your decision letter, your biometric residence permit will take up to 10 working days to arrive.

How long it takes

If you apply outside the UK a decision will usually be made within 12 weeks.
If you apply in the UK a decision will usually be made within 8 weeks of your application date if you use the standard service.
If you use the super priority service a decision will usually be made:
  • by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday
  • 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend
Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.
It might take longer if your application is complex, for example you:

Other ways you can stay

You were the victim of domestic abuse or your partner died

You might be able to apply to settle in the UK if you had permission to stay in the UK as a partner when either:
  • you were the victim of domestic abuse
  • your partner died

Your family member has refugee status or humanitarian protection

You might be able to apply for ‘family reunion’ to join a partner or parent who has either:
  • refugee status in the UK
  • humanitarian protection in the UK

Your family member is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland

If you are outside the UK, you can apply for a family permit if your family member is from the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
Your family member will probably need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.
 
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021.

When you cannot get a family visa

In some circumstances you cannot apply for, or switch to, a family visa.

Your family member has a work visa or student visa

You cannot apply for a family visa if your family member is in the UK temporarily on a work visa or student visa.
You can apply to stay with them as a dependant instead.

You have a visitor visa or a visa for 6 months or less

You will usually need to leave the UK to apply for a family visa if either:
  • you have permission to be in the UK as a visitor
  • your visa is for 6 months or less
However, you might be able to switch to a family visa in the UK if you have either:
See Also:
For Further Information: