The UK offers a wide array of visas for businesses (such as the Tier 2 Visa), families and individuals. As you can imagine, the UK is a very popular destination for migrants and as such, has a visa system built to process all of these applications.
But, you may ask, how long will a Family Visa take to be processed in the UK?
In this article, we are going to take a look at the Family Visa application process and help you to gain an insight into how long an application is likely to take to be processed by UK Visas and Immigration.
What Is The Family Visa?
The Family Visa is a catch-all term for a variety of visas allowing you to either visit family members currently residing in the UK or move to the UK to stay with family members for the long-term.
The main visas under this term include:
Family Visit Visa – now superseded by the Standard Visitor Visa which allows a stay of up to 6 months in the UK for a variety of purposes (not just visiting family), but has strict exceptions such as not allowing you to work, etc.
Spouse Visa– is intended for those either coming to the UK with their partner or spouse or joining them at a later date. The visa is ideal for those who are in long-term relationships, marriages and Civil Partnerships.
Parental & Child Visas – if you are the parent or child of either someone with “settled status”, EU citizenship or someone with humanitarian or refugee status, you will be able to apply to join your family in the UK.
Fiancé Visa– for those who intend to get married in the UK, there is the Fiancé Visa. To qualify, you must be marrying someone with either “settled status”, an EU citizen or someone with humanitarian or refugee status. If you qualify (extensive eligibility criteria apply), you will be given 6 months entry clearance to the UK to get married. If you do get married in the UK, you will then be able to upgrade your visa to a Spouse Visa so you can remain in the country long-term.
How Do I Apply For A Family Visa?
Like nearly all of the UK’s visa applications these days, you will need to make an online application. Depending on which of the specific routes you will be using, you will need to provide various forms of identification and proof of eligibility – all of this will be made clear during the application process. Once your application has been accepted, you will need to wait for your application to be processed by UK Visas and Immigration. You may be asked at any stage to provide further information or evidence as to your eligibility. You may also be asked to attend an interview.
If you are accepted, you will need to provide biometric information (such as photographs and fingerprints) to be given a Biometric Residence Permit. The Biometric Residence Permit is your proof you have a valid visa in the UK and is vital to your stay. Depending on where you applied from, you will either receive your Biometric Residence Permit in the post (if you applied within the UK) or will collect it upon your arrival in the UK (if you applied from outside of the UK). It is vitally important you keep this document with you at all times to prove eligibility should it be required.
How Long Does It Take For A Family Visa Application To Be Processed?
The length a Family Visa takes to be processed will vary depending upon 2 main factors: your country of origin and the complexity of your case. For instance, if you are bringing a child or parent to the UK, this is likely to be processed much quicker than if you were bringing your spouse (due to the amount of evidence required). The standard wait time for a visa decision is between 8 and 12 weeks though as we said, this very much depends on the complexity of your particular case.
Cases such as upgrading a Fiancé Visa to a Spouse Visa are likely to be quick as you are already based in the UK. It is generally going to be the more complicated cases from outside of the UK, which take the longest to process. In the next section, we are going to take a look at ways to speed up the application process if you are looking to settle quickly in the UK.
Can I Speed Up The Application Process For A Family Visa?
Depending upon the specifics of your situation, you may be able to get a quicker decision on your visa than the standard wait time. If you are already based in the UK, there are various options for those looking to settle quickly, all of which will be explained during your application. Often, if you are looking to settle quickly, you will need to visit a processing centre (if you are in the UK) for a quick decision to be made. You will also have to pay a higher application feel to receive the preferential service.
If you are based outside of the UK, you may be able to pay for quick processing. Many countries such as the USA, Canada and Australia have the option for a quick decision. If you are based outside of the UK, your best option is to either contact us or your local British embassy for details of the services on offer to visa applicants.
Getting More Help
If you need additional help or information on the British visa system then please get in touch with our solicitors. Our expert team can provide up-to-the-minute information on wait times and visa processes to help you to make the most of your application. So get in touch today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team to see how we can help.
Article Submitted By Community Writer