Family isn’t an important thing – it’s everything. It’s where life begins and love never ends. Like branches on a tree, we may grow in different directions, but our roots remain as one. Together, we’re stronger. However, due to the reality of immigration laws, there are rules and procedures that must be followed before you can be legally reunited with your loved ones in the UK.
Here are a few things you need to know.
As the partner or parent of an applicant for a Family Reunion, you must either have refugee status or humanitarian protection within the UK. Family members must apply via the government’s visa website and are required to fill in the family settlement application form (VAF4A) and the accompanying Appendix 4.
Please be advised they are also required to get their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre.
For all applications family members must:
- apply for a visa, known as ‘entry clearance’, before they travel to the UK
- not have committed acts that fall within the exclusion clauses of the Refugee Convention, such as war crimes or non-political crimes
For spouses and civil partners:
- You must either be married to or the civil partner of the applicant
- The marriage or civil partnership must have occurred before you left your country of origin
- Both yourself and the applicant must intend to live permanently with each other and the marriage is subsisting
For children, they must:
- Be under the age of 18 at the date of application
- Not be leading an independent life, cannot be married or in a civil partnership, and must not have formed an independent family unit
- Have been part of your family unit at the time you left the country of origin. This means that they were born or conceived before you refugee fled your country of origin
As a minimum, the Home Office will require documents such as:
- Marriage / birth certificates
- DNA evidence – (optional)
- original letter from Home Office confirming the sponsor has leave and status as a refugee in the UK
For more information on Family Reunions, please come along to one of our drop in services. These are held on Mondays between 10am – 1:30pm (Bolton), and Fridays between 10am – 1:30pm (Preston). There is a £24 charge for the consultation.
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