Family visas: apply, extend or switch

The Home office have recently issued guidance pertaining to applying, extending or switching family visas.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 01 April 2021)

What is a UK family visa?

UK family visas refer to a type of UK entry issued to those who wish to live with family members in the UK for more than a 6-month period.

What are the UK family visa types?

There are numerous UK family visa types which are dependent on your personal circumstance. These include:

  • Parent Visa
  • Spouse Visa
  • Child Visa
  • Adult being cared for by a relative
  • Applying based on your private life

Can I apply for a UK family visa from outside the UK?

If you currently live outside the UK, you can make an application for a family visa to live with your:

  • spouse or partner
  • fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
  • child
  • parent
  • relative who’ll provide long-term care for you

Can I extend my UK family visa?

If you are already in the UK on a family visa, you can make an application to extend your stay with your family. Extensions can be made at anytime before your current permission expires and if you are extension requires you to stay with the same family member, a maximum of 28 days from your current stay will be included on your new visa.

For ‘indefinite leave to remain’, you must live in the UK for an allotted time before you are eligible for settlement.

Can I switch to UK family visa?

In instances where you came to the UK on a different visa, you might have the option to switch to a family visa to stay with your:

  • parent
  • spouse or partner
  • child

How much does it cost for a UK family visa?

Due to the different options available, the prices for each application will vary. For more information, please get in touch with us.

How long does it take for a decision on my UK family visa application?

Decisions outside the UK are usually made within 12 weeks, whereas decisions within the UK are usually made within 8 weeks. Additionally, if you choose to use the ‘super priority service’, decisions are usually granted:

  • 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

Please be advised that the above information is not exhaustive as there are more requirements and points to consider.

For more information provided by Bolton’s leading Immigration Solicitors on Family visas: apply, extend or switch, send an email to to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

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