Non EEA nationals may come to the UK through a variety of visas and immigration UK services. Many of these, such as the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, UK Work permits and UK business visas are based on an applicant’s business acumen or an offer of employment from a UK based company. However, the UK also offers a range of visa services which allow foreign nationals to relocate to the UK based upon their family connections with a UK permanent resident or a UK Citizen.
Visit the online assessment area now to find out whether you qualify for immigration to UK and to begin your application.
UK Marriage Visa
A UK marriage visa allows the husband, wife or civil partner of a UK resident to join them permanently in the UK. Often referred to as a spouse visa, this type of UK family visa service is granted for a two year period. Once this initial grant has been completed, the visa applicant may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR), and after a third year it may be possible to undergo the process of British naturalisation to become a UK citizen. Like most UK family immigration routes a marriage visa allows the applicant to begin living and working in the UK upon arrival. The candidate may seek and undertake employment without restriction and without the need to apply for a UK work permit.
Applying for a UK Marriage Visa – Eligibility Criteria
In the UK visas of this kind require the applicant to be aged 16 or over and the sponsoring UK resident to be aged 18 or over. Parties must be legally married to one another, they must have met each other before the application and they must plan to live in the UK together. They must have adequate accommodation and funds to support themselves in the UK without recourse to public funds. Dependent children of the marriage, i.e. those who are less than 18 years of age will also be granted entry clearance to the UK in the form of a dependency visa.
UK De Facto Visa
The UK De Facto visa, often referred to as a UK unmarried partner visa functions in a similar manner to the marriage visa. However, since it applies to couple who are not married, there is a greater burden of proof in demonstrating that the relationship is a long term one and that it is the genuine reason for immigrating to the UK.
Like a marriage visa, unmarried partner visas bring all the benefits of a family immigration route which means that no job offer is required to begin working in the UK and that no points based assessment must be undertaken. All the eligibility requirements in this category pertain to demonstrating the relationship between the parties involved. De Facto visas are issued for a two year period after which, providing the requirements of the category continue to be met, candidates may apply for permanent residency in the UK.
UK Unmarried Partner Visa – Eligibility Requirements
The Applicant must be aged 16 or over and the sponsoring partner must be a UK citizen or UK permanent resident aged 18 or over. Any previous marriage involving either party must be permanently over.
Cohabitation is one of the key requirements of this UK visa category and visa applications must be able to show that the applicant and sponsor have been cohabiting as part of their relationship for a minimum of two years. Furthermore, the two individuals must plan to live together permanently in the UK.
UK Fiance Visa
The UK Fiance Visa is specifically intended to allow a UK citizen or permanent resident to bring their fiance to the UK in order to marry. Unlike a marriage visa or De Facto visa, no burden of proof exists under this category and parties do not have to show that their relationship has already existed for a specified period.
However, the stipulation that parties must marry within six months of arriving in the UK is integral to this visa route and the applicant will only be allowed to remain in the UK on a permanent basis once the marriage has taken place. Once this is achieved a two year marriage visa will be issued under which the marriage visa rules outlined above will apply. In addition, unlike a marriage visa or an unmarried partner visa, working in the UK is not permitted until the marriage has taken place and a marriage visa is issued.
UK Dependency Visa
UK Dependency visas apply to a broad range of relatives who may immigrate to the UK sponsored by a UK citizen or permanent resident. A successful applicant will be granted the freedom to live and work in the UK and after 5 years in the United Kingdom they may be able to pursue a grant of UK Citizenship.
Dependency visas do not have a specific time limit imposed on them and applicants are granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR) on the strength of their familial ties to the country. However, ILR can be withdrawn and it is important to note that periods of more than two years spent outside the UK could lead to the revocation of an individual’s ILR.
Applying for a UK Dependency Visa – Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must be related to their sponsor in one of the following ways:
- A Parent or Grandparent aged 65 or over, on in exceptional circumstances under the age of 65.
- A child, sibling, aunt or uncle over the age of 18 who is living alone and mainly dependent upon relatives who are settled in the UK.
- In all cases it must be shown that the applicant is financially dependent upon the sponsoring relative and that they can be financially supported without recourse to public funds. It must also be demonstrated that the applicant has no other relative in their country of residence who could offer them financial support.
The UK dependency visa also applies to the spouse or partner of people immigrating to the UK through other work or business based visa services such as the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) entrepreneur visa, innovator visa or a UK work permit. However the privileges afforded to such dependents for example the right to work in the UK will vary depending upon the visa status of the principle applicant.
UK Ancestry Visa
UK Ancestry visas allow a Commonwealth citizen to immigrate to the UK based upon their historical family ties with the United Kingdom. Like a UK dependency visa application it permits the successful applicant to live and work in the UK . As a family based immigration service, the UK ancestry visa does not require applicants to have a job offer from a UK based company and no investment is necessary. The UK ancestral visa is granted for five years and beyond this, proving that the applicant has spent five continuous years living and working in the UK, and are employed or can show their intention to become employed, they may apply for ILR.
Applying for a UK Ancestry Visa - Eligibility Criteria
All applicants must be at least 17 years of age and must be citizens of a Commonwealth country. Applicants must have a grandparent, alive or deceased, who was born either in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, although applicants with a grandparent who was born in the Republic of Ireland before 1922 will also qualify.
A range of documentary evidence will be required as part of a UK ancestry visa application, including the applicant’s birth and marriage certificates as well as those of the ancestor whom the application is based upon.
Where an applicant or one of their parents was adopted, they may still be able to apply for this type of visa for the UK. However it will be necessary to provide reasonable evidence of the adoption.
Living and Working in the UK
Applicants must intend to undertake employment in the UK and must be able to support themselves and any dependents joining them. The spouse or unmarried partner of a successful applicant will be issued with an Ancestry Dependency visa which, given the permanent nature of the principle applicant's visa status, will permit them to work in the UK.
Visit the Global Visas online assessment area now to set your UK visa application in motion. Just take a few moments to complete one of our online assessment forms and one of our specialist immigration consultants will contact you.