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Family visas (Spouse, Dependant, etc)

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UK Ancestry Visas


UK ancestry visas are for Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent who was born in the United Kingdom (UK), the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. This visa is also referred to as a British ancestry visa, or a UK patriality visa. If your grandparent was born in Ireland before 31 March 1922, the year of partition, you may also be eligible.




The UK ancestry visa will allow you to live and work freely without restriction in the UK for five years, based on your ancestral ties. This will allow you to take up employment or self-employment freely. It will also allow you to leave and re-enter the UK freely.


Eligibility requirements for the UK ancestry visa


Your grandparent can be from either side of your family. You may also be eligible for a UK ancestry visa if you are adopted, or if the parent through whom you are claiming ancestry was adopted.


The main criterion is that you are willing and able to work. It is advantageous, but not necessary, to have a firm offer of employment in the UK.


To qualify for a UK ancestry visa, you must also satisfy the following criteria:


o         You are a Commonwealth citizen,

o         you have a grandparent who was born in the UK,

o          you are 17 years of age or older, and

o         you are able to work and intent to seek employment or self-employment     in the UK.


You must prove your relationship to your ancestors, primarily in the form of birth certificates and marriage certificates. You must also be able to prove adoptions if you or the parent through whom you are claiming ancestry was adopted, by providing legal adoption papers.


Finally, you must be able to maintain and accommodate yourself and any dependants joining you adequately without turning to public funds. If you would like us to assist you in preparing a successful application, we will guide you through all your documentary evidence requirements.


Applying for a UK ancestry visa


If you wish to live in the UK based on an ancestry visa, then you must obtain entry clearance before travelling to the UK. Once we prepare your application, you will need to apply to the British Consular Post or British High Commission in the country of your usual residence or the country of your nationality for entry clearance based on ancestry. You may be required to undertake an interview.


A successful application will allow you to stay in the UK for an initial period of up to five years. After that, you will need to apply to extend your stay.


You will have to satisfy the entry clearance officer that there are no reasons to refuse you entry on the grounds of your character, your criminal records, or your behaviour. You will also have to satisfy the entry clearance officer that you fulfil the criteria listed above for an ancestry visa.


If you are currently in the UK on another type of visa, we can still prepare your application for you, but once it is complete you may be required to return to your home country to apply for entry clearance based on UK ancestry. There are exceptions to this general rule, which may allow you to change your current visa status to a UK ancestry visa from within the UK.


Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years


Many people hold a four-year ancestry visa. Others hold a five-year ancestry visa. If you are on a four-year ancestry visa, then you will need to extend your visa at the end of four years. You may be eligible for a further five-year visa extension.On completion of five years in the UK in the ancestry visa category, you may be entitled to Indefinite Leave to Remain, more commonly known as settlement or permanent residence, should you wish to continue your stay in the UK. After a further year of ILR, you may be eligible for UK Naturalisation, more commonly known as Citizenship. If you do not meet the criteria for ILR at the end of five years, you may be eligible for an extension of stay, that is, a new five-year UK ancestry visa.


UK ancestry visa dependants


A spouse or an unmarried partner, and children under the age of 18 may accompany you to the UK as dependants. Dependants are allowed to stay in the UK for the same period as the principal applicant. There are normally no restrictions on dependants working in the UK. Dependents are eligible to free health care provided by the National Health Service. Children entering the UK as dependants are entitled to a free public school education.


How we can help?


If you require our assistance in preparing a successful UK ancestry visa application, or an extension application, contact us now.


Spouse Visa (Marriage)


Applications, or UK Marriage visa applications allow foreign nationals that are already married to a British citizen, or person who has settlement status in the UK to enter or remain in the UK. If you are not already married, but you wish to travel to the UK for the purpose of marriage, then you will need a fiancé/fiancée visa instead.  If the applicant is outside the UK then they must apply for Entry Clearance in order to be allowed to travel to the UK as a spouse. Anyone who arrives in the UK for the purpose of settling with their spouse without a Spouse visa will be refused entry. If the applicant is in the UK, then an application for Further Leave to Remain as a spouse will need to be made.


Once the Spouse visa has been issued, the holder is entitled to work without restriction. In addition, they are also permitted to leave and re-enter the UK as they wish for a two-year period. The 5-year period is a probationary period and at the end of this period, the Home Office will need to see proof that the couple have been living together as husband and wife throughout this time.


Spouse visa rules


If you are seeking entry to the UK as a spouse you need to ensure that:


1.      You are seeking to enter the UK because of your relationship to a person who is either already present or is travelling with you to the UK, and has settled status in the UK,

2.      you are lawfully married,

3.      the marriage is subsisting

4.      you and your spouse are over the age of 21 on the date that you plan to arrive in the UK,

5.      you and your spouse are intending to live together permanently as husband and wife,

6.      both parties to the marriage have met, and

7.      you must have adequate funds to be able to support you and your spouse as well as any dependants without claiming public funds.


If a person has more than one husband or wife, only one of them will be allowed to join them in the UK as their husband or wife under the UK marriage visa.


Spouse of an EEA national


EEA nationals are permitted under EU law to live and work in the UK. This is referred to as the right of free movement. Any of their dependants who are not EEA nationals are entitled to enter the UK as well. For family members who are not EEA nationals, it is necessary to obtain an EEA family permit before coming to the UK if the intention is to live permanently with someone who is an EEA national.


If the couple get married in the UK, it is permissible for the application to be lodged in the UK.


Spouse of an Ancestry visa, a Work Permit, HSMP,  or a Tier1 (General) visa holder


Entry clearance as a dependant is required for a foreign national married to a person who holds an Ancestry visa, a Work Permit, HSMP, or a Tier 1 (General) visa.


Spouse of a Student visa holder


Entry clearance as a dependant is also required for a foreign national married to a person who holds a Student visa. If successful, the applicant will be entitled to stay in the UK for the same period as their student partner. During the period in which they are living in the UK the applicant must be able to support themselves independently or with help from the student visa holder.


Indefinite Leave to Remain after the 2-year probationary period


A marriage visa/spouse visa allows the applicant to come to the UK for an initial probationary period of 2 years. After this period, they can apply for settlement, or Indefinite Leave to Remain. This will only be possible if you can prove that you fulfil the criteria for spouse status at the end of the 2-year period. If you have been together for 4 years or more outside the UK before you apply, then you will be entitled to ILR straight away, without the 2-year probationary period.


Do I need a lawyer?


The Home Office will always expect a substantial amount of documentary evidence, or explanation, to ensure that only qualifying applicants are granted a Spouse visa. Furthermore, applications that are rejected due to a lack of evidence demonstrating that you fulfil all the Immigration Rules need to be resubmitted, along with a second payment of the government fee.


Avoid additional costs and delay. Ensure your application is well prepared the first time around. Our lawyer has successfully prepared applications in this category visa.


Same-sex/Civil Partner Visas


A Civil partnership visa permits a person in a same-sex relationship who is not a European Economic Area (EEA) national or United Kingdom (UK) national to come to the UK to settle with their partner, who is an EEA or UK national. You will need entry clearance granted prior to arrival in the UK.


Civil partnerships are a legal relationship registered between two people of the same sex. A civil partnership is the equivalent of a civil marriage, but for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples who register a civil partnership will be treated similarly on a range of legal matters to opposite-sex couples who enter into a civil marriage.


Civil Partner visa rules


If you are in a same-sex relationship similar to marriage you may be eligible for this visa. To qualify for admission as a civil partner, you must show that you have both met and are committed to the relationship. The relationship must be monogamous. As civil partners, you both must intend to live together, and establish a permanent home together.


As the applicant, you will need to show that you are a civil partner of:


·         a person who is present and settled in the United Kingdom, or

·         a person who will arrive with you to be admitted for settlement


It is important to demonstrate that there will be adequate accommodation for you and any dependants to occupy exclusively, and that you will be able to maintain yourselves and any dependants without turning to public funds.


Once issued, entry clearance will be valid for two years if your partner is a UK national, or five years if your partner is an EEA national.


How we can help?


It is your responsibility to satisfy the Entry Clearance Officer that you meet all the criteria set out by the Immigration Rules. Before you submit your application, ensure that you are well prepared. An Entry Clearance Officer’s decision to approve or refuse your visa will be based on the documents you provide, and the explanations you provide for issues where the requirements have not been clearly satisfied.


If you would like our assistance, our lawyer will determine based on your circumstances what will be required to demonstrate that you do meet the Immigration Rules for this category, and prepare your application. Contact us now to start the application process.


If you require our assistance, contact us now.