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    UK Family Visit Visa

    If you’re planning to travel to the United Kingdom to spend time with your family, you have the option of applying for a Family Visitor Visa, also referred to as the Standard Visitor Visa. This particular visa enables individuals from foreign countries to lawfully visit their relatives and friends, engage in business-related activities, and access private medical treatment for a duration of up to 6 months. It is advisable to initiate the visa application procedure at least 3 months prior to your intended trip to ensure a hassle-free experience.

    If you have regular visits to the UK for the purpose of visiting your family, it would be advisable to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa that permits multiple entries and allows stays for up to 6 months per visit. These particular visas have durations ranging from 2, 5, or 10 years. It is crucial to understand that marriage is not allowed under this visa category. If you intend to get married in the UK, you will need to obtain a separate visa, such as a Marriage Visitor Visa or Fiancé Visa.

    If you hold a valid UK visa for educational, employment, or entrepreneurial purposes and wish to bring your spouse or children to the UK for a stay lasting more than half a year, they could qualify for a Dependant Visa. This specific visa grants them the ability to stay in the country for the entirety of the validity period of your own visa.

    In this guide, Sterling Law will explore the eligibility criteria, necessary documents, application process, visa processing time, cost, and extension possibilities for the UK Family Visitor Visa.

    Understanding the Basics of the UK Family Visitor Visa

    The United Kingdom Family Visitor Visa, also referred to as the Standard Visitor Visa, is focused on non-EEA nationals and Swiss citizens who wish to visit their friends and family in the UK for a limited period.
    Alongside visiting relatives and friends, this visa category allows a holder to engage in other activities while in the Kingdom. These include doing business activities, participating in sports events, or undergoing medical treatment in private healthcare/medical centres.

    In addition, this visa can be used for transit if you need to pass through the United Kingdom while visiting relatives and friends in another country. In such cases, the duration and cost of the visa will depend on passing through UK border control.

    The duration of this visa typically permits a six-month stay. In the case of frequent or extended visits, individuals have the option to obtain a long-term Standard Visitor Visa valid for 2/5/10 years. This visa allows for a maximum stay of six months during each visit.

    Long-term visas of children remain valid for six months after they reach the age of 18. If you intend to stay beyond this period, it is recommended to explore alternative immigration schemes. For example, the Parent of a Tier 4 Child Visa allows visits to children attending fee-paying day schools in the Kingdom.

    It is crucial to note that this particular visa does not confer the privilege to engage in employment, pursue full-time studies, establish or manage one’s own business as a self-employed individual, offer goods or services, avail of public funds, or enter into marriage within the United Kingdom. If one intends to remain in the UK for a period exceeding six months or partake in any of the aforementioned activities, it is highly advised to explore alternative visa categories to ensure lawful residency.

    Eligibility Conditions for UK Family Visitor Visas

    In order to be eligible for a Family Visitor Visa, you must meet specific requirements. Primarily, you need to have a genuine purpose of visiting your family or friends in the Kingdom. It is crucial to provide evidence of your intention to depart the country once your visit is over.

    Sufficient personal funds are required for a Family Visit Visa to enter the Kingdom, ensuring self-sustenance without dependence on public resources. Additionally, you should not have the intention to make the UK your primary residence or engage in activities prohibited by the visa, like seeking paid employment.

    Documents to Provide for a Family Visitor Visa UK

    In order to complete the application process for a Family Visitor Visa, it is necessary to provide a set of specific documents as supporting evidence.

    These documents must include a valid travel document, proof of financial capability to cover expenses during the visit and return to the home country or continuation of the journey, documentation indicating ongoing commitments in the home country such as property ownership, employment, or familial connections, and any relevant documents related to the purpose of the visit, such as a wedding invitation.

    It is recommended to seek guidance from an immigration attorney at Sterling Law or consult the official government website for a comprehensive and detailed list of the necessary documents needed for the visa application.

    Applying for a UK Family Visitor Visa

    You must apply for a UK Family Visitor Visa online through the Home Office website, and while you are outside the United Kingdom. You will need to fill in the application form, pay the established fee, and upload the required documents to support your application. It is vital to ensure that all information provided is accurate and complete.

    Once the application is submitted, you may be required to attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and a photo of your face for identification and verification purposes. It is recommended to apply for the visa at least three months before your intended travel date.

    When Will I Get a Decision on a Family Visitor Visa UK?

    Typically, within a span of three weeks, the Home Office will provide a decision on your Family Visitor Visa application. Yet, this can vary depending on various factors, including the volume of applications being processed and the complexity of individual cases. If you require your decision urgently, you may have the option to expedite the process for an additional fee.

    How Much Does a Family Visitor Visa Cost in the United Kingdom?

    The cost of a Family Visitor Visa for the UK varies based on its validity. Currently, the fees range from £115 for a six-month visa to £963 for a ten-year visa. The UK family visitor issued for 2 years is going to cost you £400, while a 5-year one is £771. It is essential to check the current fee structure on the official government website or consult with immigration solicitors like Sterling Law to ensure you have the correct information.

    Can I Extend My Family Visitor Visa?

    Generally, it is not possible to extend a Family Visitor Visa while in the UK, but in rare cases. For instance, if you have already been in the UK for 2 months under a Family Visit Visa, you can prolong your stay for an additional 4 months. However, you cannot exceed a total of 6 months. Also, visitor visas can only be extended for specific groups, including academics, graduates retaking the PLAB test, graduates doing a clinical attachment, and individuals with medical reasons for extending their visit.

    If you wish to stay beyond the allowed duration, you may need to explore alternative immigration paths. It is advisable to plan your visit accordingly and apply for the appropriate visa from the beginning to avoid any complications.

    How Can We Help?

    At Sterling Law, we understand the importance of family and the need to visit your loved ones in the United Kingdom. Our dedicated team of immigration solicitors will guide you through the entire process of securing a Family Visitor Visa UK, ensuring a smooth and streamlined experience.

    With our wealth of knowledge and experience, we will provide top-notch legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances. We will assess your eligibility, gather the necessary documentation, and support you in presenting a strong case to the UK Home Office.

    Our commitment to excellence and attention to detail is unmatched. We will work tirelessly to maximise your chances of a successful visa application, helping you reunite with your family in the UK in no time!

    Don’t risk the complexities of securing a Family Visitor Visa on your own. Trust Sterling Law’s expertise and let us handle the process for you. Contact us today and take the first step towards a hassle-free visa application.

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