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Immigration Corner | I want to join family in UK

Published:Tuesday | September 27, 2016 | 12:03 AM


Dear Mr Bassie,

I am getting up in age and my daughter would like me to live with her in England. Is it possible for me to travel there with this in mind? I am lonely and I would rather be with her and the grand children than to be out here by myself.

- G.C.

Dear G.C.,

Persons like yourself will need to apply for a 'family of a settled person' visa if they are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland; and if they want to join, for six months or more, a partner or family member who is living in the United Kingdom permanently.

It should be noted that persons do not need a 'family of a settled person' visa to visit their family for up to six months, but persons should check if they need a family visitor visa.

If persons' family members: are British citizens; have settled in the United Kingdom; have asylum or humanitarian protection in the United Kingdom and if they meet the eligibility requirements, then these persons can apply to go there to be looked after by their family.There are exceptions to this rule and persons may need to apply in a different way if: their partner is from the EEA; or the applicant is inside the United Kingdom; or persons want to reunite with a partner or parent who has asylum or humanitarian protection over there.

Generally speaking, persons should get a decision on their visa within 12 weeks but this depends on the country from where the application is made. The fees are GBP 2,676 for an adult who needs to be looked after by a relative. Persons may also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application.

Persons can use their 'family of a settled person' visa to work. Persons cannot work if they possess a visa to get married or to become civil partners, or to study. Also, persons will not be able to get public funds for themselves. However, persons may be able to extend their visas or settle in the United Kingdom permanently.

Just for completeness, it should be stated that persons may be eligible to apply for a 'family reunion' visa to stay with a parent who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the United Kingdom.

With respect to eligibility, in order to apply for a 'family of a settled person' visa, persons must be from outside the EEA or Switzerland.

The family member must have one of the following: British citizenship; settlement in the United Kingdom; or asylum or humanitarian protection in the United Kingdom. The applicant must also prove that: he/she is 18 years or over; the person intends to live with the family member or partner in the United Kingdom after being granted the visa; the person and their family will have an adequate place to live in the United Kingdom; and the person may not necessarily have a good knowledge of English if applying as an adult dependent relative.

Please note a person's application might be refused if, for example, he/she has: a criminal record in the United Kingdom or in another country; and/or provided false or incomplete information to the Home Office.

In the case where a person is going to the United Kingdom to be cared for as an adult dependent, that person must be dependent on a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter who is already living permanently in the United Kingdom.

The applicant must prove that: he/she needs long-term care to do everyday personal and household tasks because of illness, disability or age; the care needed is not available or affordable in the country that he/she resides in; the person that he/she will be joining in the United Kingdom will be able to support, accommodate and care for the applicant without claiming public funds for at least five years; and that he/she is 18 years of age or older.

I hope this helps.

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK).