Thu | Feb 22, 2018

Immigration Corner | I want my family to join me

Published:Tuesday | January 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM

 

Dear Mr Bassie,

I entered the United Kingdom under a Tier 1 (General) visa and I have some family members that I would like to join me. Will they be able to?

- MW

Dear MW,

Please be aware that persons can no longer apply for or extend Tier 1 (general) visas. However, family members can still apply to join persons in the United Kingdom.

In addition, persons may be able to apply to settle once they have been in the United Kingdom for five years and they can apply up to April 6, 2018 to settle as a Tier 1 (general) worker.

Persons' family members, 'dependents', must apply to join or remain with them in the United Kingdom if they are from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland. A 'dependent' is either a husband, wife or partner; a child under 18 years old; or a child over 18 years, if he/she is currently in the United Kingdom as a dependent.

Persons should read the guidance on dependent applications before making an application. Also, persons should note that they can use the premium service if they are a dependent applying in the United Kingdom on their own or they are applying for their United Kingdom.

Persons must show that their dependents can be supported while they are in the United Kingdom. Each dependent must have a certain amount of money available to them, and this is in addition to the £945 that the applicant must have to support him or herself.

The amount will depend on the applicant's circumstances. The applicant must have £1,890 for each dependent if he/she is applying from outside the United Kingdom or have been in the United Kingdom for less than 12 months. If they have been in the United Kingdom for more than 12 months, then they must have £630 for each dependent. In addition, the applicant must have proof that he/she has the money, and that it has been in their bank account or their dependent's bank account for at least 90 days before making the application.

It should be noted that persons will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application. It is advisable that they check how much they will have to pay before applying.

With respect to dependents who are applying outside of the United Kingdom, these family members must apply online. They will need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre to get a biometric residence permit as part of their application. Those persons will also have to collect their biometric residence permit within 10 days of when they said they would arrive in the United Kingdom, even if they actually arrive at a later date.

Dependents applying in the United Kingdom on their own can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with their sponsor if they are already in the United Kingdom. Dependents can apply online using the dependent partner application; apply online using the dependent child application; download the paper form; apply in person for the premium service. It should be noted that family members cannot apply in the United Kingdom as a dependent if they hold a visitor visa. It should be noted that if persons have children while they are in the United Kingdom, they can apply for permission for them to stay. This must be done if the applicant would like to travel in and out of the United Kingdom with them. When applying persons should send a full United Kingdom birth certificate for each child showing the names of both parents.

- 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 (U.K.). Email:lawbassie@yahoo.com