Wed | Aug 5, 2020

Immigration Corner | Applying for an extended family visa

Published:Tuesday | July 14, 2020 | 12:15 AM
John Bassie
John Bassie

Dear Mr Bassie,

I am thinking of spending some quality time in the United Kingdom (UK), possibly six or seven months, with a family member. Will I need a special visa to be there for this period? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

– M.F.

Dear M.F.,

Persons will need a family visa to live with a family member in the United Kingdom for more than six months.

If the application for this visa is made from outside of the United Kingdom, persons can apply for a family visa to live with their spouse or partner; fiancé, fiancée, or proposed civil partner; child; parent or relative who will be providing long-term care for the applicant. Please be aware that persons who are visiting the United Kingdom for six months or less should check if they need a standard visitor visa or marriage visitor visa.

Those persons who are in the UK can apply to extend their stay with a family member if they are already over there on a family visa. However, persons who went to the UK on a different visa might be able to switch to a family visa to stay with their:

• Spouse or partner

• Child

• Parent

Also, persons might be able to apply to ‘stay on the basis of their private life’ if they have lived in the UK for many years already.

Persons can extend or switch at any time before their current permission to stay in the UK expires. Please note that applicants must have lived in the UK for a certain amount of time before they are eligible for settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’). Persons should check how much time they need before applying to extend the visa.

If extending to stay with the same family member, persons will only get up to 28 days left on your current stay added to the new visa.

How much it costs depends on the application. Persons joining a partner, parent, or child and applying outside of the United Kingdom will pay £1,523 and if applying from within the UK, will pay £1,033. The same applies per person for each dependent added to the application. Please be aware that persons might also need to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application.

Persons applying to extend or switch in the UK will need to pay £19.20 to have their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

If applying from the UK, persons may be able to pay an extra £800 for the super-priority service to get a faster decision. However, persons cannot use the super-priority service if they are applying as an adult going to be cared for by a relative. Please note that upon receipt of a favourable decision letter, the biometric residence permit will take up to 10 working days to arrive.

When applying outside of the UK, a decision will usually be made within 12 weeks.

If applying from within the UK, a decision will usually be made within eight weeks of the application date if using the standard service.

If using the super-priority service, a decision will usually be made by the end of the next working day after providing the biometric information if the appointment is on a week day or two working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend. Please note that working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.

Please be aware that it might take longer if the application is complex, for example, the applicant:

• Does not meet the minimum income requirement

• Cannot prove his or her knowledge of English

• Needs to attend an interview

• Has not provided all the evidence that the Home Office needs

• Has a criminal conviction or another personal circumstance that needs to be reviewed.

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). Email: