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Family Member Visas

Blacks Solicitors’ Immigration team in Leeds provide clear, cost-effective advice to individuals looking to obtain Family Member Visas.

Most individuals, who are relying on a family member as a basis of their stay in the UK, will come under a provision of the Immigration Rules known as Appendix FM. The family member (Sponsor) will usually be British, hold Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), or hold Leave in a temporary capacity.

The Rules are complex and the supporting evidence which an individual is supposed to submit with their Application is highly prescriptive, and the failure to provide the requested evidence will lead to a refusal of the Application.

Some of the various different types of familial relationships which fall under Appendix FM are listed below.

Family Life with a Partner

Applicants in this category include: spouse; civil partner; fiancé/proposed civil partner, or an unmarried partner where a couple have been living together for at least two years in a relationship akin to marriage.

As well as satisfying requirements on ‘suitability’ and around the relationship with the Sponsor, applicants must also satisfy minimum income requirements (which is £18,600, or more if there are dependent children who are not British or otherwise considered ‘settled’).

It is possible to bypass some of the standard requirements of Appendix FM, such as the minimum income requirement, when applying for Leave from within the UK, if there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ which could render refusal to be a breach of the Applicant’s Human Rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

However, the Home Office has formulated this section of the Rules in such a manner that it is a particularly high threshold to meet. Applications may therefore need to be made ‘outside of the Rules’ and on Human Rights grounds.

Those granted Leave under Appendix FM will either be eligible to qualify for ILR after five years (under the standard route), or after ten years (if relying on ‘exceptional circumstances’).

Family Life as a Parent of a Child in the UK

This category is for individuals applying on the basis of being the parent of a child who is British or otherwise ‘settled’ in the UK.

Under this category the Applicant must either have sole parental responsibility for the child or the child’s other parent must be British or settled in the UK.

Applicants must show that they can maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds as well as satisfying other eligibility requirements, including those around the relationship, ‘suitability’ and the English language.

Again, it is possible to bypass some of the standard requirements of Appendix FM, such as the minimum income requirement, when applying for Leave from within the UK, if there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ which could render refusal to be a breach of the Applicant’s Human Rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Those granted Leave under Appendix FM will either be eligible to qualify for ILR after five years (under the standard route), or after ten years (if relying on ‘exceptional circumstances’).

Adult Dependent Relative

This category is for adults who are dependent on a UK-based family member. The relationship between Applicant and Sponsor must be one of: parent; grandparent; brother or sister aged 18 or over; or a son or daughter aged 18 or over.

Applications can only be made from abroad.

There are notoriously difficult criteria to satisfy in order to succeed under this category, with extremely high rates of refusal (although there is a significantly higher chance of success on Appeal).

Victim of Domestic Abuse

An individual who has been a victim of domestic violence may be able to apply under this category with applicants who meet the Rules being granted ILR.

There is also a Destitution ‘Domestic Violence Concession’ which can be applied for in certain circumstances, and which gives successful applicants Temporary Leave to Remain for three months in order to access public funds and prepare an Application for ILR.

Bereaved Partner

There is a specific category for individuals granted Leave as a ‘partner’ (which includes spouse, civil partner, and an unmarried or same-sex partner) but whose partner died at the time of the last grant of Leave, and applicants who meet the Rules will be granted ILR.

 

For more information about Family Member Visas, or for a free no obligation discussion, please email or call Blacks’ Immigration team today on 0113 322 2842.

 

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