Dear visitors of the Immigrationboards.com :
Answering numerous questions regarding living and working in the UK we find many of them unnecessarily repetitive. Generally, we expect the Board visitors to browse through existing topics and see if the information is already available. At the same time, we recognize that the wealth of information contained in the many topics may be too difficult to quickly sift through, especially if one has a truly urgent question. We hope establishing a FAQ topic will help all of us.
Please read through this FAQ topic before posting your question, and you may save yourself some time.
Best of luck with your endeavors!
This is a live document, which will be updated continually: we thought to post it right away and grow from here, as opposed to taking the indefinite time to put it together and shape it up. You may want to check it periodically, and keep in mind that the "Last Post" date/time stamp on the main page doesn't reflect the updates of the same post, so it's best to simply take a look at the FAQ list itself.
1. I'm in the UK on a 5yr WP and recently got married. What do I need to do to obtain a dependent visa for my spouse?
You can apply for your dependent spouse and/or children who are unmarried and under 18 years old to either join you in the UK or to remain with you in the UK (in country switch). In the former they must apply for dependent visas at the relevant British Diplomatic Post i.e. Embassy, High Commission or Consulate in a country in which they are nationals/ citizens or legal long term residents (not visitors). They need to fill out a form VAF 1 - Non Settlement for each individual and submit it with a fee and supporting documentation. This includes but is not limited to:
1. Evidence of the sponsors UK immigration status - certified copy of passport - the bio data page, WP/HSMP approval letter and accompanying visa, ink stamp or residence permit sticky vignette should do.
2. Evidence of relationship - marriage certificate/ licence and full birth ceritificates for any children showing names of the parents. For adopted children then relevant court papers.
3. Evidence of funds to maintain without recourse to public funds - at least 6 months but 12 is better. An employment letter giving salary details, designation and length of service will strengthen this.
4. Evidence of accomodation including utility bills as proof of legal residence. Where the sponsor does not own the property exclusively then written consent of the landlord is required in addition to details of the proprty size to ensure there is no overcrowding
The same list of documents should be submitted for an 'in country' application on Form FLR(O) with the addition that the sponsors passport must be included. Note that the Home Office ask for 3 months bank statements/ payslips as evidence of funds to maintain and accomodate but it is advisable to submit 6 months worth.
In all cases the dependents are granted a visa to the same expiry date as the sponsor. Dependents admitted for longer than 12 months will usually be allowed to work without needing a work permit subject to meeting other national legislation e.g. being old enough to enter the labour market.
2. I am applying for ILR and want to know if I can include my 19 year old son who is on a student visa in my application as a dependent?
The immigration rules class dependents as your legal spouse/ unmarried partner in a relationship akin to marriage and unmarried natural/adopted children under 18 years of age. The inclusion of married children under 18 or those over 18 as dependents will be considered on a discretionary basis by the Home Office with minimal chances of approval unless under the most compassionate circumstances. However it has been the experience of one of the moderators (Kayalami) that the Home Office tend to exercise discretion where the child entered the UK whilst under 18 as the dependent of a person coming to the UK in a category leading to settlement i.e. a Work Permit and the child has aged out by the time of ILR application. It is vital to demonstrate the level of dependence not limited to financial issues and the adverse impact the 'non consideration' of a grant of leave would have on the 'over age' child when requesting discretion. It is best to seek competent legal advice in 'discretionary' cases given the existence of various Home Office operational policies that are not public knowledge.
3. I am an EU national and want to sponsor my girlfriend to remain in the UK with me under EU law - is this possible?
Dependents/ family members of EU nationals exercising treaty rights in the UK have the right to remain in the UK even where they are themselves not EU nationals e.g the US citizen wife of a French national working in the UK. EU law defines dependents/ family members as your legal spouse, natural/ legally adopted children under 21 and relatives in the ascending line i.e. father, grandfather etc who are financially dependent on you. It also exlcudes as a family member any person who is party to a marriage of convenience to circumvent national immigration controls. Subsequently boyfriends, girlfriends, unmarried partners, fiances/ees etc are exluded from any benefits pertaining to EU law as they are not dependents/ family members.
Recently moderators have been receiving an excessive number of private messages, many of them with absolutely generic questions. Please do not misuse the Private Message feature of this Board: i) moderators are not paid employees engaged in private consultations, we are volunteers contributing to the wealth of public information available on this Board; ii) this Board is specifically hosted to facilitate accumulation and exchange of publicly available information for everyone's benefit, and this is best achieved by bringing all questions and discussions into the open; iii) please do use private messaging in order to communicate your personal details or circumstances relevant to the publicly posted question, especially if those details are asked for. Thanks for your cooperation.