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Partners and Children

The Immigration Rules allows both a partner and children to join their family member in the UK. Paragraphs GEN.1.1. to GEN.3.3. of Appendix FM set out general provisions. A person present and settled in the UK includes a person who is being admitted for settlement on the same occasion as the applicant. 

Where an applicant meets all the other requirements of the Rules but does not meet the definition of “partner” at paragraph GEN.1.2. because they are not married or in a civil partnership and have not been living together in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years, then the application is likely to be refused as a partner. 

Paragraph GEN.1.14. includes a condition for all applicants aged 18 or over granted leave to enter or remain under Appendix FM prohibiting them from undertaking studies in a discipline listed in Appendix 6 of the Immigration Rules without first obtaining an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate from the Counter-Proliferation Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. This also applies to those who will be 18 before that period of entry clearance or limited leave expires.

Under Appendix FM, limited leave will be granted in periods of 30 months (33 months for entry clearance to allow time for travel to be arranged) on a 5-year or 10-year route to settlement (indefinite leave to remain) as appropriate and generally subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds.

In fiancé(e) and proposed civil partner applications leave will be granted for up to 6 months. Any period of entry clearance or limited leave as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner does not count towards the continuous period of leave needed to qualify for settlement as a partner under Appendix FM.

If the applicant does not otherwise meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules, and there are no exceptional circumstances, the application should be refused. A person in the UK with entry clearance or limited leave to remain as a partner granted under
Appendix FM on the basis of an application made on or after 9 July 2012 should apply for further leave to remain no more than 28 days before their extant leave expires or no morethan 28 days before they have completed 30 months in the UK with such leave. Where such an applicant has extant leave under Appendix FM as a partner, up to 28 days of the extant leave remaining at the date of application will be added to any period of further leave as a partner granted under Appendix FM.

An applicant on a 5-year route as a partner will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (settlement) after a continuous period of 60 months (5 years) in the UK with limited leave under that route (and excluding any period of leave granted as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner).

To get expert legal advice, contact our team on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us your query on To get a free case assessment and whether you meet the published requirements, complete our contact form by clicking here.

Are you considering to make an application as a Partner to join your family member in the UK?
Speak to our trained Immigration Lawyers today on 0207 237 3388 and get the right advice first time, every time.

For children

The duty in section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child in the UK, together with Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, means that consideration of the child’s best interests must be a primary consideration in immigration decisions affecting them. This guidance and the Immigration Rules it covers form part of the arrangements for ensuring that we give practical
effect to these obligations.

Decision makers must carefully consider all of the information and evidence provided in the application concerning the best interests of a relevant child (that is a person who is under the age of 18 years at the date of application and it is evident from the information provided by the applicant will be affected by the decision) when assessing whether an applicant meets the
requirements of the Immigration Rules and, where they do not otherwise do so, whether, following consideration under paragraph GEN.3.1. or GEN.3.2. of Appendix FM, there are exceptional circumstances which could or would render refusal of the application a breach of Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) because it could or would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant or their family.

Some of the key requirements that a child must meet in order to apply for leave as a dependant, is as follows:

  • be under the age of 18 at the date of an application family;

  • aged 18 or over at the date of application was last granted leave as a dependent of a member of HM Forces;

  • be a child of a British citizen in HMF or including one who was naturalised after five years reckon-able service;

  • be a child of a foreign or Commonwealth citizen serving in HM Forces;

  • be a child of a discharged member of HM Forces, discharged within the two years immediately before  the application, who have either been granted or is being granted at the same time as the applicant under 

    • 276E-QA of the Immigration Rules, or

    • 13-19 of Appendix Armed Forces

The child must not:

  • be married or in a civil partnership;

  • have formed an independent family unit, and/or 

  • be leading an independent life.

They must also meet one of the following:

  • their other parent must:

    •  have been granted or be being granted at the same time as the applicant,  leave as the partner of a member of HMForces under Paragraphs 23,27,28, 32  of Appendix Armed Forces or paragraph 276E-276AI of the Immigration Rules or 

    • have died.

  • the sponsor parent in HM Forces must have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing, or 

  • there are serious and compelling family or other considerations which make the applicant’s exclusion from the UK undesirable and suitable arrangements have been made for their care. 

Family of Settled Person (ILR Holder)

This is a visa designed for people who are from outside the EEA or Switzerland who wish to join a settled British citizen, successful asylum seeker or someone who has been granted humanitarian protection. The purpose of the visa is to allow you to join your partner, but it can also be used to join a parent, to come to look after a child or to come to be looked after by family. You may be married to your partner, or be in a civil partnership with them, or be engaged or be an unmarried partner.

Have a free assessment completed by clicking here.
If you meet all the visa requirements and would like us to check and prepare the visa file, we can offer a fixed fee. This would avoid any refusals and ensure your application has the best chance to succeed.

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Meeting the requirements of the visa application

You can apply for a family of a settled person visa if the person you are joining is a British citizen, of if they have the right to settle in the UK, such as if they are a successful asylum seeker. 

In addition to this, you must be aged over 18 unless you are applying as a child. Your relationship to the settled person must be genuine and should be recognised in your country of origin. There must be an intention to live with your partner in the UK if your application is successful.

You will be required to prove that you and your family are able to be supported and accommodated by your own financial provisions, and on this point, you must meet any financial requirements. Finally, you must have a good knowledge of English, unless you are an adult dependent relative.

Proving that your relationship is genuine and substsing with the intention to live together in the UK

You must prove that your relationship with the settled person is genuine. This is proved if you are married or civil partners, but there is often also a requirement to have lived together in a relationship for a minimum of two years. If you are engaged, you must be able to prove that you plan to marry or become civil partners within six months of your arrival, and you will not be allowed to work during that time.

The length of the UK Visa

If your application for the marriage visa as a husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner is successful, the Home Office will grant you permission to enter and live here for 33 months if you are applying from outside the UK or 30 months from the UK.

Shortly before the end of these 33 months or 30 months, you will have to extend your leave again on the spouse visa and after 5 years, can apply for settlement. You can read more information on how you can apply for indefinite leave to remain as a partner, by clicking here

Categories that you can apply under:

  1. If you wish to apply as the unmarried partner also known as the UK defacto visa, click here to read more information on this category. 

  2. Where you wish to settle under the UK partner visa, then click here to read more information on how you can qualify under this category. 

Our Immigration Lawyers specialise in a wide range of UK Visa, Nationality and EEA applications to the Home Office, responsible for controlling immigration. Our Immigration Lawyers can provide advice, practical assistance and professional representation to guide you through the application and decision-making process from start to finish. Our opinions, knowledge and experience helps us to prepare a good UK Visa application.  Call ICS Legal today on 0207 237 3388 to get some initial legal advice. You can email us your details on

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