Family Reunion and Immigration

family reunion and integration


Family reunion, within the context of UK immigration, allows foreign nationals residing in the UK under work, study, or refugee routes to reunite with their close family members. Fundamentally, the policy is designed to help families that have been split by the necessity of migration due to economic opportunities or safety concerns.

As a principle of immigration law, family reunification reinforces the basic human right to family life and supports the social and psychological well-being of foreign nationals in the UK by reconnecting them with their spouses, children, and sometimes other dependent relatives, helping them to settle more comfortably and integrate better into UK society.

In this guide, we set out the development of family reunion immigration policies in the UK and how they have impacted families of migrants. We also set out the current legal routes and application process for UK family visas, sharing practical insights into the process of bringing families together under the UK immigration rules.



Section A: Understanding Family Reunion in the UK Immigration System


1. The Meaning of ‘Family Reunion’ in the UK Immigration Context


In the UK immigration context, “family reunion” refers to the process that allows individuals who are legally present in the UK—such as those with refugee status, settled status, or other forms of legal residency—to bring certain family members to join them from abroad. This process is integral to supporting the family life of migrants, ensuring that they can live together and support each other while one or more family members undertake employment, education, or safe refuge in the UK.

The UK’s approach to family reunion is built around the recognition of the importance of family support systems, particularly for those who have fled persecution or serious hardship. It acknowledges that successful integration into a new society is often reliant on the presence of close family members who can provide emotional and practical support.


2. Impact of Family Reunion on Migrants


Family reunion is more than a procedural aspect of immigration law; it is a vital process that affects the lives of migrants profoundly. By supporting the unification of families, countries like the UK can enhance their cultural diversity, promote social integration, and improve the overall success and happiness of migrants within their borders.


a. Emotional and Psychological Benefits

The reunion of family members can have profound emotional and psychological benefits for migrants. The presence of close family alleviates the isolation and loneliness frequently experienced by individuals in a new environment. It provides emotional support and a sense of continuity, which is particularly important in mitigating the stress and anxiety associated with migration and adaptation to a new culture. For refugees and those who have fled conflict or persecution, being reunited with family can be a critical component of psychological recovery and adjustment.


b. Economic Impact

Economically, family reunion can contribute to better outcomes for migrants and the host country. Having family members together often allows for a more stable household, where adults can support each other in finding employment and managing childcare. This mutual support can increase the overall economic activity of the family as more members are able to participate in the workforce. Additionally, the pooling of resources within families can lead to improved living conditions and a quicker ascent out of poverty.


c. Social Integration

Family reunion also aids in the social integration of migrants. Families often bring a diverse set of customs and traditions from their home countries, enriching the cultural tapestry of the host nation. Moreover, when families integrate, they form networks that facilitate social connections, community building, and cultural exchange, further embedding themselves into the social fabric of the host country. Children who migrate with or join their families often adapt more quickly and successfully, benefiting from a stable home environment that supports learning and language acquisition.


d. Challenges of Family Reunion

However, the process of reuniting families can also present significant challenges. The often lengthy and bureaucratic visa application process can create a period of prolonged uncertainty and strain for families. Financial burdens associated with visa fees, travel costs, and the need to meet stringent income requirements can place additional stress on migrants. Furthermore, once reunited, families may face challenges in adjusting to new roles and dynamics in a different cultural and economic context, which can strain familial relationships.


e. The Critical Role of Policies

The impact of family reunion on migrants underscores the importance of thoughtful and humane immigration policies. Policies that facilitate easier access to family reunion visas and provide support during the transition period can enhance the positive impacts while mitigating the challenges.


Section B: Impact of UK Policy on Family Reunion


The impact of changes in UK immigration law on family reunions has been profound, shaping the social fabric of migrant communities and influencing the integration process. Legislation over the years has both facilitated and restricted the ability of families to reunite, with recent laws posing significant challenges.

However, the income threshold and restrictive criteria have been criticised by human rights organisations as being contrary to the principle of family unity, a cornerstone of successful integration and social stability in migrant populations.

It is crucial for policymakers to consider such factors when designing immigration laws to ensure that they promote not only the economic but also the social and emotional well-being of migrants.


1. Significant Laws and Rules Affecting Family Reunion


The current landscape of family reunion in the UK has been shaped by certain key pieces of legislation and Government policies, each reflecting broader political and social attitudes towards immigration at the time and impacting the ease or difficulty with which families can reunite. While the initial acts were more about controlling immigration, the more recent policies have focused on the economic impact of migrants, including their family members.


a. 1948 British Nationality Act

This Act established the status of Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC). It was significant for family immigration as it allowed for the migration of families of those who had citizenship, fostering early post-war migration movements.


b. 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act

The 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act marked the beginning of immigration control over Commonwealth citizens, but it also made provisions for family members to join those already settled in the UK.


c. 1971 Immigration Act

This legislation was a turning point that introduced the concept of patriality, where only UK passport holders with a parent or grandparent born in the UK had the automatic right to live in the UK.

While the 1971 Act allowed for the reunion of immediate family members, this required proof of relationship and dependency, setting the stage for more restrictive measures that would follow.


d. 1988 Immigration Act

This Act tightened the conditions under which family members could join relatives in the UK, introducing more stringent financial requirements and documentation proving relationships.

The tightening of conditions under this Act made it harder for extended family members to join their relatives, which led to a significant drop in the number of elderly parents and adult dependent relatives being able to come to the UK.

The Act effectively prioritised nuclear families and economically active individuals, fundamentally altering the demographic makeup of migrant communities, where extended families were effectively separated. This had social implications for the care of older generations and the cohesion of extended families.


e. 1997 – 2010: New Labour Government Policies

During this period, the Government introduced policies that were slightly more liberal regarding family reunion, recognising the importance of family support for integration. The introduction of the points-based system, however, focused on skilled migrants, affecting how family reunion could be pursued under different tiers of migration.


f. 2012 Changes to Family Migration Rules

These changes introduced a new minimum income threshold for sponsors wishing to bring their non-European Economic Area (EEA) spouses or children to the UK. This was arguably one of the most significant changes, affecting thousands of families, particularly those of lower-income migrants.


g. Changes due to COVID-19

Temporary concessions were made during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as extending visa validity for those unable to travel, and adjusting requirements for proving income during the economic instability caused by the pandemic.


h. Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme

Post-Brexit, the EU Settlement Scheme allowed EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens living in the UK before the end of December 2020 and their family members to apply to continue living in the UK. This has had significant implications for family reunion rights under new immigration laws.

Post-Brexit, the introduction of the EU Settlement Scheme marked a significant change. It allowed EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who were residing in the UK before 31 December 2020 and their family members to apply to continue living in the UK. Family members who joined EU citizens in the UK by 31 December 2020 were also able to apply.

Those arriving in the UK after 1 January 2021 became subject to the UK’s new points-based immigration system.


i. 2024 Changes to Family Migration Rules

The UK government has implemented significant changes to the family migration rules in early 2024, aiming to reduce overall immigration levels. These reforms have a far-reaching impact on families seeking to reunite or establish themselves in the UK.

One of the most substantial changes is the increase in the minimum income threshold for sponsoring a spouse or partner visa. Previously, the minimum income requirement stood at £18,600 per year. However, under the new regulations, British citizens or those with settled status in the UK now need to earn at least £29,000 annually to sponsor their partner for applications made on or after 11 April 2024. This amount is set to rise further to around £38,700 by early 2025.

This significant hike in the income threshold has been met with criticism. Campaigners argue that it makes it considerably more difficult for many British citizens to sponsor their foreign-born partners, potentially leading to family separation. They estimate that these changes could prevent up to three-quarters of Britons from affording to reunite with their families.

Another key change concerns the closure of certain dependent routes.

With effect from 1 January 2024, most international students can no longer bring family members with them to the UK as dependants unless they are studying on a qualifying postgraduate course.

In addition, from 11 April 2024, care workers arriving under the Health and Care Visa can no longer bring their families with them. This policy shift has been met with concern within the healthcare sector, which already faces staffing shortages. Critics argue that excluding care workers’ families creates a barrier to attracting and retaining vital personnel.

The Government argues that these changes are necessary to control immigration levels and protect British jobs. However, the impact on families and the healthcare sector is undeniable. The significant increase in the minimum income threshold for sponsoring a partner visa, coupled with the closure of dependent routes, presents a major hurdle for many seeking to build a life in the UK with their loved ones.


2. Case Studies Illustrating the Impact of Changing Family Migration Policy


The following case studies and statistics are anonymised examples that illustrate the varied impacts of immigration laws on family reunions.


Case Study 1: The Smith Family (Name Changed for Privacy)

John Smith, a British citizen working in a retail position in Manchester, found himself unable to bring his Thai wife to the UK after the 2012 changes due to his income falling short of the threshold. The couple has since lived apart, with significant emotional and financial strain affecting their relationship and well-being.


Case Study 2: The Khan Family 

The Khans faced difficulties when trying to bring their elderly parents from Pakistan. The 1988 Act’s restrictions and the health and care provisions required under the Adult Dependent Relative visa made it nearly impossible to meet the strict criteria, forcing the family to make alternative, often costly, care arrangements.


Section C: Current Legal Framework for Family Reunion


The current legal framework governing family reunion in the UK is structured primarily through the Immigration Rules and supplemented by various pieces of legislation. These rules define who can apply for family visas, under what conditions, and what obligations must be met both by those sponsoring family members and by the applicants themselves.

These components and updates illustrate a dynamic legal framework that is responsive to socio-political changes, including international relations and public health crises. The current rules aim to balance the need to maintain control over immigration with the rights of UK residents and citizens to live with their families. The continual adjustments and updates also reflect responses to legal challenges and criticisms from human rights perspectives, aiming to make the system fairer and more accessible.

Current routes for family reunion in the UK include:


1. Family Visa for Spouses, Partners, and Children


Migrants who are settled in the UK can sponsor their spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, or child to join them. This is conditional upon meeting certain financial requirements, proving the relationship, and demonstrating adequate accommodation without recourse to public funds.

There is no minimum income requirement specifically for child visas, but the applicant will need to demonstrate they can financially support their children.


2. Points-Based System Dependants


Dependents of migrants who are in the UK under a points-based system visa can also apply to join them. These dependents must prove their relationship and that they will be supported without using public funds.


3. Adult Dependent Relatives


This allows for elderly parents or grandparents, or other adult dependent relatives suffering from long-term illness or disability, to join their family in the UK. The applicant must demonstrate that they require long-term personal care that can only be provided by relatives in the UK and that this care cannot be provided in their home country, either due to lack of availability or affordability.


4. Refugee Family Reunion


Refugees who have been granted protection in the UK can apply to bring their immediate family members (spouse and minor children) to join them. This route is specifically for those with refugee status.


5. Ukraine Schemes


Due to the ongoing conflict, the UK government has implemented temporary schemes to allow Ukrainians with family ties in the UK to come and stay.


Section D: Family Visa Eligibility Criteria


The eligibility requirements for migrants to bring family members to the UK are primarily determined by the migrant’s legal status in the UK, the relationship with the family members, and the ability to support and accommodate those family members upon their arrival.

Each type of visa under the family reunion category has specific application forms and supporting documentation requirements. It’s important for applicants to carefully prepare their application to meet these detailed requirements, as failure to comply with the eligibility criteria often leads to the rejection of the application.

Key eligibility requirements under the specific visas include:


1. Spouses or Civil Partners


a. Visa Type: Family Visa for a spouse or civil partner.

b. Requirements: The couple must prove that their relationship is genuine and subsisting. The sponsor (the person settled in the UK) needs to meet a minimum income threshold of £29,000 per year or have enough savings to support their partner without needing public funds. Both parties must be over 18 years old.

c. Application Provisions: Applicants must demonstrate a good knowledge of English and provide evidence of adequate accommodation.


2. Unmarried Partners


a. Visa Type: Family Visa for an unmarried partner.

b. Requirements: Similar to spouses, unmarried partners must prove that they have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years. The same financial and accommodation provisions apply.

c. Application Provisions: Proof of cohabitation and a genuine and subsisting relationship is essential.


3. Children


a. Visa Type: Family Visa for children.

b. Requirements: Children must be under 18, not married or in a civil partnership, not living independently, and must be financially supported without access to public funds.

c. Application Provisions: Proof of the child’s relationship to the parent or guardian in the UK is required, along with evidence of the child’s dependency.


4. Other Dependent Relatives


a. Visa Type: Adult Dependent Relative visa.

b. Requirements: This applies to parents, grandparents, siblings, or children over the age of 18 who require long-term personal care that can only be provided by relatives in the UK due to illness, disability, or age. The sponsor must demonstrate that they can provide adequate care and support without public funds.

c. Application Provisions: Medical documentation proving the need for personal care and evidence of the financial ability to provide such care are necessary.


Section F: Application Process for Family Reunion Visas


The application process for family reunion visas in the UK involves several stages, from gathering the necessary documents to submitting the application and attending an interview. Each type of visa has specific requirements, but the general application steps are similar.


1. How to Apply for a UK Family Visa


Step 1: Determine Eligibility

The first step is to verify eligibility based on the type of family reunion visa required, whether it is for a spouse, partner, child, or adult dependant relative. This involves understanding the specific criteria, such as relationship proofs, financial thresholds, and accommodation requirements.


Step 2: Gather Documentation

Applicants must collect all necessary documentation, including proof of relationship (like marriage certificates or birth certificates), proof of meeting financial requirements (such as bank statements, payslips, or proof of employment), and evidence of adequate living arrangements.


Step 3: Complete the Application Form

The next step is to complete the appropriate online application form for the specific visa type. This must be done accurately to avoid delays or rejections.


Step 4: Pay the Visa Fee and Healthcare Surcharge

The applicant must pay the required visa application fee and the health surcharge, which grants access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).


Step 5: Biometric Information

Applicants need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph) at a visa application centre.


Step 6: Interview

In some cases, the applicant may be required to attend an interview where they must demonstrate the genuineness of their application and answer questions about their relationship and intentions in the UK.


Step 7: Visa Decision

After the application is processed, a decision will be made. If approved, the visa will be issued; otherwise, the applicant will be informed of the grounds for refusal.


2. Common Application Challenges


The application process for family reunion visas is fraught with challenges that can be daunting for many applicants. It requires careful preparation, a good understanding of the legal requirements, and often, the assistance of professional legal services to navigate successfully.


a. Meeting the Financial Requirement

One of the biggest hurdles is meeting the minimum income requirement. Many applicants find this challenging, especially if they are in low-paid employment or self-employed. The financial requirement has been criticised for being too high and not reflecting the actual living costs in different parts of the UK.


b. Proving Genuine Relationships

Proving the authenticity of a relationship can be particularly challenging for couples who do not have extensive documentary evidence of their relationship. This is often the case for those who have lived apart for significant periods or who have cultural differences from typical UK relationships.


c. Complexity and Length of the Application Process

The application process can be complex and time-consuming. Delays in processing times, especially during periods of high demand or due to the impact of global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, add to the uncertainty and stress experienced by families.


d. Cost of Application

The cost of applying for family visas is high and can be prohibitive for many families. This includes not only the application fee but also the healthcare surcharge, legal fees for assistance, and the potential cost of appeals or reapplications.


e. Changes in Regulations

Frequent changes in immigration laws and policies can confuse and disadvantage applicants who might not be up-to-date with the latest requirements. This is particularly challenging for those without access to professional legal advice.


Section G: Future of Family Immigration in the UK


With ongoing political, economic, and social changes, it is crucial to consider how family reunion policies might evolve from current trends to meet the needs of a modern, interconnected society and in response to pressure from campaign groups and other stakeholders.


1. Current Trends and Influential Factors


a. Increased Scrutiny and Stricter Requirements

In recent years, there has been a sustained preference from Government for tighter regulations and increased scrutiny in the application process for family visas. This includes more rigorous checks on financial stability, relationship authenticity, and integration prospects. The aim is to ensure that those entering the UK can support themselves and contribute positively to society without being a burden on public resources.


b. Technological Advancements in Processing Applications

The Home Office has been increasingly relying on digital technology to process visa applications. This includes online applications, digital status checks, and the use of biometrics. This shift aims to streamline processes, reduce processing times, and improve applicant experience.


c. Legal Challenges and Human Rights Considerations

There have been several high-profile legal challenges to the UK’s family immigration rules, particularly regarding the minimum income requirement and the rights of children. Courts have occasionally ruled that some aspects of the laws do not adequately consider the best interests of children or the right to family life as protected by human rights laws.


2. Predictions for the Future of Family Reunification Policy in the UK


The landscape of family immigration in the UK is influenced by broader political, economic, and social trends, and understanding these can provide insight into potential future changes.

The future of family immigration in the UK is likely to be shaped by a combination of internal policy reviews, external legal pressures, and changing societal needs. These factors will dictate how family reunification processes evolve, striving for a balance between controlling immigration and upholding the rights and needs of families.


a. Enhanced Support for Integration

Future policies may focus more on the integration of family members once they arrive in the UK. This could include providing more comprehensive language and cultural orientation programs, which would help family members adapt more quickly and effectively to their new environment.


b. Policy Reforms Driven by Economic and Demographic Factors

The UK’s ageing population and the need for a diverse workforce may influence a more open stance towards family immigration. Recognising the role of immigrant families in fostering community cohesion and economic stability could lead to reforms that make family reunion more accessible.


c. Impact of Brexit and Changes in EU Relations

Post-Brexit adjustments will continue to affect family immigration, particularly for EU nationals and their family members. Future policies will likely reflect the UK’s shifting relationship with the EU and could result in new agreements that facilitate family reunions for Europeans under specific conditions.


d. Greater Emphasis on Child and Family Welfare in Immigration Policies

Future changes may increasingly consider the impact of immigration policies on children and families. This shift would align with international human rights standards, potentially leading to more compassionate and holistic approaches to family reunion visas.


3. Advocacy and Reform Proposals


Advocacy efforts and proposed reforms play a critical role in shaping immigration policies, particularly in family reunification. These efforts are often spearheaded by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), policy advocates, and legal experts who work to influence public policy, raise awareness, and directly support affected families.

Current proposals for reform are centred on:


a. Lowering Financial Requirements

The minimum income normally required to sponsor someone for a spouse/partner visa was increased from £18,600 to £29,000 in April 2024.

Organisations such as the Migrants’ Rights Network and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) have been actively campaigning for a reduction in these financial requirements, arguing that they discriminate against low-income and younger workers and disproportionately affect certain ethnic groups.


b. Expanding Eligibility for Family Reunion

Advocates have proposed expanding the eligibility criteria to include more family members under the family reunion policies, such as siblings and adult children, who can offer significant support to settled migrants. These proposals aim to recognise broader definitions of family that are culturally inclusive and reflective of global family norms.


c. Improving Application Processes

There is a push for making the application process more transparent and accessible. Advocacy groups are working towards simplifying legal language in application materials, providing better access to information, and offering more support services to help applicants navigate the process.


d. Legal Challenges to Unfair Practices

Legal advocacy organisations frequently challenge the Home Office’s decisions in court to set precedents that could make family reunions easier. These challenges often relate to human rights violations and the rights of children and families.


4. Role of NGOs and Policy Advocates in Family Reunification


The efforts of NGOs and policy advocates are crucial in driving change and ensuring that the voices of migrants and their families are heard in the policy-making process. Their continued involvement will be key to achieving more humane and inclusive family reunion policies in the UK.


a. Policy Development

NGOs and policy advocates often participate in policy development processes by providing research, data, and expert opinions to lawmakers. Their contributions can help shape more fair and equitable immigration policies.


b. Public Awareness and Mobilisation

These organisations play a crucial role in raising public awareness about the challenges of family reunion policies. They mobilise public opinion through campaigns, petitions, and media outreach to advocate for policy changes.


c. Direct Support and Legal Assistance

Many NGOs provide direct support to affected individuals and families, offering legal advice, assistance in filling out applications, and support through the appeals process. Organisations like the Refugee Council and Amnesty International are notable for their work in supporting refugees and their families in the UK.


d. International Collaboration

Some advocacy groups work internationally, collaborating with organisations in other countries to advocate for more compassionate and coherent family reunion policies across borders. This is particularly relevant in the context of global migration trends and international human rights standards.


Section H: Summary


Family reunion remains an integral principle within the UK’s immigration system. From the post-war legislation of the 1940s to the stringent requirements of the 2012 family migration rules, the UK’s approach to family reunion has been continually reshaped by economic, political, and social influences.

Family reunion not only facilitates the unification of spouses, children, and dependent relatives but also significantly contributes to the social fabric of the UK. By allowing migrants to reunite with their loved ones, these policies do not merely support individual families but bolster the collective strength and diversity of communities across the nation. The presence of family can provide emotional support, enhance integration, and foster a sense of belonging among new residents, enriching the UK’s multicultural society.

However, the path to family reunion is fraught with challenges. The UK Immigration Rules impose increasingly stringent financial requirements, routes for family members are being closed, and rising application costs result in stress for families making applications and may ultimately impede reunification if the requirements are not deemed to be met.

As the UK continues to evolve its immigration policies, the role of advocacy groups and the influence of public opinion will be critical in shaping a system that aligns more closely with the values of fairness, compassion, and respect for family life.


Section I: Frequently Asked Questions About Family Reunion in the UK Immigration System


Who qualifies for a family reunion visa in the UK? 

Family reunion visas in the UK are typically available to spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, and dependent children of those who are settled in the UK or hold refugee status. Other dependent relatives, like elderly parents or adult dependent relatives requiring long-term care, may also qualify under specific circumstances.


What are the financial requirements for sponsoring a family member to the UK?

The sponsor must meet a minimum income threshold of £29,000 annually to sponsor a spouse or first child for their initial family visa.

Family members (fiancé(e), partner or spouse) who applied for a visa before 11 April 2024 will only need to demonstrate a minimum income of £18,600 per year for future visa extension applications and applications for settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’). This threshold amount also increases with additional children. Sufficient savings can sometimes be used to meet these requirements instead of income.


How long does the family reunion visa process take? 

The processing time can vary significantly but generally takes between 12 to 24 weeks. It depends on the specific circumstances, the accuracy of the application, and the workload of the UK visa processing centres.


Can family visas be denied, and what are the common reasons for denial?

Yes, family visas can be denied. Common reasons include failing to meet the financial requirement, insufficient proof of relationship, lack of adequate accommodation, or failure to meet the English language requirements.


Are there any language requirements for family reunion visas?

Yes, for most family visas, the applicant must provide evidence of English language proficiency. This typically involves passing an approved English language test at a specified level unless the applicant is from an English-speaking country or falls under certain exemptions.


What can I do if my family reunion visa application is denied? 

If your application is denied, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons for the decision. You may have the option to appeal the decision, or, based on the reasons for denial, you can address the issues and reapply.


How can advocacy groups help with the family reunion process?

Advocacy groups can provide guidance, legal advice, and support throughout the application process. They can also assist in cases of unfair denial and help applicants understand their rights and the latest policy changes.


What changes to family reunion policies might occur in the future?

Future changes may include adjustments to financial thresholds, expansion of eligible family member categories, and simplifications in the application process, reflecting changes in law, economic conditions, and public and political attitudes towards immigration.


Section J: Glossary of Key Terms Related to Family Reunion in the UK Immigration System


Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC): A legal status created under the British Nationality Act of 1948, which was applicable to those connected with the United Kingdom or one of its colonies.

Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962: Legislation that imposed restrictions on the right of entry and stay for Commonwealth citizens, marking the start of controlled immigration.

Dependent Children: Children who rely on their parents or guardians for financial support and are included in family reunion applications if they are under 18, unmarried, and not leading independent lives.

EU Settlement Scheme: A policy established post-Brexit allowing EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, along with their family members who were residing in the UK before 31 December 2020, to apply for settled status in the UK.

Family Reunion Visa: A type of visa that allows non-EEA family members of UK residents who are settled or have refugee status to join them in the UK.

Financial Requirement: A criterion for family reunion visas requiring the sponsoring relative to demonstrate a minimum income level or savings to support their family members once they arrive in the UK.

Immigration Act 1971: Legislation that introduced the concept of patriality, fundamentally changing who could enter and stay in the UK by requiring a connection to the country through birth or ancestry.

Income Threshold: The minimum amount of income a sponsor must earn annually to qualify for bringing a family member to the UK under a family visa.

Integration: The process by which immigrants become part of social, cultural, and political life of their new country, which can be facilitated by the presence of family members.

Points-Based System (PBS) Dependants: Family members of those residing in the UK under visas that are part of the points-based system.

Sponsor: A person who is already settled in the UK and seeks to bring a family member to the country under a family reunion visa.

Visa Application Center (VAC): Facilities designated for the collection of visa applications and biometric information from individuals applying to enter the UK.

Visa Fee: The charge paid by applicants for processing their UK visa applications, which varies depending on the visa type and the applicant’s circumstances.



Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

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Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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