Family visit visa is for the purpose of visiting close family relatives already settled in the UK. There are certain requirements, which need to be satisfied in order to make a successful Family visit application.
1. Rules and Regulations:
a) Intention To Leave After Visiting
A person requires making his intention of leaving the UK after a particular period of time which can be done by showing strong financial, social and family ties in his/her home country.
The following list of documents is normally acceptable to establish strong ties of a person in his or her home country.
- Evidence of Ownership of property
- Evidence of an established business oversees
- Evidence that the candidate has got family living in his/her home country. The entry clearance officer normally takes into a/c only close family members of the candidate (e.g. spouse, other children) while ascertaining potency of family ties.
- Evidence that the applicant has got memberships of professional bodies or social groups would be sufficient to prove social ties.
- Bank Statements showing sufficient amount of money.
b) No Intention to Study During Visit
Visitors/tourists are not allowed to study or switch their immigration status to any other status.
c) Not Intention to take employment
The candidate requires proving that he neither needs to nor intends to take job whether full time or on a part time basis. Family visit visa is normally issued on the basis of the assumption that the candidates would not take employment during their stay in the United Kingdom and if such persons engage themselves in any sort of employment whether paid or unpaid, full time or part time then their leave to remain may be shortened by the Immigration Authorities and they may be removed from the country.
d) No Intention to Produce Goods/Provide Services to public
The candidate needs to prove that he neither needs to nor intends to produce goods or provide services to public whether full time or on a part time basis. Family visit visa is normally issued on the basis of the assumption that the candidates would not engage themselves in these business activities during their stay in the United Kingdom and if such persons do take such risks their leave to remain may be curtailed by the Immigration Authorities and they may be removed from the country.
e) Able to sustain & accommodate himself and any dependants without option to public funds
The candidates need to establish that they can maintain and accommodate without recourse to public funds or any employment. It can be proved by providing sufficient availability of funds either in Bank Statements or by some other form of evidence.
f) Able to meet the expenses of the return or onward journey
It can be confirm by providing sufficient availability of funds either in Bank Statements or by some other form of evidence like purchase of a return ticket.
2. Duration of Visa
This type of visa is normally issued for a maximum period of 6 months. Visas issued for longer than six months does not mean that the person has got leave to stay till the end of their visa. This is in fact leave to enter for six months from the date of arrival/influx in the UK and permission to make any subsequent visit to the UK for another period of 6 months till the validity of visa.
3. Right of Appeal
If the British Embassy refuses the entry clearance application of a family visitor, the candidate has got a right of appeal that need to be lodged within 28 days of the receipt of refusal letter. The Manager of Entry clearance normally reviews the decision in the light of the grounds of appeal and may overturn the decision and decide to issue the visa. If the decision is not overturned in the analysis then the case is sent to the Asylum & Immigration Tribunal in the United Kingdom for a full Court Hearing.
4. Work Allowed
The holders of family visiting visa are not allowed to do any sort of work weather paid or unpaid or cannot engage themselves in any sort of business.
5. Extension of Visa
Immigration policies do not allow any extension of visa for the family visitors while remaining within the United Kingdom. However, in cases of absolute emergency family visitors can surely apply for an extension of their leave to remain to the Home Office. The Home Office can only approve this category of application if good documents are provided to its satisfaction in order to exercise judgment in the applicant’s favor. But efforts should always be made to return to the Home country within the prescribed time period as any application for extension of a visit visa in the UK may risk any visa application made from outside the UK in future.
6. Spouse / Children
Family visitors cannot invite their spouse / children to join them as their dependants once they are in the UK. Though, they can certainly include them in the entry clearance application and bring them along. It is more probable that the ECO would ask for some more evidence of financial, social and family ties of the family in its home country.
7. Switching Rules
Since 01-October-2004, there have been some major changes in the switching rules. Family visitors can no longer switch to any other category under the immigration rules. Family visitors are normally issued visas on the responsibility that they would return before the end of their permitted leave and have not got any other intention.
8. Settlement Prospects
There are no settlement prospects for the family visitors as it is a temporary visa and they are not allowed to switch to any other immigration category that leads to permanent settlement.
It is important to meet all the requirements of this category by appropriate documents in order to qualify for this visa. Sometimes the visa application gets refused due to the lack of a document, which could have easily been obtained. Although refusal of a visa of this category triggers a right of appeal but unfortunately it takes too long for an appeal to be considered by a senior Entry Clearance Officer (review) or AIT (Court Hearing). It is therefore advised to give full attention to even minor details while proceeding with the entry clearance application for this category as your family might need your presence in the UK on important occasions of their lives!