Can I bring my family to the UK if I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
The one thing that immigration solicitors will tell you is that personal Immigration law doesn’t just involve the main visa applicant but their whole family. Your family members may want to accompany you or join you as the visa applicant at a later date on a leave to remain dependant visa or settle in the UK. Alternatively, family members may want to regularly come to the UK on visit visas to see you. In this blog we look at whether you can bring your family to the UK if you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and take a closer look at the UK ILR rules.
UK Immigration and Indefinite Leave to Remain solicitors
London based OTS Solicitors specialise in Immigration law and applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain . Call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to discuss your best immigration options or compete our online enquiry form. Appointments are available by video conference, Skype or by telephone appointment.
Do you have Indefinite Leave to Remain?
When looking at how best to bring family members to the UK the first question immigration solicitors will ask is whether you have Indefinite Leave to Remain or British citizenship through a British naturalisation application or they will want to know about your UK settlement plans.
- Whether you meet the eligibility criteria for Indefinite Leave to Remain
- Your fastest route for Indefinite Leave to Remain and whether you are eligible for accelerated settlement
- The paperwork you will need to produce to secure Indefinite Leave to Remain
- The timescale to secure ILR – this will depend on your current Immigration status and whether you chose to use the Home Office premium service to speed up your ILR application process.
Normally you will have to have been continuously and lawfully resident in the UK for at least five years to be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. There are however exceptions to this rule. Accelerated settlement is possible depending on your visa status, for example, if you are in the UK on an investor visa or a global talent visa. Alternatively, for some Indefinite Leave to Remain applicants it can take ten or even twenty years of living in the UK before they meet the eligibility criteria for ILR.
Once you have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain you:
- Have the right to live in the UK free of Immigration control
- Can take up Employment without your employer needing a Sponsor Licence to be able to employ you
- Can set up your own business in the UK without needing an entrepreneur or business visa
- Are eligible to use the NHS without payment
- Are entitled to access and have recourse to public funds.
- Bring your family to join you in the UK.
Can my family join me in the UK?
Under the Immigration Rules you can apply to bring your:
- Partner, husband, wife or civil partner
- Dependant children
- Dependant relatives
Provided that your relatives and dependants meet the eligibility criteria for a family or other type of UK visa.
When can a partner join me in the UK?
Many people with Indefinite Leave to Remain assume that their unmarried partner or their same-sex partner won't be able to join them in the UK. However the Immigration Rules are clear that ‘partner’ isn’t restricted to a husband or wife but includes:
- A civil partner or
- An unmarried partner proving that you have been living together in a relationship for at least two years prior to the application or
- A person that you are planning to get married to in the UK within six months of your partner arriving on a fiancé visa.
To secure a visa your partner, husband or wife will need to:
- Be over the age of eighteen
- Meet the English language requirement
- Be able to financially support themselves.
If your partner doesn’t meet the above eligibility criteria they potentially could still secure a UK family visa if:
- They have a child living in the UK and it would be unreasonable for the child (who must be a British citizen or have lived in the UK for at least seven years) to leave the UK or
- There would be significant difficulties for you and your partner and those difficulties can't be overcome if you were to live with one another outside the UK
- There would be a breach of Human Rights to refuse the visa application.
When can my child join me in the UK?
A child who has a parent with UK Indefinite Leave to Remain can apply for a family visa or a child visa to enter and live in the UK on an indefinite basis. To meet the eligibility criteria the child must be:
- Under the age of eighteen
- Must not be living an independent life, for example, married
- Financially supported without recourse to public funds.
If your child is over the age of eighteen then different Immigration Rules apply as the child can either make their own application or be included in your ILR application as a dependant depending on family and personal circumstances.
How can OTS Solicitors help with your Immigration questions?
If you aren’t sure what is the best visa route for a family member to join you in the UK then speak to the friendly and approachable immigration law team at London based OTS Solicitors. They will provide clear advice on your options, timescales and costs.
The specialist immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors can help you with your application to the Home Office for Indefinite Leave to Remain and will explore the best visa and settlement options for your family.