Bringing Your Family From A Non-EU State To Live In The UK

If you are looking to bring your family from a non-EU state to live with you in the UK, there are a number of tests and some strict financial thresholds that applicants must meet before their loved ones can join them.

To bring your spouse and children to the UK you need to be ‘present and settled in the country’.  

What does 'present and settled' in the UK mean?

To be classed as present and settled’ in the UK, a person must have no restrictions on their ability to stay in the country.  Therefore, they must either have;

  • British citizenship, or
  • indefinite leave to enter or remain, or
  • the right of abode, or 
  • Irish nationality, or
  • A European Economic Area (EEA) or a third country nationality (TCN) who has acquired permanent residence (PR) under EU free movement law

Does my spouse have to speak English?

Yes, unless they are applying under the 10-year route.

To be eligible to apply for a partner visa under the 10-year route you must show:

  • there are serious reasons that you and your partner can’t live together as a couple in another country, or
  • you have a child in the UK who is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for seven years and it wouldn’t be in their best interests to leave the UK with you

What is the ‘minimum income’ requirement?

The minimum income threshold for an applicant partner applying alone is currently set at £18,600. For an applicant partner with one child, an additional £3,800 is required, and for each additional child after that a further £2,400.

This threshold is difficult to meet and the Supreme Court is currently considering its validity in the case of R (on the application of MM (Lebanon)) (AP) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

Can I get a loan to meet the financial threshold?

No, the funds must come from income and/or savings.

Can I bring my partner to the UK if we are not married?

Yes, under the unmarried partner visa.  To qualify for this visa, you must show evidence that you and your partner have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for two or more years and you intend to live together permanently.

The ‘minimum income’ requirement will also apply when bringing an unmarried partner into the UK to join you.

Do the same rules apply to couples in a same-sex relationship?

Yes.  It is a breach of the Equality Act 2010 for a public body to discriminate against a person because of their sexual orientation.

Can I bring a child I have adopted to the UK?

You can bring your adopted child to the UK if you can prove:

  • you adopted the child whilst you lived abroad or when either parent was settled in the UK; 
  • the child has the same rights as any other children you have; 
  • the child was adopted because their original parents could not care for them, and there has been a genuine transfer of parental responsibility;
  • the child has no relationship with their original family; and
  • the child was not adopted just to make it easier to obtain a UK entry visa.

The UK will only recognise an adoption if it was made in a country featured in the Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions) Order 1973.

Bringing a partner and / or children into the UK is a complex process.  To ensure your application is successful, it is advisable to instruct an experienced immigration solicitor to assist you with the visa process.

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