Immigration is the movement of people into a destination country which they are not natives of or where they do not possess citizenship in order to settle or reside there, especially as permanent residents or naturalized citizens, or to take-up employment as a migrant worker or temporarily as a foreign worker.

 

You can apply online for a:

  • UK visa – to visit, work, study or join a family member or partner in the UK
  • certificate of entitlement to prove your right of abode in the UK

You must be outside the the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

 

Before you apply

First check what kind of visa to apply for and what documents you’ll need.

Also check if you need to get a tuberculosis (TB) test.

When you apply online you need to:

  • fill in the application form in English
  • pay the visa fee online (in most cases)

 

Apply for a Home Office travel document

You can apply for a document to travel outside the UK if you’re not British and can’t use or get a passport from your country.

Eligibility

You must be living in the UK for one of the following reasons:

  • you have permission to stay as a refugee or stateless person
  • you have humanitarian protection for a limited time after a failed asylum application
  • you have discretionary leave for a limited time after a failed asylum application
  • you’re settled here permanently (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’)

You must show that you’ve formally applied for and been unreasonably refused a passport by authorities in your country, unless you have permission to be in the UK as a refugee or stateless person.

You’ll need to provide evidence that supports your application – use original documents, not photocopies.

Types of travel documents

There are 4 different types you can apply for, depending on your status.

Your status Type of travel document Adult fee Child (15 or under) fee
Refugee Convention travel document £72 £46
Stateless Stateless person’s document £72 £46
You want to leave and not come back One-way document (also known as an IS137) £72 £46
Refused a passport by your own national authorities Certificate of travel £382 £244

 

How to apply

Fill in form TD112 BRP and send it to the Home Office. The address is on the form.

You’ll need to apply for a biometric residence permit (BRP) if you don’t already have one that’s up to date. This is part of the travel document application. You won’t need to do this if you’re applying for a one-way document.

Some countries won’t accept a travel document if you have less than 6 months’ leave to remain in the UK on the date you travel. You should check you meet the requirements of the country you’re travelling to.

Family applications

If your family are applying at the same time, send all your applications in one envelope so they can be dealt with together. You must include a separate application form and payment for each person.

Get a new travel document

Apply for a new travel document using form TD112 BRP if yours is full up or has expired.

 

Apply to remain in the UK with family

You need a ‘family of a settled person’ visa if you want to stay (‘remain’) with a family member or partner (eg spouse) who’s living in the UK permanently and you’re:

You can apply if you’re eligible and you need to:

Your family member or partner can:

  • be a British citizen
  • have settled in the UK
  • be your partner who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

You may also be able to apply to remain with your child if they’ve lived in the UK for at least 7 years.

Exceptions

You may need to apply in a different way if:

  • you’re outside the UK
  • your partner’s from the EEA or Switzerland
  • your partner originally had a temporary visa as a worker
  • you’re the victim of domestic violence or your partner has died
  • you applied for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa before 9 July 2012
  • you want to reunite with a partner or parent who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

How long it will take

A decision will be made:

  • within 8 weeks for postal applications
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, eg:

  • if your supporting documents need to be verified
  • if you need to attend an interview
  • because of your personal circumstances, eg if you have a criminal conviction

Fees

Who you’re applying for By post In person (premium service)
You £649 £1,049
Dependants £649 each £1,049 each

You must also pay the healthcare charge as part of your application. Checkhow much you need to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can stay for 2 years and 6 months. You’ll be able to apply to extend again towards the end of that.

You can also apply to settle permanently in the UK once you’re eligible.

What you can and can’t do

You can use your ‘family of a settled person’ visa to:

You can’t usually get benefits or other public funds.

Exceptions

You may need to apply a different way depending on where you or your partner are, or your situation.

You’re outside the UK

You should apply to join your family in the UK if you’re not already in the UK and you don’t have a valid ‘family of a settled person’ visa.

Your partner’s from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland

You can apply for a family permit if your family member is from a country in the EEA (excluding the UK) or Switzerland.

Your partner originally had a temporary visa as a worker

If your partner was in the UK on a temporary visa before settling or becoming a British citizen, you may have to apply as a ‘dependant’ (partner) in their original visa category.

Find out how to apply as a ‘dependant’ (partner or child under 18) if your partner or parent settled as someone with a:

You’re the victim of domestic violence or your partner has died

You may be eligible to settle in the UK if you’ve been staying in the UK with your partner on a ‘family of a settled person visa’ and in that time:

  • your relationship with that partner broke down because of domestic violence
  • that partner died

You applied for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa before 9 July 2012

You may be able to settle permanently in the UK instead of extending if you applied for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa before 9 July 2012.

You want to reunite with a partner or parent who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

You should check if you can apply for ‘family reunion’ to stay with a partner or parent who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK.

You can only apply inside the UK if:

  • this is your first application for family reunion
  • your relationship with your family member started before their departure from their home country because of persecution

Eligibility

Your family member or partner can:

  • be a British citizen
  • have settled in the UK
  • be your partner who has asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK

You may also be able to apply to remain with your child if they have lived in the UK for at least 7 years.

You need to choose a category (known as a ‘route’) to apply in – each route has different eligibility requirements.

The route you choose affects how soon you can apply to settle permanently in the UK – there’s a 2-year route, a 5-year route and a 10-year route.

Read the guidance for the 5 and 10-year routes.

You can apply to extend or switch in any of these routes if you’re eligible, except if you have permission to be in the UK:

If you’re in the UK on temporary admission or release (you don’t have a visa) you can only apply to switch if you both:

  • apply in a 10-year route
  • can prove you’ve been in the UK for more than 6 months before you apply

You can also switch between routes if your eligibility changes.

Your application might be refused if, for example, you’ve:

  • got a criminal record in the UK or in another country
  • provided false or incomplete information to the Home Office
  • broken UK immigration law

Read the full guidance on refusals.

Partner routes

Partners are 2 people who are 18 or over and in a genuine relationship – you must be able to prove one of the following:

  • you’re married
  • you’re in a civil partnership
  • you’ve been living together in a relationship for 2 years

You and your partner must intend to continue your relationship after you apply.

Partner (2-year route)

You can only extend your ‘family of a settled person visa’ in this route if you:

  • applied as a partner before 9 July 2012
  • are not eligible to settle
  • have kept to the terms of your visa

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the partner routes and you must also prove that:

Partner (5-year route)

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the partner routes. If you’re 18 or over you must prove that you have a good knowledge of English.

You must also meet the financial requirement of:

  • £18,600 per year if you’re applying only for yourself
  • £22,400 per year for you and one child
  • £2,400 per year for each additional child

You won’t need to prove you have this money if you or your partner get certain disability benefits or Carer’s Allowance, but you’ll need to adequately accommodate and support yourselves and any dependants.

Family life as a partner (10-year route)

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the partner routes and you must also be in one of these situations:

  • there are serious reasons you and your partner can’t live together as a couple in another country
  • you have a child in the UK who is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years and it wouldn’t be in their best interests to leave the UK with you

Parent routes

‘Parent’ means:

  • a natural (biological) parent
  • an adoptive parent
  • a step-parent where the biological parent has died

If the child was born in the UK but isn’t a British citizen and their birth parents are unable to look after them, anyone who takes on parental responsibility will also be considered a parent.

If the child lives with you

You need to have either:

  • sole parental responsibility
  • shared responsibility and the child’s other parent is a British citizen or is settled in the UK

If the child lives with their other parent or carer

You must:

  • have access to the child in person, as agreed with the other parent or carer or by a court order
  • have shared responsibility for looking after the child
  • not be the partner of the child’s other parent
  • not eligible to apply for a visa as a partner

You must be able to prove that:

  • you and the child are both living in the UK
  • the child is under 18 or was under 18 when you applied for a ‘family of a settle person visa’ to join them
  • you’re continuing to take an active role in the child’s upbringing

Read the guidance for parents if your child lives with their other parent or carer.

Family life as a parent (5-year route)

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the parent routes and you must also be able to prove that:

Family life as a parent (10-year route)

You can also apply in this route if the child has lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years.

You must meet the eligibility requirements for the parent routes.

You must also prove that it wouldn’t be in the child’s best interests to leave the UK with you.

Private life in the UK (10-year route)

You must be able to prove that you’re:

  • between 18 and 24 and you’ve lived continuously in the UK for more than half your life
  • 25 or over and you’ve been in the UK continuously for 20 years
  • 18 or over and you’ve spent less than 20 years in the UK, but you’d find it hard to live in another country, eg because you have no friends or relationships there
  • under 18 and you’ve lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to leave the UK

You’re a child

You may be eligible to settle in the UK if your parents are settled.

You can also check if you can apply as a family member.

You were born in the UK

You’ll get the same permission to stay as your parents if you’re a child who was born in the UK. You can either:

Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply, unless you’re applying in a 10-year route.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways – check the guidance for the Partner (2-year and 5-year routes) or the guidance for other routes.

Exceptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

You also may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances – check the guidance for the Partner (2-year and 5-year routes) or the guidance for other routes.

Documents you must provide

You need to provide documents for you and any ‘dependants’ (partner or children) who are applying with you.

You must provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel ID
  • previous passports
  • 2 passport size colour photographs
  • proof of your partner or child’s British citizenship or immigration status in the UK
  • proof of your relationship to your partner or child
  • any other documents that prove you meet the eligibility requirements

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Read your application form for a list of the documents you need to provide.

 

Apply

You must apply from inside the UK.

When to apply

You must apply before your visa expires.

How to apply

Partner (2-year and 5-year routes)

Download the FLR(M) application form and guidance.

You must also pay the healthcare charge as part of your application. Checkhow much you need to pay before you apply.

Post your form and supporting documents to the address on the form or apply in person at a premium service centre.

All other routes

Download the FLR(FP) application form and guidance for:

  • family life as a partner (10-year route)
  • family life as a parent (5-year route)
  • family life as a parent (10-year route)
  • private life in the UK (10-year route)

Post your form and supporting documents to the address on the form.