If you wish to visit a member of your family in the UK and you are living outside the EEA and Switzerland then you will need to apply for a family visit visa.
You can make an application up to three months before you travel and will need to show that you meet the eligibility requirements. These are as follows:
- that you are 18 or over;
- are visiting the UK for less than 6 months;
- will leave the UK at the end of your visit;
- have enough money to support yourself without working or help from public funds, or that relatives and friends can support and house you;
- can pay for your return or onward journey;
- are not in transit to a country outside the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
When making the application you will need to provide evidence that you are able to meet all of the requirements.
Your application will be made online (unless you are applying from Cuba and North Korea) and you will normally receive a decision in around 3 weeks.
It is also possible to apply for a multi visit visa for 1 year, 2, 5 or 10 years, however even if these are granted the maximum length of time you can stay in the UK is 6 months. The visa means that you can re-enter multiple times during the validity of the visa without making a new entry clearance application. For these type of visas you do need to show that you have a frequent and ongoing need to come to the UK.
If granted, your visa will be valid for a 6 month visit. If however, your application is refused then there is no right of appeal and you would need to make a new application.
For more information regarding visit visas, please contact our immigration team.