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Applying for Visas for Extended Family

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 18 Feb 2021 | comments*Discuss
Applying For Visas For Extended Family

The rules on applying for visas to bring extended family to live in the UK vary according to the nature of the relationship and the family member’s country of origin.

European Citizens

Nationals of countries in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland generally have the right to live and work in the UK. This right is dependent on the European national being able to show that they will either be working in the UK or that they will otherwise be able to support themselves and their family without having to rely on public funds.

European nationals who satisfy the above criteria may bring with them to live in the UK the following family members:

  • Their spouse or civil partner;
  • Children or grandchildren of the European national or their spouse / civil partner – the children must be under 21 or dependent on the European national;
  • The parents or grandparents of the European national or of their spouse / civil partner – but not if the European national is a student.
European nationals may also be able to bring the following family members to the UK:
  • Unmarried partner – they will have to be able to prove that they are in an enduring relationship;
  • Extended family – brothers, sisters, cousins etc. may be eligible but only if they can prove that they are dependent on the European national.
Family members of European nationals who are not themselves nationals of the EU, EEA or Switzerland will have to apply for an EEA family permit before coming to the UK.

Children of Nationals of Other Countries

Children under the age of 18 may usually join their parent or parents to live in the UK if the parents are or will be legally settled there. The parents must be able to support their child without relying on public funds and must have sufficient accommodation for the child. The child must also be financially dependent on the parents, not be married and not have previously been living apart from their parents.

Extended Family Members of UK Residents

In some circumstances foreign nationals may be able to bring the following extended family members to the UK: parents, or widowed parent, where at least one is over the age of 65; grandparents, or a widowed grandparent, where one is over the age of 65. To qualify:
  • The relative must be financially dependent on their UK resident family member;
  • The relative must not have any other close family members who could look after them; and,
  • The UK resident must be able to support and house their relative without having to rely on public funds.

Parents or grandparents under the age of 65 may be able to qualify to live in the UK if the above conditions are satisfied and they live “in the most exceptional compassionate circumstances”.

Children over the age of 18, siblings, aunts, uncles or any other relative may also be able to qualify to live in the UK with their resident family member if they satisfy all of the previous conditions and live alone.

Applications for settlement visas for family members are generally made on form VAF 4 – Settlement or may be made online at the UK Border Agency’s website.


A foreign national who has been granted refugee status or exceptional leave to remain in the UK may be able to bring their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner and any dependent children under the age of 18 to the UK. These family members may qualify for UK “family reunion” entry clearance. Other extended family members do not necessarily qualify on this ground but may be given permission to come to the UK on compassionate grounds if they are dependent on the refugee.

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I'm a EU national with pre settled status, living in UK for 4.5 years with my family. How do I get my aunt and uncle ( dad's siblings) to UK. What visa should I apply or is there any other option?
Joy - 18-Feb-21 @ 7:50 AM
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Anthony Constantinou - 17-Feb-21 @ 12:36 PM
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moshe strugano - 17-Feb-21 @ 12:13 PM
Can I go and stay with my mom's sister in UK who is a permanent resident and have been there for 20 years. I am a 31 year adult and a moto vehicle technician.
Fay - 28-Jan-21 @ 8:30 AM
I live in uk on my own on benefits I own my own propety Can i sponsor mydeceased husbands sister who is also my first cousin from kenya.
Sam - 20-Jan-21 @ 3:13 PM
Hi how do I apply for my auntie and her husband to come over to stay here in uk. I am a uk citizens l be here for 32 years
Noki - 10-Dec-20 @ 8:31 PM
Please advice on how my 42 year-old son and his 13-year old daughter could come and live with us here in the UK. He has a bachelor's degree in electronic and computer engineering and has good experience in sales with Shell Philippines. Thank you.
Jude - 27-Nov-20 @ 2:23 PM
My boyffriend wants to move to the UK and live with his cousin, can he?
Joelma - 15-Nov-20 @ 5:24 PM
Hi, I have double citizen, italian and albanian, can I bring my sister and her son to live in the uk? She is a single mum in albania. I have the right to live and work here. Thank you
Adi - 11-Nov-20 @ 9:13 AM
Can i invite my son inlaw to the uk to join the family.. i am an italian Citizen living in the Uk
Lian - 7-Nov-20 @ 9:10 AM
Can I apply EEA family permit for my brother ,he is married and has 3 children. I want to sponsor only him. He’s dependent. Or I need to apply for whole family? Is it ok if I write in covering letter when he comes he can find job for take care of his family? Thank you
Nil - 5-Nov-20 @ 8:23 PM
My uncle is a British national and has been living in UK for the past 40years and owns his own house .can he take me (his nephew) from India to live and work in the uk. If possible under which category.
Ll - 30-Oct-20 @ 2:43 AM
Hello there, I would like to know the way I can bring my sister and her 2 daughters to live with me. She is a single mum. I am a U.K. resident. Thanks Di
Di - 28-Oct-20 @ 9:38 PM
Hi there. I am UK Citizen and my husband is Fijian. Can my brother in law come and stay with us for 6 months to meet his niece and nephew and see my husband (his brother) for the first time in 12 years? He is currently working in Iraq. My husband and I have 2 children, own a 3 bedroom house and both work full time.
Lyns - 23-Oct-20 @ 11:49 AM
I am a UK resident. Can I sponsor my brother who is an Indian national to live and work in UK? My husband and I are in full time employment. We own a 3 bedroom house, no benefits and have no dependants.
AP - 9-Oct-20 @ 10:41 AM
Hi my sister is from Philippines she work in Dubai at the moment and i would like her to come here in uk to live with me.im a British citizen.im not sure if what i have to do to get her.hope you can give me advice what i have to do thank you.
Tess - 28-Sep-20 @ 8:04 PM
Hi, I want tobringmycoursinfromAfrican. Shewaswith mewhilstItravelled toUK.shehaslosthermom .in thecaseof FGM. Nowthecommunityleaderswanthertostep in hermom'sshoes. WhichIamtotallyagainst . Imaylike totalkmore about theissuesif yougive me acall.
Mary - 26-Sep-20 @ 8:03 PM
My auntie lives in Lebanon and i would like her to come and live with me in the UK how can i apply for her and what does she need
Mina - 18-Sep-20 @ 11:05 AM
Hello, my daughter is am EU citizen minor in ukhave residence permit and i have derivative residence card i want to know if i can apply for family permit Visa for my sister in Nigeria? Thanks
Amigo - 2-Sep-20 @ 12:32 PM
I will like to enquire if my husband can bring his niece (Who’s under 16 years and her parent are alive ) to the UK??? We are not financially dependent on the govt besides, we get nothing other than child benefits. We have a 3 bedroom rented flat in our name and he’s self employed. I’m a full time mum. Could this be possible
Babygarl13 - 29-Aug-20 @ 7:29 PM
In europwn national with settle status in Uk i want to call my Sister here in Uk she has a baby of a year Old can i Bering her here as family permit visa
Pbhztia - 18-Aug-20 @ 4:18 PM
My mother and her parents born and raised in Scotland. I have cousins on my mothers side still living in Scotland. My mother came to US but never became a US citizen. Am i eligible for dual citizenship based on my mothers family side?
dianne - 16-Aug-20 @ 6:32 AM
Hello good evening please I need some help... I have a sister she live in the uk she is EU national and I wanted to meet her and her family I am living in Spain please what documents will I provide.
Ehi - 13-Aug-20 @ 11:23 PM
Hi I have a son in the Philippines 32 years separated from his family.Any chance he can join us here in the UK.Please do help us.
Rose - 11-Aug-20 @ 5:21 AM
Hi my partner and father to my two children wants to no if he can bring his two brothers here the uk to live permanently ones a general nurse and the other Works for a computer I.T. Company and is also a trained barber what I want to know is this possible and how do we do this
Stacey - 9-Aug-20 @ 7:39 AM
Hi. am a German citizen live in UK I want to bring my sister and she have 3 kids is it ideal to process for her and her children or should I just do for her alone
Olu - 6-Aug-20 @ 10:33 PM
Hi, I'm a 22 year old university student who was born and raised here and was wondering if i was able to bring my aunty (mums sister) who is lives alone and has no other family members around, in syria, to come to the UK and live with me. Would that be possible?
sammour - 3-Aug-20 @ 3:57 PM
Hello. I am a European citizen with a residence card in the UK. My husband is on the EEA settlement scheme and received his residence card as well. We are trying to bring my husband's brother (my brother in law) to the UK as my dependant. My questions is regarding to his wife (my sister in law). Would she be able to come with him and stay? Is there a process that we can do for her? I have not seen anything regarding the spouse of a brother in law
Maggie - 23-Jul-20 @ 10:25 AM
I am a British citizen I like to bring my nephew who is in India now on extended visa. They are depended on me .
Joy - 17-Jul-20 @ 6:19 PM
Hi, my uncle is a Spanish National and he is living in the uk for last 12 years, and I am also living with him How can I apply for extended family permit visa? 2. Can I apply with pre-settle scheme. Thanks
Malik - 12-Jul-20 @ 7:12 AM
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