Visiting family in the UK: How to apply for a family visitor visa

How to successfully apply for a visa to visit relatives in the UK


Read details on: UKBA plans to terminate right of appeal for family visit visas.

07 February 2011. If the main reason you want to come to the UK is to visit family, then you must apply for a family visitor visa, using Application Form VAF1B.


Family is defined as someone you are related to in the following way:

• the applicant's spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or first cousin (note: "first cousin" means, in relation to a person, the son or daughter of his uncle or aunt);
• the father, mother, brother or sister of the applicant's spouse;
• the spouse of the applicant's son or daughter;
• the applicant's stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother or stepsister; or
• a person with whom the applicant has lived as a member of an unmarried couple for at least two of the three years before the day on which his application for entry clearance was made.

The maximum time that you can spend in the UK at any one time as a family visitor is 6 months.

Family visitors are the only visitors who have a full right of appeal against a refusal of their visa application. See details under ‘Visa Appeals’. How to successfully apply for a family visitor visa

As well as meeting the normal requirements for visit visas (‘How to apply for a General Visit Visa ’), to come to the UK under this category, you must satisfy the Immigration Officer that you are truly coming to the UK to see family.

To support this, you need to provide evidence of the family member(s) in the UK that you intend to visit.

This should be a copy of their bio data page (the page containing their photograph) from their UK passport or EEA passport/ID card; or if they are not a UK/EEA national, evidence of their permission to stay in the UK e.g. copy of a letter granting leave to remain from the Home Office, copy of stamps/visas in their passport(s) along with a copy of their bio data page (the page containing their photograph) from their passport, etc…

By Federica Gaida

Edited by Raheela Hussain

Principal Solicitor 
Greenfields Solicitors
December 2010


Disclaimer: The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. Information is offered for general information purposes only, based on the current law when the information was first displayed on this website. 

You should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific legal enquiry. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact Greenfields Solicitors for a Consultation with a Solicitor on 020 8884 1166.


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