Family visitor’s visa is for those who wish to visit their family in the UK.
Requirements for family visitors are the same as general visitor’s requirements. Unlike other categories of visitors to the UK, family visitors still enjoy the right of appeal against refusal of their application. The government intends to take away this right from January 2014.
Family members include the applicant’s spouse, unmarried partner (with proof of cohabitation for at least two years in the last three years), parent, child, sibling (including half-sibling), grandparents and grandchildren, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, first cousin, step-child, step-brother or step-sister. From July 2012, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece and cousins will be excluded from the definition. They will still be able to apply for a visitor’s visa. But their visa will that of a general visitor and will not attract the right of appeal against refusal.
Please read our blog post regarding termination of the right of appeal.
It is not unusual for family visitor applications to be particularly rigorously assessed by the ECO against the requirement to demonstrate the intention to leave the UK on completion of the visit. Unlike other classes of visitors to the UK, family visitors have the right to appeal against a refusal of entry clearance. However, the appeal process does not always provide an adequate remedy as it takes on average between eight and twelve months (and it often takes the ECO some twelve weeks to implement the decision of the tribunal). We recommend that you seek legal advice before applying, as every successive application after an initial refusal is an uphill struggle.