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Family Reunion Application: UK Asylum

The Family Reunion Application process in the UK provides a crucial opportunity for individuals granted asylum or humanitarian protection to reunite with their family members.

This process is essential for refugees seeking to bring their immediate relatives, including spouses and children, to the UK. Understanding this procedure is crucial for those looking to rebuild their lives with their loved ones in a new country.

For professional assistance with your family reunion application, contact Birmingham Immigration Lawyers at 0121 667 6530. Our team of experienced immigration solicitors is dedicated to helping you successfully deal with the complex requirements of UK asylum law.

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    Refugee Family Reunion Application Process and Requirements

    The refugee family reunion process in the UK is aimed primarily at helping recognised refugees within the country to bring their immediate family members from abroad.

    Recognising the complexity and difficulties of this procedure, the British Red Cross offers valuable enquiry services, providing support and guidance throughout.

    This process involves eligibility verification, gathering and submitting necessary documentation, and understanding the specific requirements based on each unique situation. The aim is to ensure a smooth and successful reunion of refugees with their loved ones, thereby facilitating their integration and settlement in the UK.

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    Eligibility Criteria for Sponsors

    • To sponsor a family reunion, the applicant must either be a spouse, civil partner, or, if under 18, a parent who was not married at the time of their asylum application.
    • The sponsor must have obtained refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK post-October 9, 2006.
    • Before fleeing the home country, a pre-existing relationship with the family members is mandatory.

    Application Steps

    Online Application Procedure

    The initial step involves applying for an entry clearance visa through the UK government’s official website, specifically under the family reunion category. The application process includes filling out the VAF4A form and Appendix 4, dedicated to family settlements.

    Biometric Data Submission

    Applicants are required to book an appointment at a designated Service and Support Centre to provide their biometric information, including fingerprints and a photograph. During this appointment, the supporting documents are also reviewed for authenticity.

    Document Requirements

    Necessary documents include identity proofs like passports or national identity cards and relationship evidence such as marriage or birth certificates. Providing proof of the sponsor’s refugee status or humanitarian protection is critical.

    Specific Requirements for Applicants

    Proof of marriage or a relationship lasting at least two years before the refugee departed their home country. They must be unmarried and not part of an independent family unit. Additionally, they should have been part of the family unit before the sponsor’s departure.

    Application Costs

    The application is free for eligible family members. There might be costs associated with gathering necessary documents, such as obtaining official copies of certificates or conducting DNA tests. Applicants applying outside the UK face a fee of €2,119 per person, while those inside the UK are charged €1203 per person.

    Processing Time and Aftermath

    The processing time can extend beyond three months, contingent on the time to gather necessary documents and apply for passports. Upon successful application, family members can join the refugee sponsor in the UK to reside together and continue their familial relationship.

    Additional Requirements for Specific Circumstances

    The standard immigration rules apply, and meeting these requirements may be more challenging. New spouses or children born after leaving the country of origin are subject to standard immigration rules. In cases where the requirements cannot be met, arguing the application on human rights grounds may be possible.

    Key Takeaways

    The family reunion process for refugees in the UK is designed to be accessible, with no application fees and relaxed requirements for proving financial stability or language proficiency.

    Applications should be thoroughly prepared with all necessary evidence to avoid refusal. The process may involve complex legal considerations, especially for children over 18 and new family members, where standard immigration rules apply.

    The Family Reunion Application provides a crucial lifeline for refugees in the UK to bring their families together. For personalised assistance and to ensure a smooth application process, Birmingham Immigration Lawyers are available.

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      Sponsoring a Partner for a Family Reunion

      Sponsoring a partner for a family reunion in the UK involves a thorough process, ensuring the relationship is genuine and ongoing. Here’s an overview of the process, required documents, and considerations for sponsoring a partner.

      Eligibility Verification

      The sponsor must hold refugee status or have been granted humanitarian protection in the UK. It’s essential to demonstrate the genuineness of the relationship, whether married, in a civil partnership, or a longstanding relationship.

      Application Preparation

      Access and fill out the necessary application forms, ensuring accuracy and completeness. These forms are available on the UK government’s website or through immigration services.

      Gather all essential documentation, including proof of the sponsor’s status in the UK and evidence of the relationship.

      Submission of Application

      Submit the completed application and supporting documents to the appropriate immigration authorities. Both sponsor and partner may need to provide biometric information as part of the application.

      Documents and Evidence Needed

      • Evidence demonstrates that the partners lived together for at least two years before the refugee departed their home country. Key documents include marriage certificates, travel records, social media interactions, joint financial accounts, lease or mortgage agreements, or official documents showing a shared address and photographs.
      • Show evidence of shared financial responsibilities and assets.
      • Provide proof of marital status and shared duties, if applicable.
      • If the partners have undergone a traditional marriage ceremony, any documents or certificates from this event should be provided to support the application.

      Navigating Nationality and Human Rights Aspects

      The sponsor’s immigration status is a critical factor. In complex cases, the application might involve arguments based on human rights, especially where meeting standard requirements is challenging.

      Post-Application Steps

      • After applying, applicants should regularly check their status and be prepared to provide additional information if requested by UK immigration authorities.
      • Applicants should plan for their arrival in the UK, considering aspects like accommodation and integration into the community.

      Additional Resources

      Experts like Birmingham Immigration Lawyers, who specialise in complex cases and specific concerns, can be invaluable. Our detailed knowledge of immigration law ensures tailored guidance and effective handling of unique scenarios.

      Additionally, official government guidelines offer comprehensive information on procedures and necessary documentation for family reunion applications. Refugee aid organisations and community centres are valuable resources for further support, offering assistance and advice to help with the complex family reunification process in the UK.

      Family Reunion Application: Including Children

      Including children in a family reunion application in the UK involves specific processes and requirements. This guide will outline these steps, required documents, considerations for children with independent family units, and resources available.

      Process and Requirements for Including Children

      Children must be part of the family unit before the refugee fled their country of origin. Children under 18 are generally included, while those over 18 might be included under exceptional circumstances​​.

      Specific Documents and Evidence

      Birth certificates, adoption papers, or other legal documents demonstrating the child’s relationship to the sponsor and their age. These documents help in verifying the identity and nationality of the children​​.

      In cases where parentage needs to be established or confirmed, DNA evidence might be requested. This is particularly relevant for applications involving children to develop a biological relationship with the sponsor.

      Considerations for Children with Independent Family Units

      Children over 18 or those with independent family units generally face different criteria. Their inclusion in the family reunion application depends on exceptional circumstances, per UK immigration policies​​.

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        Applying for a Family Reunion Visa Outside the UK

        Applying for a Family Reunion Visa outside the UK involves specific steps, requirements, and considerations. An overview of the process, essential documents, and additional resources for overseas applicants.

        Process and Requirements for Applying from Abroad

        • The applicant must be an immediate family member of someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK. This includes spouses and children under 18.
        • Children above 18 may apply under exceptional circumstances, which involve ongoing dependency or special needs.
        • The application process starts with filling out the necessary forms, which vary based on the applicant’s current location (inside or outside the UK).
        • Most applications occur outside the UK, except in unique situations where in-country applications are permitted.

        Specific Documents and Evidence Required

        • Marriage certificates are required for spouses to prove the legitimacy of the marriage.
        • Birth certificates for children to establish a relationship with the sponsor.
        • Passports or national identity cards are essential for establishing the applicant’s identity.
        • Evidence shows that the family unit was intact before the refugees had to flee their country. This might include joint bank account statements, family photos, or other official records.

        Post-Submission Steps

        • Applicants will be assigned an application number, which is used to track the progress of their application.
        • The applicant will receive a confirmation indicating that the authorities have received your application.
        • The immigration officials will assess the person’s permanent residency eligibility, ensuring all immigration requirements are met.
        • Applicants may be required to provide biometric details as a part of the application process.
        • After approval of the sponsorship, the application for permanent residence will be forwarded to the designated processing office. The timeline for processing can vary, generally taking about 10 to 14 months for immediate family members and potentially longer for applications in family preference categories.

        Additional Considerations and Resources for Overseas Applicants

        • Organisations like the British Red Cross assist with visa applications, including evidence collection and form filling. They also offer guidance on immigration rules and can help arrange travel for family members joining refugees in the UK​​.
        • It’s advisable to seek legal advice to understand how immigration rules apply to individual cases.
        • In cases where standard requirements are challenging to meet, applicants might rely on human rights arguments​​.
        • For spouses, evidence of ongoing communication and support may strengthen the application.
        • For children above 18, documentation proving their dependency on the sponsor, such as educational records or medical reports, can be crucial.
        • In the case of previous rejections or complications, legal advice may be necessary to address these issues in the application.

        How Long Does The Family Reunion Visa Application Take?

        As of late 2023, those applying for a Family Reunion Visa in the United Kingdom should anticipate a standard processing time of about 12 weeks.

        However, due to various factors, including the complexity of individual cases and the efficiency of the processing centre, this duration may extend up to six months.

        Applicants must consider these potential delays when planning their applications. The processing duration is influenced by factors such as the completeness and accuracy of the submitted application, the need for additional documentation, and the applicant’s specific circumstances.

        To avoid delays, applicants are advised to ensure all necessary documents are submitted promptly and accurately.

        Applications can be submitted up to three months before the planned travel date, allowing sufficient time for processing.

        The Family Reunion Visa route, particularly relevant for recognised refugees in the UK seeking to reunite with family members outside the country, requires careful attention to detail to facilitate a smoother application process.

        What Happens After The Application Is Successful: Next Steps

        Once your Family Reunion Visa application is successful, there are several steps to follow and considerations for when your family can join you in the UK:

        1. You will be notified via letter or email about the decision on your application. This communication will include instructions on what to do next​​.
        2. Successful applicants will receive a visa stamp, a sticker in their passport, or access to online immigration status information, depending on how they applied. This documentation will detail the type of visa granted, the validity dates, and the visa conditions​​.
        3. It’s essential to check the visa document or online information for any errors and to understand the conditions of your visa, such as work permissions and access to public funds​​.
        4. Once the visa is granted, your family members can travel to the UK. The stamp on the passport will indicate the start date of the visa.
        5. Suppose your family plans to stay in the UK for over six months. In that case, they must collect their BRP (Biometric residence permit) within ten days of arrival in the UK from a designated location, usually chosen during the application process​​.
        6. Upon arrival, your family can start settling in the UK, finding accommodation schools for children, and exploring employment opportunities for dependents, if permitted.
        7. Ensure that all family members stick to the conditions of their visas to avoid complications with immigration status in the UK.

        Each visa case is unique, and processing times or subsequent steps may vary based on individual circumstances. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it is advisable to consult directly with UK Visas and Immigration or seek assistance from Birmingham Immigration professionals.

        Our Immigration Solicitors Can Help You

        At Birmingham Immigration Lawyers, we specialise in a wide range of services tailored to support individuals with various immigration needs. Our expert team is well-equipped to assist with asylum applications, asylum appeals, bail applications, fresh claims, and permission to work applications. Additionally, we provide dedicated support for travel document applications, resolving BRP issues (lost, stolen, or errors), and family reunion applications and appeals, including applications for permission to appeal at both the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) and Upper Tribunal (UT).

        The benefits of engaging our services include receiving personalised legal advice, guidance through complex immigration processes, and expert representation to enhance the likelihood of a successful outcome. Our solicitors are skilled in navigating the intricacies of immigration law, ensuring that your application complies with the latest regulations and standards.

        For assistance with immigration matters, don’t hesitate to contact Birmingham Immigration Lawyers at 0121 667 6530. Let our team provide the professional support and peace of mind you need during your immigration journey.

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