Applying For Family Reunion

After having been granted refugee status in the UK, the citizen can apply for the refugee family reunion. This policy allows the citizen in question to be reunited with their spouse or partner, and children under the age of 18, here in the UK.

The primary requirement of this policy is that these family members formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country and acquired refugee status. If the family member formed part of the family unit after the citizen left the country of origin, these family members will have to apply for Leave to Enter the UK under the normal immigration rules.

Making an application:

The application is now digitalised and must be made through the official government website: https://www.gov.uk/settlement-refugee-or-humanitarian-protection/family-reunion

The applicant must also complete the paper form VAF4A and enrol their biometrics at a visa centre. The application is free of charge and,

In the exceptional cases the family member(s) were able to reach the UK and are making an application from within the UK, the applicant must write to the UKVI centre in Liverpool:

UKVI Family Reunion Team

Admin Team

7th Floor

Capital Building

Liverpool

L3 9PP

Requirements:

In order to make an application, the refugee must still have refugee status. Once they acquire British citizenship, they will fall under the normal immigration rules.

The applicant is not required to meet a financial requirement or show adequate maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds.

  1. The family members must apply for entry clearance
  2. The family members must not fall under the exclusion clauses of the Refugee Convention, such as by committing was crimes or certain serious crimes.

In the case of a Spouse, the following requirements must also be fulfilled:

  • The applicant and the partner must be married or in a civil partnership.
  • This marriage or civil partnership must have occurred before the refugee fled the country of origin.
  • The couple must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship, intending to live together permanently.
  • Their relationship must not be classified within the “prohibited degree of relationship”.

In the case of unmarried or same-sex partners, the following requirements must also be fulfilled:

  • The couple must have been living together during their relationship for at least two years.
  • They must have started their relationship before the refugee fled the country of origin.
  • The couple must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship, intending to live together permanently.
  • Their relationship must not be classified within the “prohibited degree of relationship”.

In some cases where they have not lived together for two years, a family reunion visa may be granted regardless, due to the fact that their relationship may have put them in danger in their country of origin. 

In the case of a child of a refugee, the following requirements must be fulfilled:

  • The child must be under the age of 18 at the date of application.
  • The child cannot have formed an independent family unit and cannot be leading an independent life.
  • The child must have been part of the family unit before/at the time the refugee left the country of origin. Therefore, they must have been born, or at least conceived before the refugee fled the country.

The refugee can also sponsor children whom may not directly be their children, but that they are related to. These will include nieces, nephews or grandchildren. In this case, as well as the previously mentioned requirements, they will also need to fulfil the following:

  • They will need to demonstrate serious and compelling reasons, that would make the exclusion of the child dangerous for the child’s well-being.
  • They will need to demonstrate that suitable arrangements have been organised for the child’s well-being.
  • They will need to demonstrate that the child will be adequately maintained and accommodated in the UK, without recourse to public funds.