Family Visas for South African Citizens
The Family Visa is a tier of permits for those who want to join their family in the UK from South Africa or other countries outside the EU and EEA (European Economic Area).
Each visa has a different validity, cost, and processing time, depending on your relationship with a British citizen or settled person. Besides, there are several requirements you must meet to qualify for this visa, such as proving your relation to your UK-based sponsor.
At IAS, our UK immigration attorneys have already helped several South African citizens join their family in the United Kingdom. If you wish to find out more, or if you want to receive professional assistance with your UK Family Visa application from South Africa, you can get in touch with our team.
Types of UK Family-Based Visas
There is no set “Family Visa”. In fact, this is a tier including several permits for those travelling from South Africa to join their family in the UK. Before you submit your application, you must find the visa category which suits your situation. One of IAS’ UK immigration lawyers can help you choose a permit between one of the following categories:
- Partner visas
- Ancestry Visa
- Dependent children and Adult visas
- Family Visit Visas
Partner Visa for South African applicants
Based on your relationship with your UK-sponsor, who must be a British citizenship or settled person, you can apply for one of the following permits:
- Spouse Visa, for those who are married to a person holding British nationality or Indefinite Leave to Remain
- Fiance Visa, for applicants who wish to get married to their partner in the United Kingdom
- Civil Partner and Unmarried Partner Visas, for those who wish to join their long-term partner in the UK.
Each of these visas has different eligibility requirements and application processes. For this reason, it is always advisable to seek the advice of an expert UK application lawyer in South Africa before submitting your paperwork.
UK Ancestry Visa for South African citizens
To be eligible for a UK Ancestry Visa, you must:
- Be over the age of 17
- Prove that at least one of your grandparents was a British citizenship by birth
- Demonstrate your relationship to a UK grandparent
- Be a Commonwealth citizen
- Intending to live and work in the UK permanently if your application is successful
- Submit your application from outside the UK
If your application is approved, you will receive a visa valid for five years.
UK Adults and Children Dependent Visas
Adult Dependant visa
To be eligible for an Adult Dependant visa, you must need long-term care from a family member residing in the UK. This person can either be your child, parent, sibling, or grandchild and must be living permanently in the UK as a citizen or settled person.
You must also demonstrate that you are unable to receive the care in South Africa or in the country you are currently living in.
Child Dependant visa
If you are submitting the request for a UK point-based visa, you can include your partner and children in your application. However, you must demonstrate that you have enough personal funds to support all your family members once in the UK, without claiming public funds.
How do I prove my “good character”?
To prove your “good character” and qualify for British citizenship, you must have always respected UK law and fulfilled all your obligations as a residence since the day you arrived in this country.
If you hold severe or recent criminal records, including custodial sentences of more than 4 years, your British citizenship my marriage application will be automatically refused. The same applies to applicants who have been in breach of any immigration offence in the last 10 years before their application, or who have initially entered the country illegally.
What is the British citizenship ceremony?
Applicants who have acquired British citizenship and are aged 18 or over, will be invited to attend a proper ceremony at the end of their application process.
You must book your ceremony within three months of receiving your invitation from the Home Office. The even will then be organized by your local council. The cost of this ceremony is £80, and it will be a private event, where you would be allowed to take up only two guests.
If you are currently outside the UK, you can ask the UK embassy or consulate in South Africa if you can have your ceremony there.
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You can travel to the UK with your mother and father under specific circumstances.
For example, if they need long-term care which isn’t available in your country, they can apply for an Adult Dependant visa.
Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, the overall processing time may vary. Besides, it may take even longer if the Home Office needs to gather more information and details about your case.
At IAS, one of our UK immigration specialists in South Africa can help you liaise with the authorities to avoid any delay with your case. Call us today to discuss your situation and outline the processing and waiting time for your application.
Certain types of Family Visas allow South African citizens to work in the UK. For example, if you hold a Spouse Visa, you can take on employment in this country.
To find out more about what you can do in the UK on your visa, you can seek the advice of one of IAS’ immigration lawyers.