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Partners and Families

If you are a British citizen or if you have permission to live in the UK permanently, you may be able to sponsor a member of your family to live with you in the UK. Please note that if you are in the UK temporarily (for example on a working or student visa), then separate rules apply.


You can apply for permission to come to the UK, or to stay here, to live with your spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner. The UK's Immigration Rules set out requirements for your relationship, finances and accommodation.  Applicants also have to prove that they can speak English to the required standard.

The family migration rules changed significantly in 2012, and we can advise you whether the changes affect you, and what information and documents you need to provide with your application.

The most significant aspect of the new rules is the "financial requirement": in general applicants must provide evidence that they have an annual gross income of at least £18,600 (and the sum may be higher if non-British children are also applying). We offer clear advice on how to meet the requirement, which can be complicated if your funds come from more than one source, or if, the sponsor is self-employed.


Children can generally accompany their parents to the UK, but you may need additional advice if a child is not joining or accompanying both parents.  We can advise on whether you will be assessed as having ‘sole responsibility’ for your child, and how to make sure your application proceeds smoothly.

Other relatives

The rules for other relatives dependant on a British citizen or other person settled in the UK (known as "adult dependant relatives") are now extremely strict.  In order to get a visa, an applicant has to show that they are incapable of caring for themselves in their home country, and that local care is unavailable or unaffordable. The policy of the Home Office appears to be that most applications in this category will fail at the first stage.

Dutton Gregory’s Immigration team can advise applicants and their families on preparing an initial application, and we can also draw on our experience of successful appeals in this category.