close menu

UK family visa: Partner of non-EU nationals

Many people are surprised to discover that a non-EU national can bring their partner or spouse to the UK on a dependant visa. This is only possible if the non-EU national holds a visa from some specifically designated visa classes

You may apply for a UK dependant visa when you are married to (or in a long-term relationship with) someone who holds a valid:

  • UK Ancestry visa
  • UK student visa
  • UK work permit
  • UK Tier 1 visa

The relationship may be a heterosexual or a same-sex relationship, In all of these cases. You must apply for the visa outside of the UK, typically in your home country.

The visa is initially issued for the same period as the length of time remaining on the main visa holder’s visa. The Home Office can refuse an application where this is a short period of time, although this is not specifically referred to. The visa allows you to live and work freely in the UK.

In order to qualify, you must fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • Be married to (or in a long-term relationship of more than two years with) an eligible visa holder
  • Meet the maintenance requirement as specified for this visa class without recourse to public funds
  • Intend to live with your partner permanently

Extension and indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

An extension of this visa occurs when the main visa holder applies for their own extension. If the main visa holder applies for ILR, then the partner can also apply for ILR at the same time. Read more about indefinite leave to remain.


Contact our immigration team

Phone us (SA): +27 (0) 21 657 2180

Phone us (UK): +44 (0) 20 7759 7580

South Africa

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708
Cape Town
t: +27 (0) 21 657 2120

United Kingdom

Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
t: +44 (0) 20 7759 7514


Suite 8.06
9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
Melbourne VIC 3141
t: +613 (0) 86 514 500

Hong Kong

Level 1102
The Lee Gardens
33 Hysan Avenue
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
t: +852 3959 8681

This site uses cookies, read more or close this notice.