Our immigration lawyers have a long and successful track record of advising on family and dependant visa applications and many years of combined experience in this area. This is one of the core legal directory recognised specialisms within our team.

Our immigration lawyers advise on the following areas, amongst others, relating to family and dependant visa applications:.

  • Partner visas, which includes Spouse, Civil Partner, Fiancé and Unmarried Partner visa applications;
  • Dependant child or children of a parent who is applying for leave to enter or remain in the UK as a partner;
  • Dependant child or children applying to join a parent or parents or relative who settled or is being admitted for settlement in the UK;
  • Domestic Violence and Bereaved Partner visa applications;
  • Marriage and Family Visitor visas; and
  • Adult Dependant Relative visa applications.

Our solicitors work very closely with families and individuals to secure their short and long term immigration status, in many cases all the way through to ultimately securing British citizenship. We understand that family related visa applications are very personal and sensitive.  As a team we have often been singled out and recognised by our clients and third parties for providing an excellent client care service.

Frequently asked family and dependant visa questions

You can apply for an Unmarried Partner visa if you have been living together with your partner in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of your application.

You must also provide sufficient documents to demonstrate you and your partner are currently living together either in the UK or abroad and that you are in a “genuine and subsisting relationship”.  Documents should preferably be in joint names but it is also acceptable if the documents are in individual names relating to the same address. The basic requirement is to provide 6 supporting documents during the past 2 years (or 2.5 years if applying for an extension) if these documents are in joint names (the documents should be spread evenly over the relevant period) and the documents should be from at least 3 different sources. If you do not have 6 documents in joint names then for every document that is not in joint names, a document in your individual names to the same address would need to be provided. For example if you have 4 documents in joint names, then you require an additional 4 documents in your individual names (2 each to the same address).

There is an array of documents that can be provided in support of the application and these include bank statements, utility bills, council tax bills, tenancy agreements etc.- It is essential that all of the mandatory documents are provided at the time you submit the application otherwise this can lead to a refusal. 

Yes, there is an important distinction between the two visa categories. A Fiance visa and Marriage Visit visa are granted for 6 months. One of the main differences is that a Marriage Visit visa allows an individual to enter the UK with the intention to marry and leave the UK prior to the visa expiring, however a Fiance visa allows the holder of the visa to enter the UK to marry within the 6 months and to extend their stay as a spouse of their partner from within the UK. 

The answer is ‘no’, you cannot switch from a Visit visa to a Partner visa from within the UK.

You must apply from your country of origin or from the country in which you are currently living. You must be present legally in the country you are living in and applying from.

For completeness, if you wish to apply for a Partner visa from inside the UK, you must not be in the UK with valid leave for a period of 6 months or less (unless that leave is as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner, or was granted pending the outcome of family court or divorce proceedings), on immigration bail or in breach of immigration laws (there are some exceptions).

Yes, both the applicant and the partner have obligations towards the Home Office if a relationship has broken down. Each party must take the necessary steps to ensure they properly inform the Home Office of the change in circumstances and within applicable timeframes.

It is also important to understand the consequences and what next steps should be taken as a result of making these reports to the Home Office. 

For the purposes of these types of visas (referred to above), a “dependent child” is someone who is:

  • Under the age of 18 years, or who was under the age of 18 years when they were first granted leave to enter or remain in the UK;
  • Applying to enter the UK as a dependant of their parent or of their parent’s partner, or is in the UK with leave as their dependant;
  • Not a British Citizen, settled in the UK, or in the UK with valid limited leave to enter or remain granted under Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules; and
  • Not an EEA national with a right to be admitted to or reside in the UK under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016.

Yes, a Partner visa and a Dependant Child visa can potentially lead to indefinite leave to remain in the UK (also known as “settlement”). You can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK if you have been residing in the UK on a Partner visa or Dependant Child visa for a continuous period of 5 years.

This is subject to assessing other factors such as the applicant’s character including relevant criminality (known as the suitability requirements), relationship, accommodation, “presence in the UK” and maintenance requirements being met (known as the eligibility requirements). The applicant must also be compliant with their visa/immigration conditions and not be in breach of the UK’s immigration laws etc.

Subject to meeting other requirements, you can make an Adult Dependent Relative application, if you are the:

  • Parent aged 18 years or over;
  • Grandparent;
  • Brother or sister aged 18 years or over; or
  • Son or daughter aged 18 years or over 

of a person who is 18 years or over and is either a British citizen, present and settled in the UK, has limited leave to remain in the UK under Appendix EU or is a person with refugee leave or humanitarian protection status and is in the UK.

To apply for an Adult Dependent Relative visa you must also be able to show that:

  • As a result of age, illness or disability, you require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks such as washing, dressing and cooking;
  • You have no access to the required level of care in the country you are living in, even with the practical and financial help of your sponsor in the UK;
  • There is no one in the country that you are living in that can reasonably provide you with care or it is not affordable for the sponsor in the UK; and
  • The family member in the UK can adequately maintain, accommodate and care for you whilst you are in the UK.

What others have said about our immigration lawyers

A selection of recent independent legal directory comments about our immigration team or immigration solicitors in our team include the following:

  • "excellent client care skills" The Legal 500 (2022)
  • "very professional immigration service" The Legal 500 (2022)
  • "The team … is known for providing a ‘very good standard of service’" The Legal 500 (2022)
  • "super nice and competent" The Legal 500 (2022)
  • "They are very knowledgeable, responsive and willing to help. They kept the process simple for us"  The Legal 500 (2022)  responsive
  • "great patience and attention to detail" – The Legal 500 (2021)
  • "excellent solicitor. Very helpful and knowledgeable" The Legal 500 (2021)
  • "concise, user-friendly, commercial, clear and charming"  The Legal 500 (2021)
  • "very experienced" The Legal 500 (2020)
  • "Very professional", "outstanding knowledge" The Legal 500 (2020)

Why our individual immigration team?

  • Very high success rate with family and dependant visa applications: Our very high success rate with a wide range of family and children related visa applications, despite advising on numerous extremely complicated applications some of which have been dealt at appeal stage, gives our clients added confidence and trust in securing a successful grant.
  • Complimentary family and children law advice within the same firm: Relatively few leading UK immigration teams also have legal directory rated family law and children law practices within the same firm that can assist with both domestic and international matters. This facilitates the provision of ‘joined up’ advice and can also bring practical benefits.
  • Personal: Our immigration solicitors understand that individual immigration is intensely personal and we reflect this in our advice and approach. Our immigration team combines considerable experience and related technical expertise with an efficient and personable approach to make the visa application process run as smoothly as possible for our individual clients and their families. We are also very sensitive to cultural differences and can provide whatever level of support is needed.
  • Scale: Russell-Cooke has around 200 specialist solicitors and lawyers. We are a full service ‘top 100’ UK London-based law firm and we are amongst the largest 1% of solicitors firms in the UK. This gives us added scale and resources to help our clients achieve their desired results.

Find out more about pricing for our immigration services for individuals.


Members of our immigration team have on many occasions written about developments in UK immigration law and have contributed immigration articles to many international publications and legal publications.

Our immigration team is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA).

If you have any questions or require immigration law advice from our London immigration lawyers, complete our enquiry form or call us on 020 3826 7668.

If you have any questions or require immigration law advice from our London immigration lawyers, complete our enquiry form or call us on 020 3826 7668.

International Bar Association

The International Bar Association (IBA), established in 1947, is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies.


The Legal 500

Published for over twenty years, The Legal 500 series provides the most comprehensive worldwide coverage currently available on legal services providers, in over 100 countries. Used by commercial and private clients, corporate counsel, CEOs, FDs and professional advisers - as well as by other referrers of work both nationally and internationally - the series is widely regarded as offering the definitive judgement of law firm capabilities.


The Immigration Law Practitioners Association

The Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) is a professional association the majority of whose members are barristers, solicitors and advocates practising in all aspects of immigration, asylum and nationality law.


Charges are usually based on our hourly rates plus disbursements. We will provide you with an initial estimate of your likely legal costs and will update this as your requirements or the circumstances of the work change. We may also be able to offer fixed priced options for clients depending on their budget and the size, type and complexity of the work involved.

Find out more about our pricing, including examples of fee estimates. We would be pleased to discuss your requirements free of charge and tailor a costs proposal accordingly.

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