• kristenevelyn

UKVI: Family of a Settled Person Visa Options & Application Steps

Updated: Dec 28, 2018

Steps for coming to the UK on a "Family of a Settled Person Visa"

Family of a Settled Person Visa Options

1. Married or in a legal civil partnership that is recognized in the U.K

  • You must prove that you have been in a genuine relationship and are married.

  • You will need to show evidence of living together for the past 2 years.

  • You can work on this visa as soon as you arrive.

2. As a partner (boyfriend or girlfriend)

My partner and I took this route.

  • You must show you have been in a relationship, akin to marriage, for at least 2 years, but you do not have to be married or planning to get married.

  • You will need to prove you have been living together for at least 2 years.

  • You can work on this visa as soon as you arrive.

3. As a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner

  • For this, you must prove that you will marry or enter into a civil partnership in the UK within 6 months of arriving.

You also must prove that any previous marriage or legal partnerships have ended.

You will NOT be able to work until you have married and switched your visa/legally extended your stay


Once you decide which category you will apply under, it is time to make your settlement visa application! There are three parts to the application process:

  1. An online application

  2. Finger-prints at your designated biometrics center

  3. Physical paper application, where you will send your printed application and supporting documents.

Online application

The online section you must complete using the VISA4uk service.

STEP ONE: Create an account here: https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/account/register

If you already have an acount or want to take a break and return to work on it again later:


You may start the application whilst still in the U.K, but you will come across a section in the application where you will be asked to submit the last date you were in the U.K. In my case, I completed most of the application online whilst still in the U.K. and on the day I left and landed in the USA, I officially completed and submitted my online section of the application. .

STEP TWO: Once you have submitted your online application, you will have to make a few payments & bookings:

  • Pay the application fee through VFS (various service options are listed on the post entitled "2018 Visa Costs")

  • Pay NHS surcharge and print out your receipt to include in the physical application

  • If applicable, pay for courier service and print out the labels. You must include the return label and payment receipt with your application. For a settlement visa, you will need to choose the Sheffield option as your application will be sent to the U.K. to be processed.

  • Book your biometrics enrolment appointment (fingerprints/photo appointment)

Physical Application

STEP THREE: Once everything is paid for, the next step is to make sure your physical application is in order and attend your fingerprint (biometric-enrolment) appointment.

Below you will find the document check-list I used for my application. I hope it will help you prepare yours.

You MUST provide original documents!

For your bank statements, make sure to have them stamped and signed by your bank. UKVI also advises that you provide a copy for any document you want returned to you.

Your biometric enrolment appointment should only take about 10 minutes.

The VFS agent will take your fingerprints, your photograph, and that is about it!

They will stamp a document saying you have attended your appointment.

You MUST be sure to include this in your application packet. The document should also state the timeline you have to submit the physical application. This will be between 10-14 days.


STEP FOUR: Once you have submitted your visa it is a waiting game.

Normally you will hear within 4-12 weeks, depending on the service you have chosen (regular, priority, etc.), the time of the year, your circumstances, and the speed of the UKVI office.

Again, priority service will speed up your application as you will be put on top of the regular service pile, but if there are 20 priority applications ahead of you, you still have to wait for those to clear before your application is processed.

In addition, unless you have missed something or they need more information, you will not hear from UKVI until your application has been decided. This can be a bit stressful as weeks will go by and you may not be sure of your future.

During this time I turned to a forum called Talk Yankee. The forum is made up of lots of other potential UK visa applicants from the USA in a similar boat to you.

Finally, the day will come when you will receive an email stating your application has been decided and is on it's way back to you. There is no answer in the e-mail. I'll be honest, those 2-3 days were tough for me! I suggest keeping yourself busy!


Hopefully, when you open up your package you will find that your application has been granted. Again, I can only speak about partner visas. If your application has been successful then you will receive a letter with further details and when you open your passport you should find an entry clearance visa that is valid for one month from the date of issue.

STEP FIVE: You must enter the UK within this time frame.

Once you enter the UK, you will have about 10-14 days to pick up your BRP card (ID card) from the post office you chose in your application.

This card will state the conditions of your stay and will replace the visa in your passport.