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Family Visa Guide

A visa for family or a family visit visa is a type of permit that allows traveling to another country to meet with relatives who live there. These visas present different requirements and conditions based on the destination, the degree of relationship, and the duration of the stay. Some countries may have bilateral agreements to facilitate the process while others may be required to meet specific criteria such as language, health, age, and financial solvency.

What is a Family Visa?

As mentioned, a family visa is a document that is issued for family reunification in a foreign country, generally, while having a family member/s settled in a foreign country. Additionally, the candidate/s must meet all sponsorship requirements when applying for this type of visa.

Family sponsorship is very common and this family visa can be found in many countries around the world, and requirements are usually similar, such as a family sponsorship letter for a visa.

Many people around the world apply for a family visa. The countries with the most requests are:

  • UAE: Allows residents to sponsor direct relatives, like wives and children, for the residence visa. The process normally is very fast and quick.

  • UK: It is possible to sponsor your family if you live in the UK. In addition, there are different ways to obtain your family visa as a spouse, parent, or child of a UK resident.

  • USA: If you are a permanent resident, you may be able to sponsor your relatives to obtain a permanent resident card. In addition, the USA has two categories of this type: immediate family visa and family preference visa.

  • Spain: Only permanent residents can apply for a family visa. Sponsorship requirements can be strict and the process a bit tedious.

  • Germany: In Germany, it is common for residents to bring their families after settling. Furthermore, the German authorities support this family reunification as a necessary way to lead a family life.

Apply for UAE Family Visa

There are a few main types of visas in the United Arab Emirates. Family sponsorship is subject to the following conditions:

  • Minimum salary for foreign men: AED 4,000 per month or AED 3,000 per month plus accommodation
  • Minimum salary for foreign women: AED 10,000 per month or AED 8,000 per month plus accommodation.
  • If you have a spouse with a person of the same sex you cannot sponsor them.

In the UAE, family visas can be sponsored by a foreign family member or their employer. Also, you must present a family sponsorship letter for a visa within the first 60 days after receiving your residency.

Among the necessary documents are:

  • Firstly, the UAE visa application form can be online or by a registered typing office.
  • Several copies of the sponsored family member's passport.
  • Passport-size photographs of the sponsored family member.
  • Family members over 18 years of age, a medical authorization certificate.
  • A copy of the sponsor's employment contract or company contract.
  • Proof of the salary the sponsor earns monthly.
  • The marriage certificate is legalized.
  • Proof of UAE accommodation may be the registered tenancy agreement.
  • The last utility bill.

Before the family member travels to the UAE, you or your employer must apply for an entry permit. The UAE family visa can be issued for 1, 2, and up to 3 years. It can be renewed at least 30 days before expiration.

Apply for a UK Family Visa

There are different types of visas in the United Kingdom that you can obtain. However, you will not be able to obtain your family visa if your circumstances are these:

  • You are in the UK on a work visa or temporary student visa.
  • Live in the UK with a visitor visa valid for 6 months.

You need to have information and evidence ready when applying:

  • All the legal names and Birth dates.
  • Current passport or other valid travel identification.
  • Stamps or entry visas in previous passports.
  • Biometric residence permit (when possible).
  • The details of any previous immigration application 
  • National insurance number (when possible)
  • Parents' nationality and birth date, if the application is submitted outside the UK.
  • Results of a tuberculosis test if you belong to a country where it must be done.
  • Proof of solvency.
  • Criminal Record.
  • Proficient English command.

You may need to provide additional documents. At the time of applying, you will be informed how you must provide your documents but all documents must be in English or Welsh.

On the other hand, you must also provide details of your life outside the UK. Things like countries you have lived in or visited, family and friends in countries where you have nationality, or where you were born.

Apply for USA Family Visa

To Sponsor your relatives, you must submit a Form I-30 from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Each person you sponsor will need a separate form. This form can be submitted online or by mail.

The process may change if your family is already in the US or outside the country. In addition, submitting form L-30 is only the first step, it also includes:

  • National Visa Center processing
  • Payment of fees.
  • The necessary documents.
  • Finally, preparation for the interview.

Among the necessary documents we find:

  • Firstly, the IRS tax transcript.
  • Proof of income.
  • Earnings statement from the Social Security Administration.
  • A test of assets.
  • Proof of relationship.
  • Proof of address.
  • Adoption documentation if necessary.
  • Proof of US status.
  • Birth certificate if necessary.
  • Judicial and prison records.
  • Marriage certificate if necessary.
  • Documentation of termination of marriage if necessary.
  • Military records.
  • Documents of the petitioner.
  • A photocopy of the biographical data page of the valid passport.
  • Finally, police certificates.

You should note that all documents must be in English. Otherwise, they must be accompanied by certified translations and this must include a declaration signed by the translator.

Apply for a Spain Family Visa

The legal resident in Spain is responsible for applying personally for any kind of Spanish visa. If you are a minor, one of the parents, guardians, or an accredited representative may apply. The process for family sponsorship is:

  1. Renovation of residence permit for one more year.
  2. Request to the immigration office.
  3. Approval or rejection notification from the immigration office 
  4. Once the application is approved, your family members can begin the application
  5. process in their country of origin at their Spanish embassy.

Several documents are necessary to support your family visa application:

  • D visa application form.
  • A recent photograph in passport format.
  • Original and copy of all pages of your passport that have biometric data. In addition, its validity must be at least 4 months minimum and with two blank pages to stamp.
  • Original and copy of the initial family reunification permit.
  • Proof of relationship of spouses, common-law partners, children, and parents.
  • Original and copy of criminal records from the last 5 years.
  • Original or copy of the medical certificate.
  • Proof of residence in the consular district.
  • Proof of identity and capacity of the representative.
  • Residence card.
  • Proof that justifies the payment of the visa fee.
  • Proof of health insurance contract from an authorized provider.

The documents must present a sworn translation of them into Spanish if they are in another language. Additionally, the visa for family must be taken within 2 months of the date you submit your application.

Apply for German Family Visa

The process to apply for your family visa in Germany is similar to other German visa application processes:

  1. Compile required documents
  2. Request and book an online interview.
  3. Arrange possible additional documents.
  4. Pay a visa fee for the interview.

Documents requested:

  • Proof of German language knowledge (minimum A1 level) by the applicant.
  • Proof of spouse/registered partner if required.
  • Test on children if necessary.

The documents must be written in English or German. In addition, you must have a German translation done by a translator recognized by the embassy if these are in another language.

The time it takes to process a visa in Germany can range from several days to weeks and even months. However, this will depend on the number of applications they submit in their country of origin.

FAQ Family Visa

  1. How long does it take to obtain a family visa?

A family visa can take 1-2 years to complete processing. However, some countries allow you to stay in the country while this visa is been processed.

  1. How much does a family visa cost?

The rate may vary between 160 to 1500 USD, plus possible additional administrative costs.

  1. Can you work with a family visa?

Yes, it is possible to work and even study with a family visa. However, in some countries, the number of working hours may be restricted. Also, study programs assortment available under this visa.

  1. Why was my family visa denied?

There are many reasons for your family visa to be rejected, for instance:

  • The relationship with your family member is not valid. 
  • The family member presents insufficient income to finance the stay.
  • Lied on the application form.
  • Absence of incorrect family sponsorship letter for a visa
  • Criminal record

Alternative for visa 

The best alternative to the family visa is a tourist visa, although this visa has completely different benefits and conditions. We invite you to check here all Find Your Visa family visas available for you: 

Find more about this and other topics, go to our insights section


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