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Personal Immigration

Family Reunion

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Family Reunion

Refugee family reunion is the legal process undertaken by a refugee or person with humanitarian protection to reunite with their pre-flight dependant family members. The refugee migrants can include their family on the asylum application and if granted, the family will be granted ‘leave in line’ to remain in the UK for the same amount of time as the main applicant. However, if the family is not present in the UK or not included in the application, then they would have to apply separately under the family reunion immigration rules to join or remain with the main Refugee leave applicant.

Pre-flight and Post-flight family members

The provisions for family reunion would depend on whether those family members in question are deemed to be pre-flight or post-flight members of the person granted with refugee status or humanitarian protection.

Pre-flight family members are those family members who were part of the asylum seeker’s family before they fled from their home country and may include spouse, civil partner, children etc. Inorder to be eligible to apply under this route, the dependant applicants must be residing in the home country of the refugee sponsor, related to them and must have been a member of their household before they fled the country. Evidence of relationship is required for this application.Family reunion applications should ordinarily be made from outside the UK. However, the Immigration Rules also allow for in-country applications, accommodating those who already reached the UK.

Post-flight refers to those family members who did not form part of the immediate family before the asylum seeker fled the home country. This may include children conceived after an asylum seeker left their country, any adult dependent relatives, spouse or partner- if the relationship formed after the refugee sponsor came to the UK etc. Post-flight family members must apply under the normal respective family route applications. The refugee sponsor must hold a valid Refugee leave or Humanitarian protection, be able to maintain and accommodate the family, in the case of spouse visa, the relationship must be genuine and subsisting with an intention to stay together permanently. Please see the spouse visa requirements for a detailed understanding of this route.

How can we assist?

Our Immigration lawyers at City Legal have immense experience in assisting clients on pre-flight and post-flight visa applications under the family reunion policy. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our Immigration team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my post flight spouse need to meet English language requirements?

The Post flight spouse is required to meet English Language test requirements and score at least CEFR Level A1 in speaking and Listening before being granted entry to the UK.

What can I do if we don’t have evidence of the relationship?

Home offices would normally consider the application on the basis of evidence already available to them as part of the current or previous asylum applications. The burden of proof is on the applicant to prove the relationship. Home Office will also accept DNA evidence provided by an accredited laboratory in line with their DNA policy guidance.

What can I do if my family reunion application is refused?

The refusal of the family reunion application carries a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. If the applicant is in the UK, the appeal can be brought from within the UK.

Can I apply for a travel document for refugee family members?

A person granted entry clearance or leave to remain for family reunion purposes will normally be expected to keep their own national passport valid or obtain a passport from their own country of origin. This is because they have not been recognised as refugees in their own right.

Will a child conceived before the refugee fled be treated as a pre-flight family?

A child conceived before the sponsor fled to seek asylum in the UK but born post-flight should be treated as part of the pre-flight family of the sponsor. Proof of relationship will be required and if successful, leave in line with the refugee sponsor may be granted.
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