On https://www.gov.uk/remain-in-uk-family it states

You need a ‘family of a settled person’ visa if you want to stay (‘remain’) with a family member or partner (for example, spouse) who’s living in the UK permanently and you’re:

  • already in the UK

However, on https://www.gov.uk/join-family-in-uk/exceptions it states

If you’re already in the UK

  • You can’t apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa - you must apply to remain in the UK with family instead.

These statements seem to contradict each other. Can you apply for a 'family of a settled person' visa if you're already in the UK?

  • 1
    They do not contradict each other. It depends on whether your family member is a non-EEA national or not, and what your citizenship is. Also needed is what your current status in the UK is. Once that's all sorted, then there can be an aswer to your question.
    – ouflak
    Nov 5, 2016 at 19:11
  • @ouflak both passages concern the non-EEA settlement route.
    – phoog
    Nov 6, 2016 at 3:54
  • @ouflak It seems to me, from parts of the pages I've not posted, that both refer to visas for people outside the EEA+Switzerland. But if you have some details that I've missed, then of course feel free to post them an answer! Nov 6, 2016 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


The answer to your question is Yes.

The two quotes you have given are for different pages - 'Apply to join family living permanently in the UK' and 'Apply to remain in the UK with family'.

The former applies when you are already in the UK. The latter applies when you are not in the UK, and hence points out that if you are already there you should rather apply to remain.

They are two different processes and have different requirements, application forms and costs.

  • Agreed that the latter points out that if you are already in the UK you should apply to remain, but it says to do that instead of applying for the family of a settled person visa. So I have to admit I'm still not sure how the answer can be yes! Nov 16, 2016 at 19:10
  • @MichalCharemza most countries maintain a distinction between visas, which can only be granted when the bearer is outside the country, and other forms of permission to remain in the country, which can only be granted when the bearer is in the country. It is very weird, and possibly an error, that they use the phrase ‘family of a settled person’ visa on the page for those already in the UK. If you actually go to the online application form, you'll see that it speaks only of leave to remain, never of visas per se. If it is indeed an error, then the answer is actually no.
    – phoog
    Nov 16, 2016 at 20:44
  • @phoog Feel free to post that "no" (with reasons!) as an answer! Nov 16, 2016 at 21:53
  • I've pinged our resident expert on UK immigration in the chat room for Travel. If he confirms my hypothesis about the page's text being wrong or at least confusing then I'll answer (if he doesn't himself).
    – phoog
    Nov 16, 2016 at 22:05
  • @phoog 'It is very weird, and possibly an error, that they use the phrase ‘family of a settled person’ visa' - I don't find that weird as the applicant would apply for LTR under the Family of settled person category. To obtain LTR you need to be eligible for it via a specific visa category and meet the relevant requirements.
    – wlf
    Nov 17, 2016 at 15:30

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