UK Border Agency information
Information on Visas and immigration is a complex issue, and details can be found on the UK Border Agency website.
You will find answers to the following questions on the website:
- Are dependants of members of HM armed forces exempt from the requirement to provide biometrics?
- What are the requirements for settlement in the UK as the spouse / civil partner/ unmarried partner/ same sex partner of a foreign or Commonwealth citizen who is a member of HM armed forces?
- Do members of HM armed forces discharged from service or their spouses / civil partners have to pass the KOL or the English language requirement?
- What are the requirements for LTE for spouse / civil partner/ unmarried partner/ same sex partner of a member of HM armed forces?
- What does present and settled mean for applications as the spouse / civil partner / unmarried partner / same sex partner of a foreign or Commonwealth citizen who is a member of HM armed forces or international armed forces who is exempt?
- What documents do the dependants of members of HM armed forces need to provide?
The RAF Families Federation are extremely grateful to be able to access the expertise of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) qualified staff at the Naval and Army Families Federations who can provide information and advice on Visas and immigration. On their websites you will find more detailed information – which applies to the Armed Forces, not the individual Service:
UK Visa and Citizenship applications
If you intend using the information contained within these pages to help you complete a UK Visa and Citizenship application, you are strongly encouraged to read the OISC section (nff.org), which outlines the website aims, disclaimer, client care and complaints procedure before you begin any applications.
If you wish to apply for a visa for an entitled family member to enter the UK, you may find the link to allow you to apply under Armed Forces rules is difficult to find on the UK Visa and Immigration website. Therefore, please use this link to the online form.
A lot of people mistakenly apply for a Visa under civilian rules, and this requires them to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IGS). This is an additional £1,560 for each application and also only gives them a 2.5 year visa instead of a 5 year visa. It also means that any time out of the UK on assignment is not counted as residence in the UK.
It is important to go through the link above and not the link on the main UKVI website, this because the UKVI website only provides the option under civilian rules called Appendix FM. Armed Forces applicants need to apply on Appendix AF (Armed Forces).
If you don’t apply on Appendix AF then there is a significant cost difference for each application because civilians coming to the UK only get a visa for 2.5 years. They also have to pay the health surcharge which is now £624 per person per year so £3120 over the 5 years.