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Partners and other family members

This section explains how people from overseas can come to or remain in the United Kingdom as the partners, children and/or elderly dependent relatives of people who are already in the United Kingdom or are coming here in a different category.

It also explains:

  • how you can get married or register a civil partnership in the United Kingdom;
  • the help and advice you can get if you think you are at risk of forced marriage;
  • what you can do if you have come to the United Kingdom as a partner, or as an asylum seeker, and you are experiencing domestic violence; and
  • what to do if your relationship with your partner permanently breaks down.

Please note that the information in this section does not apply to nationals of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, who are not subject to the Immigration Rules. EEA nationals have free movement rights in the EEA, including the United Kingdom, and can enter and remain here in accordance with the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006. However, EEA nationals' family members who are not EEA citizens themselves should apply for a Family Permit before coming to the United Kingdom. For more information, see the For European citizens section.


Coming to or staying in the United Kingdom as the husband, wife, civil partner, fiancé(e), proposed civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a person settled here or a migrant worker/student - plus your responsibility to tell us if the relationship ends.


Bringing your children, including adopted children, to the United Kingdom if you are a British citizen or you have temporary or permanent permission to live here.

Elderly dependent relatives

Coming to or staying in the United Kingdom as the parent, grandparent or other elderly dependant of a person settled here.

Marriage and civil partnership

Getting married or registering a civil partnership in the United Kingdom, whether you are coming for a short visit or planning to stay here.

Forced marriage

Support and advice for people who have been or are at risk of being forced into marriage.

Domestic violence

Support and advice for people who have come to the United Kingdom and are experiencing domestic violence from a partner or other family member.

Reuniting asylum seekers with their families

The UK Border Agency's family reunion programme