Gareth Thomas – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Gareth Thomas on 2016-06-07.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the decision to introduce a 30-day deadline to travel once a family reunion visa has been issued; and if she will make a statement.

James Brokenshire

The visas issued to non-EEA nationals who are coming from overseas to stay in the UK for more than six-months are limited to 30 days duration because they are intended to act as a means of enabling the person to travel to the UK and to collect their biometric residence permit (BRP) following their arrival in the country. When a family reunion application is made individuals can specify the date they would like the visa to start to enable them to make any necessary travel arrangements, including obtaining exit visas.

The start date of the visa can be deferred for up to three months from the date of application. If there is any delay expected in the processing time of the application, the individual will be contacted by UKVI and informed about the delay. Where someone is unable to make arrangements to travel to the UK within the 30 day period, they can apply for a replacement visa.

We are aware that a small number of families have experienced difficulties with the visa procedures to enable them to join their family members in the UK, and have sought to address these issues by updating the guidance we issue to Entry Clearance Officers on family reunion applications.