Glossary
Family Visa

Family Visa

Family Visa

If you plan to join your family members residing overseas, sooner or later, you will come across a family visa term. Thanks to this visa type, family reunions are easier than ever.

Let’s take a closer look at family visas, the requirements, and the application process in various countries.

 

Definition of family visa

A family visa is a visa that legally allows foreigners to join their relatives living abroad. This visa type is the first step that one usually takes to start the long-term residency application procedure in the country where their family members reside.

A family visa is then a huge facilitation for family reunification in a foreign country. A person applying for a family visa needs to meet eligibility requirements which involve relationship qualification.

Depending on the visa-issuing country, the eligibility criteria may vary. Nevertheless, usually, the following immediate family members qualify for a family visa:

  • children
  • spouses
  • parents

Moreover, visa policies of certain countries also offer family visas for other family members, including fianc├ęs, siblings, grandparents, etc.

 

Family visa application process

Applying for a family visa means completing a complex application procedure, which differs depending on the particular country. However, the general application steps can be described as follows:

  1. Check your eligibility: Before you start your application process, make sure you are eligible for a family visa based on your relationship with a family member residing in a given country or being its citizen.
  2. Apply for a visa: Most often, you will need to complete the application form and submit a few supporting documents, including a document confirming your relationship, e.g., a marriage certificate.
  3. Schedule a visa interview: Once you submit all documents and the application form, they will be reviewed by the consular or embassy officials. Next, you will need to schedule a visa interview, during which a visa officer will verify the information provided by you to make the final decision on whether to grant you a visa or not.
  4. Receive the visa approval: In case of a positive decision, your family visa will be granted, and you will be entitled to live and work in the country of residence of your family members.

Getting a family visa is most often a complex procedure that may take long weeks. You should thoroughly study all the visa requirements before you start your application process to save much energy and time.

As it is also a time-consuming process, remember to apply for a family visa long before the planned date of your travel.

 

Family visa examples

Many countries in the world have introduced family visas. While the idea is, in general, the same, the requirements and the entire procedure may slightly differ.

Family visas differ depending on the country, the status of the sponsoring relative, and the nature of the relationship. Below, these are the most popular countries with family visas:

  • Schengen Family Reunion Visa: Thanks to this visa, non-EU/EEA citizens can join their family members who reside in any of the Schengen Area member countries.
  • U.S. Green Cards For Parents: Applicants aged at least 21 years old holding a valid birth certificate from the U.S. can legally apply for a green card or permanent residence for their parents. According to U.S. immigration laws, certain family members, such as parents, are given the ‘immediate relatives’ status.
  • KSA Family Visit Visa: The Saudi Arabia family visit visa is a visa issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) which enables beneficiaries to obtain visitation requests for their first-degree relatives, i.e., parents, wife, and children.
  • Australian Family Stream Visas: Visas typically designed for Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible citizens of New Zealand willing to bring their relatives to live with them in Australia. There are different categories of these visas, e.g., child visas, parent visas, and partner visas.