Thanks for your question.
You will have to apply from a spouse visa and have it issued to you before you travel.
Obviously, you wife and children can travel here on their UK passports.
The webpage on spouse visas is here:
The eligibility criteria is here:-
If the application is well prepared and you meet the following eligibility criteria then it will make the application easy and quick to decide upon for the UKBA. To be eligible, you must show:-
- you and your partner are both aged 18 or over at the date of application;
- your partner is a British Citizen, or is present and settled in the UK, or is here with refugee leave or humanitarian protection;
- your partner is not related to you in a way that means you could not marry in UK law;
- you and your partner have met in person;
- your relationship with your partner is genuine and subsisting if you are married or in a civil partnership, your marriage or civil partnership is valid in UK law;
- if you are not married or in a civil partnership you have been living with your partner in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years prior to the date of the application;
- you meet the suitability requirements
- any previous relationship has permanently broken down (this does not apply to certain polygamous relationships);
- you and your partner intend to live together permanently in the UK;
- You must meet the financial requirement:-
- This means that the UK based spouse must earn a minimum income threshold of £18,600. Alternatively, if you have savings of £62, 500.00 then you would not have to prove any salary. You can also use a mix of the two.
You have to produce documentary evidence to the home office proviing your eligibility under the above criteria.
Usually, the difficulty for people in your situation is the financial requirement but if you have sufficient level of savings and are able to evidence this in the way described in the relevant section in the financial guidance then you will meet this requirement.
You will need to apply for settlement (i.e. spouse’s visa) by using form VAF4A Settlement, but the application is actually made online
It is quite a complicated application generally so you should consider instructing a UK immigration solicitor to prepare your evidence and application for you to avoid any possibility that it might be rejected because you forget to submit something. A solicitor should do it for you for in the region of £800-1250 + VAT and it does take the hassle out of it.
You can find Uk immigration solicitors through the following Law Society Website search engine:-
Once the visa has been granted you can travel to the UK immediately and start working.
The visa will be granted for a period of 33 months. You will have to apply for further leave to remain at the end of this time and also maintain your savings during this time (or otherwise ensure that the family income is more than £18600 per annum.
You can apply for indefinite leave to remain once you have been here for 5 years on these visas. This is the right to remain permanently in the UK. After that you can apply to be naturalised as a UK citizen and the legibility criteria at the present time is contained on the following page:
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