Family Reunion

Family Unity is not an obligation under the Refugee Convention but the Final Act of the United Nations Conference on the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons did recommend governments to take necessary measures to protect a refugeeā€™s family. Since October 2000 the immigration rules have made provision for the admission of pre-existing spouses and minor children (not de facto adopted children), which has been subsequently extended to cover partners in a relationship akin to marriage subsisting for two years.

The rules require that the relationship commenced before the refugee left the country of former habitual residence and that the spouses or partners intend to live permanently together. Other family members such as the parents and minor siblings of persons recognised as refugees may be admissible but only where there are compelling compassionate circumstances.

Family members of refugees will normally be admitted as refugees provided that entry clearance is granted in this capacity. All applicants for family reunion must apply for entry clearance.

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