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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7569
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am emailing this on behalf of my elderly parents. My father,

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I am emailing this on behalf of my elderly parents.
My father, a South African citizen and passport holder, has been married to my mother for nearly sixty years.
My mother is a British citizen and UK passport holder. She was born and married in Britain.
Does my father need a UK visa?
I have emailed the authorities and received a reply but I am still confused. They refer to EEA national and British national. I'm not sure which category my mother falls under - can you explain?
Many thanks for any information you are able to give.

Bernadette van Leeuwen

Good morning Bernadette,


What is the purpose of the intended travel - visit, or to settle permanently in the UK?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
They merely wish to visit my mother's sister who is sickly and turning 90 in April. This visit will be a maximum of approx 10 days.



Thanks for your reply. The position is that if you are not intending on settling permanently in the UK then he will have to apply for a visitor's visa in the normal way.


If they intended now or in the future to settle permanently in the UK then he could make an application to the embassy immediately for indefiniate leave to remain in the UK on the basis of the length of their marriage. Settling permanently is a pre-requisite for this, they cannot use it for their purposes.


Instead, he must make an application for a visitor's visa to the nearest British Embassy.

The eligibility criteria for a visitor's visa is as follows(as I am sure you are aware0, is that you need to show that:-

  • He wants to visit the UK for no more than six months;
  • He intends to leave the UK at the end of your visit;
  • He has enough money to support himself during his stay in the UK without working or needing help from public funds

You have to try and show them that he has continuing obligations in the SA which will continue after his visit and therefore convince them that he is not a risk of overstay. Things like a letter from his employer stating he has a job (if he has one) and are expected to return to continue that job, evidence of continuing accommodation (eg. tenancy agreement of evidence of ownership of a property, bank statements showing the money he has available).


You should be able to do the above fairly easily, in view of his age he will not be viewed as a high risk category.



If there is a person in the UK (ie. you possibily?) who will be assisting you during your intended stay then to assist their application you can go to a local solicitor to draft a sponsorship declaration in which you state the terms of his visit, the reasons, that they are to return at the end of their visit, that you shall accommodate them (if you are)and shall pay the costs of any unforeseen expenses that should occur during his stay so that they will not need to access public funds.


This should cost around £50+vat and you can find immigration solicitors via:-


As I say, chances are that he will be view as a low risk of an overstay and I would be reasonably optimistic that he could obtain a visitor's visa without the need for a sponsorship declaration provided his applicaiton is well prepared and evidenced.


Details on how to apply here:-


If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. You will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,


Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Still need to know what is the difference between British national and EEA national and which category does my mother fall under. According to British visa info there is payment for one category but not the other.


For UK immigration law purposes your mother is treated as a british citizen. An EEA national is a person who is a national of EEA member states (ie. European countries, broadly). Non-EEA family members of EEA national have the right to travel freely within EEA member states provided they apply for the appropriate card in their visa. It's not really relavent here though.

Thanks for your kind accept.

Kind regards,



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