Family reunion

March 2018

The Government strongly supports the principle of family unity, and there are already legal routes for families to be reunited safely. Currently, family reunion policy allows a spouse or partner and children under the age of 18 of those granted protection in the UK to join them in the United Kingdom, if they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country.

Under this policy, over 24,000 family union visas have been granted over the last five years, and this policy will remain in force when the UK leaves the European Union. Furthermore, children recognised by UNHCR as refugees can join close family members here in the UK through the Mandate resettlement scheme. Immigration Rules also provide for family reunion and allow extended family members to sponsor children where there are serious and compelling circumstances.

On the issue of the future of the Dublin Regulation, I do expect cooperation on asylum and migration with our European partners to continue upon our exit from the EU, and I will follow discussions on the exact nature of this cooperation in the negotiations with great interest.