Family visas are visas which can be applied for by someone who has a family member who is settled in the UK (i.e., holds British citizenship or indefinite leave to remain) or who holds leave as a refugee in the UK.The family relationship must be one of the following: spouse (husband or wife), civil partner (same-sex relationship), unmarried partner (with whom the family member has been living for at least two years), fiance(e) or proposed civil partner, other adult dependent relative or minor child (under 18).
Family visas can be applied for from outside the UK and, in some cases, from within the UK.
In all cases there is a financial and accommodation requirement to be met, to show that the applicant will be adequately maintained and housed in the UK.
In many but not all cases there is also an English language requirement to be met.
And in the case of partners, there is also a requirement to show that the relationship is genuine.
Family visas can in many cases provide a route to indefinite leave to remain.