The Army Families Federation (AFF) is delighted that after five years of lobbying on their behalf, Foreign & Commonwealth (F&C) Army families should now find the process of applying for a visa to enter the UK much easier and fairer, thanks to the addition of an ‘Armed Forces’ option on the form.
Since 2013, when the new Armed Forces immigration rules came into effect, all non-EEA family members of soldiers wishing to apply for a visa to enter the UK have had to use an online form.
Unfortunately, the form didn’t have an option to apply as the spouse of a soldier, which created a number of problems.
Tackling unfair disadvantage
AFF has fought tirelessly for this to be changed and is pleased to learn that the form has now been updated to include an Armed Forces option.
AFF’s Foreign & Commonwealth Specialist Katherine Houlston, who deals with Army families’ visa related queries and concerns, said:
“This is a positive change for families and a great success for AFF. This should now mean less confusion over what type of visa applicants should select, which will lead to fewer rejected applications. Families should now find that completing the form is a much simpler process.”
The charity, who last year dealt with over 2,000 F&C enquiries, 67 per cent of those relating to visas, says that the vital difference to families is that they will no longer have to pay the immigration health surcharge upfront and then wait months for a refund.
Find out more
All new visa applicants should now submit their applications via www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk.
To find more about AFF’s work in support of F&C families, visit their brand new website, aff.org.uk
Notes to Editor:
- The Army Families Federation (AFF) is the independent voice of Army families: Regular or Reserve, wherever they are based, whatever the make-up of their family.
- Throughout the UK and overseas, AFF works hard to achieve policy change and progress in favour of Army families; they offer advice and guidance on all aspects of Army life, confidentially and in an easy-to-digest way.
- They work with other agencies such as MOD, government, charities and other key players to strengthen their cause and fight for a fair deal for families everywhere.
- Their family-focussed website (aff.org.uk) contains information about all aspects of Army family life, and their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages offer families other easy ways to contact us, interact with us, or simply follow the work we are doing.
- AFF operates by four core values, which are pivotal to our work. These are:
- AFF always puts families first
- AFF can be trusted
- AFF is bold and determined
- AFF is inclusive
For more information about AFF’s work, contact Donna Bernard, AFF Comms & Marketing Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org