Child Dependant Visa Guidance
A child dependant visa allows a child who is overseas to join a parent living in the UK.
What is a child dependant visa?
Children under the age of 18 may apply for a child dependant visa providing their parents are settled in the UK or applying for settlement.
The type of application that can be made depends on the circumstances of the parent(s). If they are settled or applying for settlement in the UK, the child may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE). If one of the child’s parents has, or is applying for, permission to stay in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or settled person, the child may be eligible to apply for permission to stay in line with their parent.
If the child’s parent is on a temporary visa different rules apply. For example, the process outlined here would need to be followed for children of a Skilled Worker.
Child dependant visa: applying for permission to enter or stay in the UK
In circumstances where a parent is applying for entry clearance, or already holds permission to stay in the UK as a partner or parent, their child may apply to accompany or join them in the UK.
There are a number of requirements for entry clearance as a child, including:
- they are under 18;
- they are not married and have not formed an independent family unit;
- they are not leading an independent life;
- one of the child’s parents is in the UK or applying for leave as a partner or parent, and;
- the child’s parent’s partner is also the child’s parent; or
- the child’s parent has sole responsibility; or
- there are serious and compelling family or other considerations which make exclusion of the child undesirable and suitable arrangements have been made for the child’s care.
- they meet the financial requirement; and
- there will be adequate accommodation for the family.
Child dependant visa applications are more straightforward in circumstances where the child will be joining or accompanying both parents in the UK. If the child’s parent has sole responsibility or there are other serious and compelling considerations, the application can be much more complex. In such cases, we can provide detailed legal advice.
Financial requirement for a child dependant visa
The financial requirement can be met in a variety of different ways. The child’s parent (if already in the UK) or parent’s partner will need to show income of £18,600 plus £3,800 for a first child, and a further £2,400 for each additional child. Various income sources and cash savings may also be considered in meeting the financial requirement.
Child dependant visa: Indefinite Leave to Enter the UK
A child may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) the UK in one of the following circumstances:
- both parents are present and settled in the UK (or being admitted for settlement);
- one parent is present and settled and the other is being admitted for settlement;
- one parent is present and settled and the other parent is dead;
- one parent is present and settled or being admitted for settlement and has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing;
- one parent or a relative is present and settled or being admitted for settlement and there are serious and compelling family or other considerations which made exclusion undesirable and suitable arrangements have been made for the child’s care.
Additionally, the child must:
- be under 18;
- not be leading an independent life;
- be adequately accommodated by the parent;
- be adequately maintained by the parent.
ILE applications where the child is not joining both parents in the UK, such as where the sponsoring parent has sole responsibility, or where there are serious and compelling factors, can be more complex. Cases of this nature attract greater scrutiny from Home Office caseworkers and therefore require careful and thorough preparation.
Adequate maintenance for child ILE applications
The financial requirement for a child dependant ILE application requires proof the child will be ‘adequately maintained’ by the parent or relative without recourse to public funds. This can be particularly complex to evidence as it requires a careful calculation of net income and housing costs.
Child visas: extensions and indefinite leave to remain
If a child successfully applies for a child dependant visa to join a parent who holds permission to stay in the UK, they will be granted permission for the same duration as their parent. The child can then apply to extend their visa and apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in line with their parent.
If a child is successfully granted ILE, they will be free to enter and live in the UK without immigration restrictions.
Child dependant visas: How our immigration solicitors can help
Our immigration solicitors are experts in child dependant visa applications and will provide guidance and assistance throughout the process.
Child dependent visa applications can involve complex elements, such as whether the sponsor has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing, or whether there are serious and compelling family or other considerations. Specialist legal advice is therefore essential.If you require legal assistance or would like to discuss your situation with a member of our team, please contact us or complete our enquiry form below.
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