Who qualifies as Child Dependant?
In order to qualify for a UK Child Dependant Visa, they must be dependent and under the age of 18 when the application was made. In addition to this, the child can’t have formed an independent family unit. In order to bring children to the UK to live, the parent or carer must also be financially eligible.
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If you feel you are struggling to understand the requirements of this visa, get in touch with our team to discuss how recent changes to the law could help your application.
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What is the definition of a parent for the purpose of applying for a UK Child Dependant Visa?
For the purpose of the UK Child Dependant Visa category, the definition of a ‘parent’ is deemed to include:
stepfather of a child whose father is dead
stepmother of a child whose mother is dead
father or mother of an illegitimate child (providing he can prove paternity)
an adoptive parent where the child was adopted in accordance with a decision taken by the competent court or administrative authority in a country whose adoption orders are recognised in the UK
What are the requirements of the UK Child Dependant Visa?
The following requirements must be met for a UK Child Visa:
The applicant must be under the age of 18 at the date of the application
The applicant must not be married or in a civil partnership
The applicant must not have formed an independent family unit
The applicant must not be leading an independent life
One of the applicant’s parent’s must be in the UK with limited leave to enter or remain, or be being granted, or have been granted entry clearance, as a partner or a parent, and
the applicant’s parent’s partner is also a parent of the applicant; or
the applicant’s parent has had and continues to have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing; 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.
As with other provisions for children in the Immigration Rules, the child must be under 18 at the date of their first application in this category, but not when making subsequent applications.
This means that a child who reaches 18 before they are entitled to a further extension of leave or settlement will still be treated as if they are under 18 when the subsequent application is considered.
In what circumstances should a child be seeking to join a parent in the UK?
For entry clearance, the child must be seeking to join or accompany a parent who is present and settled in the UK in the following circumstances:
- both parents are present and settled or being admitted for settlement or
- one parent present and settled and the other being admitted for settlement or
- one parent present and settled or being admitted for settlement who can show that they have had sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing or
- one parent is present and settled in the United Kingdom or being admitted on the same occasion for settlement and the other parent is dead or
- a parent or another relative present and settled or being admitted for settlement where there are serious and compelling family or other considerations which made the exclusion of the child undesirable and where there are suitable arrangements made for the child’s care
It is in respect to options 3 and 5 that complications can arise. It can be seen that there are additional requirements that apply where one of the parents resides outside the UK with no intention of joining the child in the UK, or where the child is seeking to join a relative who is not a parent.
In such cases, the UK-based parent or relative will have to show a very good reason why the child should be allowed to settle in the UK rather than continue their life in the country in which they are living.
What are the financial requirements of a UK Child Dependant Visa?
The requirements of the UK Child Dependant Visa are similar to the spouse visa category, where a parent of the applicant has, or is applying or has applied for entry clearance or limited leave to enter to remain as a partner, the applicant must provide specified evidence:
a specified gross annual income of at least £18,600
an additional £3,800 for the first child; and
an additional £2,400 for each additional child, along with or in combination with
a specified savings of £16,000
When the above-mentioned requirement is met, among others, the following sources may be taken into account:
The income of the applicant’s parent or parent’s partner from specified employment or self-employment overseas or in the UK
specified pension income of the applicant’s parent and that parent’s partner
any specified maternity allowance or bereavement benefit received by the applicant’s parent and the parent’s partner in the UK
The applicant must provide evidence that the parent is able to maintain and accommodate themselves, the applicant and any other dependants in the UK without recourse to public funds.
The applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively.
The accommodation shall not be deemed adequate if it is or will be overcrowded or it contravenes public health regulations.
How long will the visa be granted for?
If the applicant meets all the requirements of entry clearance as a child they will be granted entry clearance of a duration which will expire at the same time as the leave granted to the applicant’s parent and it will be subject to the same conditions in respect to public funds as that parent.
Can I apply from within the UK?
A child who is under 18 at the date of application can apply for indefinite leave to remain if they have or have had limited leave in any category. A child who is here as a visitor, for example, can apply from within the UK to settle in the UK if both parents are settled, or one is settled and the other is dead, or the parent here has sole responsibility, or a parent or relative is settled and exclusion of the child is undesirable.
If the child is over 18 at the date of application, they must have previously been granted limited leave as a child in a category-leading to settlement, and must still not be leading an independent life.
If I am a single parent, how can I demonstrate sole responsibility?
You can supply the following evidence in support of your child’s application to demonstrate your sole responsibility:
Letters from school(s) in the country where the child lives confirming that they have dealt with the sponsoring parent
Travel by the sponsoring parent to the country where the child lives
Records of financial arrangements by which the Sponsor pays for education and other needs
A lack of contact with the other living parent and an explanation of the reasons for this, and the location of that parent if known
Detailed evidence regarding what steps have been taken to provide educational, social, behavioural, and religious guidance
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