‘Parent of a Child in UK visa

For parents with sole or shared responsibility for a child in the UK

parent of a child in the uk visa

Parents of British children and those settled here can apply for a visa with us.

Read on to learn more about the parent of a child in the UK visa and about how to apply for it. Most importantly, consider getting specialist legal advice and representation for your visa application.

This is because the underlying rules and process are complex and you, as a layperson, may not be able to correctly understand the rules’ interpretation and application to your circumstances.

A refusal with prejudice may also make a future application much more complex or even impossible in certain circumstances. Getting specialist legal advice and representation at an early stage is therefore advisable to maximize the prospects of success.

1. What is the main qualification for the ‘parent of a child’ visa?

You can apply to come to, remain in, or become permanently settled in the UK if you have a child who is either a British Citizen or is settled in UK. You may also qualify for the visa if you and your child are in UK and your child has lived here for 7 years.

2. Can I apply for the parent of a child visa from outside the UK?

Yes, you can apply for the ‘parent of a child visa’ from outside the UK if:

♠ are outside the UK;
♠ made a valid visa application as parent;
♠ meet suitability requirements in Section S-EC Appendix FM; and
♠ meet the following additional legal requirements:

1. Relationship requirements

You must be aged 18 or over, and your child must be:

♠ under 18;
♠ living in UK; and
♠ a British Citizen or settled in UK.

You must also have “sole parental responsibility” for the child; or the other parent or carer with whom the child normally lives must be:
♠ a British Citizen in UK or settled in UK;
♠ not your partner; and
♠ you must not be eligible to apply for a partner visa

You must also provide evidence that you:
♠ have access rights to your child, and ♠ are taking an active role in the child’s upbringing and intend to continue to do so in future.

2. Financial requirements

You must evidence that you will be able to adequately maintain and accommodate yourself and your child in the UK without recourse to public funds. 

You must also evidence that you will have adequate accommodation available in the UK, without recourse to public funds, for the family, which the family own or occupy exclusively and that such accommodation will not:
♠ be overcrowded; or
♠ contravene public health regulations.

3. English language requirements

You must also evidence that you:
♠ are a national of a majority English speaking country; or
♠ have passed an approved English test in speaking and listening at level A1; or
♠ have a qualification recognised by Ecctis to be equivalent to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree or PhD in the UK, taught in English; or
♠ are exempt because you are aged 65 or over, or have a disability or there are exceptional circumstances which prevent you from meeting the requirement.

3. What would be the length of the ‘parent of a child’ visa if I apply for outside the UK?

If you meet these requirements you will get a visa for an initial period of 33 months, and subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds. If however you do not meet any of these requirements your application will be refused.

4. Can I apply for the ‘parent of a child visa’ from inside the UK?

Yes, you can switch into the ‘parent of a child’ visa or extend your visa in this category if you are in the UK on a valid visa and meet all the above-mentioned legal requirements, except for the one where you are required to apply from outside the UK.

This is to say that you can apply to switch into this visa category from within the UK whilst both you and your child are in the UK.

You must not be in the UK:
♠ as a visitor;
♠ with valid leave granted for a period of 6 months or less, unless that leave was granted pending the outcome of family court or divorce proceedings;
♠ on temporary admission or temporary release.

5. What would be the length of the ‘parent of a child’ visa if I apply for inside the UK?

If you meet all the requirements and do not fall under the EX1 exception, you will get a 30 month visa, subject to no recourse to public funds, and will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence or settlement) after a continuous period of at least 60 months spent in the UK on a parent visa.

This means if you are granted this visa for the first time, you will need to apply for an extension meeting the same requirements, and after 60 months you will be able to apply for permanent residence in the UK.

6. How much time will I need to spend on the ‘parent of a child’ visa in the UK before I qualify for permanent residence?

You will need to spend 5 years in the UK on this route before you can qualify for an application settle in the UK permanently. This means that you’ll need to apply to extend your visa before it expires, by meeting the same requirements.

7. What if I do not meet the English requirement or if I do not have the funds or income with which to maintain and accommodate myself?

If you meet all the other requirements except for the ‘maintenance and or English requirement’, you will be able to rely on the EX1 route. The downsides of this route are that you’ll be placed on a 10 year route to settlement which means you’ll need to spend 10 years on this route before you can apply for permanent residence in the UK.

This also means you will need to make the same application every 2.5 years before your visa expires which will mean additional cost and stress. You will also need to jump an extra hoop of proving that “it’s unreasonable to expect the child to leave the UK.” You will also be subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds unless the Home Office deems such recourse to be appropriate.

8. What happens to my ‘parent of a child’ visa if my child turns 18?

Your visa will stay intact if your child has turned 18 years of age since you were first granted the parent visa, but he/she must not have formed an independent family unit or be leading an independent life.

9. What if my child is not a British Citizen or settled in the UK?

If you are child is neither a British Citizen or settled in the UK, you may still apply if your child has lived in the UK continuously for at least the 7 years immediately preceding the application and paragraph EX1 of the Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules applies. If the child normally lives with you, it will help you establish that you have the sole parental responsibility.

10. Can I apply for the ‘parent of a child visa’ as an overstayer or on temporary admission?

You can still apply to switch into this category under paragraph EX1 of the Immigration Rules if you don’t have a valid visa in the UK, or have overstayed for more than 28 days or are here on immigration bail and you arrived in the UK more than six months ago.

11. Is there anything else I should consider when applying for parent of a child visa?

If you’d like to apply for the parent of a child visa please be aware that applicants can be refused even where they appear to meet the applicable legal requirements. Such refusals are attributable to the applicant’s failure to provide evidence in the format required by the rules or them being legally illiterate failing to properly interpret and apply the law to their own circumstances.

The applicant, as a result, not not only loses the application but also the application fees. It is therefore critical that proper immigration law advice and representation is sought before you submit your case to the Home Office to ensure you meet all applicable rules and policy guidelines increasing your prospects of success.

Looking to make an application for the parent of a child visa?

Maximise your chances of success by getting specialist legal advice for your application. Use the button below to book your online, phone or office consultation.