Dependant Child Visa

Dependent Child Visa under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules

Children need to apply to join or remain in the UK with a parent or guardian. The Rules relating to children can be complex and it is almost always worth seeking legal advice before submitting an application.

Children are persons under the age of 18 for the purposes of UK immigration law. Once a child turns 18, they are ineligible for this visa and must apply as an adult. Where a child is applying for a visa to join or remain with a parent who has or is applying for limited leave to remain in the UK, their visa will be granted in line with that parent’s visa meaning the visas will expire on the same date. If the child is applying to join or remain in the UK with only one of their parents, they must satisfy one the following:

  1. They must provide proof that their other parent is deceased; or
  2. The parent they are applying to join or remain with in the UK has sole parental responsibility for them; or
  3. 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.

A dependent child can apply for settlement in the UK when their parent applies on a family application. This includes children who have turned 18 since entering the UK so long as they are not living an independent life, have married or formed a civil partnership, or formed an independent family unit.

Dependent Child Visa under Part 8 of the Immigration Rules

There are separate rules for children whose parent or parents are already settled in the UK or are applying for settlement. Parents who are settled include British and Irish Citizens. Children in these circumstances can apply for indefinite leave to enter or remain depending on where the application is made from, permitted they meet the suitability eligibility criteria. 

To give a practical example, a child born in South Africa to British Citizen by descent parents who is ineligible for British Citizenship by descent can apply for indefinite leave to enter from outside the UK so as to accompany their parents. The child would be classed as “settled” on their arrival in the UK.

If you require assistance with applying for a visa for a child, please contact our immigration team.

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