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Child Dependent Visa UK – Bring Your Child to UK

An overseas child may apply for a child dependent visa on the basis of family life to join their parent(s) settled in the UK.

For more information regarding the UK child dependent visa, whether you meet the eligibility criteria, how to apply for the visa and subsequently extend its validity, what supporting documents you may need to submit, and to receive bespoke advice from our expert immigration advisers, call us today on +44 (0)161 826 9783.

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    What Is a Child Dependent Visa UK?

    A child dependent visa is part of the family visa route to the UK. An overseas child may immigrate to the UK through this pathway to join their parent(s) who are either a British citizen or settled in the country.

    Typically, a child dependent visa under the family visa route is valid for a period of 33 months, and can be extended for another 30 months. It might also come with a five year validity in certain scenarios. After living in the country for a certain amount of time on a family visa, the dependent child may be eligible to apply for settlement, known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’ (ILR) in the UK.

    If you are already in the UK holding a different visa, you may also switch to a child dependent visa to live in the country with your parent(s). If one of your parents is a EU citizen and has settled status in the UK, you may avail the free EU Settlement Scheme instead.

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    Who Is Eligible for a Child Dependent Visa?


    To be eligible for a child dependent visa, an overseas child must have at least one parent living in the UK who is:

    • A British citizen
    • An Irish citizen
    • An EEA or Swiss citizen enjoying pre-settled status
    • Holding ILR or settled status (or applying for settlement) or proof of permanent residence
    • An individual with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
    • An individual with permission to stay in the UK as a stateless person

    Children born in the UK will get the same permission as their parents. Minor children born outside the UK must have at least one parent applying for a UK family visa or an extension of their current permission to remain as a partner to the other parent, or as a parent with sole parental responsibility of their children.

    Children above 18 years of age can only apply if they have permission to stay in the UK, which started when they were under 18.

    Restrictions to the Child Dependent Visa UK

    You will not be eligible to apply for a child dependent visa under the family visa route if your parent(s) holds a temporary work visa or student visa in the UK. In that case, you may be able to apply to join them as their dependant, but only if their visa category permits them to bring their eligible family members to the UK.

    Moreover, you will not be allowed to switch to a family visa if you are in the UK on a visitor visa, or on a visa with six-month validity or less.

    Additional Requirements for a Dependent Child Visa UK

    In addition to the above eligibility criteria, there are certain other requirements that an overseas child must fulfil to be able to apply for a child dependent visa under the family visa route. To begin with, they must:

    • Live with their parents in the UK unless studying full-time in a boarding school or university
    • Not be married or in a civil partnership

    Moreover, children over 18 will have to prove that they are solely dependent on their parents, financially or otherwise. They must not have an independent life.

    Apart from these, the main applicant must also fulfil the Home Office-specified financial and accommodation requirements to bring their dependent child to the UK. The parent must show evidence of earning at least the £29,000 per annum minimum income requirement.

    In addition, the parents must also be able to prove that they have suitable accommodation arrangements for their children in the UK, the size of which will vary depending on the family size.

    The foreign national parents will also have to meet the proof of relationship requirement. For example, if the child is going to live with only one of their parents in the UK, the concerned parent must be able to prove that they have sole responsibility for the child.

    Documents Required for a Child Dependant Visa UK

    Supporting documents required to apply for a child dependent visa UK may include the following:

    • Valid passport or any other travel ID
    • Copies of passport biometric page and any previous visa or entry stamps
    • Documents showing the residency status of your parent(s) in the UK
    • Proof of relationship with your UK-based parent(s), e.g. birth or adoption certificates
    • Proof of sufficient financial means from your parent(s) to cover your expenses in the UK
    • Proof of suitable accommodation for you in the UK
    • Proof that you are (or will be) living with your UK-based parent(s), such as bank account statements, credit card bills, driving licence, etc.
    • Your parents’ date of birth and nationality if you are applying from outside the UK
    • Your tuberculosis test results (if applicable depending on your country of residence) when applying from outside the UK

    Please also note that the Home Office may ask you for additional supporting documents depending on your immigration situation.

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      How to Apply for UK Dependent Visa for a Child

      Child dependent visa applications will start with creating an account on the Home Office website and filling up the concerned online form. Please have all your supporting documents and other relevant information ready with you so as to answer the questions on the online form completely and accurately.

      If you are already in the UK, and you don’t have access to internet services or are not comfortable using a computer or mobile device, you can ask for help with your application. People applying from outside the UK will not be able to get this support.

      Processing Time for a Child Dependent Visa UK

      It may take up to 24 weeks to receive a decision on your child dependent visa application, if you are applying from outside. If you are applying in the UK, you may get a decision within eight weeks.

      In the latter case, you may have the option to avail the super priority service by paying an extra £1,000, to get a visa decision faster than that.

      Costs for a UK Child Dependent Visa

      For children joining their UK-based parent(s), each application will cost £1,048 if applying within the UK, and £1,846 if applying from outside the country.

      In addition, a healthcare surcharge at the below rate may have to be paid for children under 18:

      • £1,940 if you are staying in the UK for 30 months
      • £2,328 if you are staying in the UK for 33 months
      • £3,880 if you are staying in the UK for five years

      The family visa fee may be waived for people who do not have a living place, or cannot afford their essential living expenses, or have an income so low that paying the visa fee will harm their children’s wellbeing.

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        How Manchester Immigration Lawyers Can Help

        Our Manchester Immigration Lawyers team has helped parents to bring their dependent children to the UK on a child dependent visa under the family visa route. We have the required knowledge, experience, and empathy to assist your family, regardless of your immigration circumstances or the complications involved in your case.

        If you are seeking overall advice with your child’s UK dependent visa application, or would like our immigration experts to complete the application on your behalf, we are happy to help. To discuss the bespoke legal and immigration services we provide and how we can help you, please call us on +44 (0)161 826 9783 today to speak with our legal team.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Yes, as long as they can prove that they have the full parental responsibility for the child.

                  Yes, provided the main visa applicant (or their partner where applicable) is legally responsible for the care and welfare of the step-child.