If you are applying to come to the UK as a married or civil partner to a British citizen or settled person, if you also have children it is important to know how you can bring them with you to the UK on a Spouse visa application.
What is the UK Spouse visa?
If you are the married partner or civil partner of a British citizen or settled person, and want to live together in the UK, you will need to apply for a Spouse visa. The general eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Proof of a genuine marriage relationship with your partner sponsor
- Meeting the minimum income requirement to be able to support yourself in the UK
- Suitable accommodation to live in with enough room for you and your dependents
- Pass an English language test at A1 level
Adding a child or dependent to your Spouse visa
If the child was born outside of the UK and is under 18, they must be supported by their parent(s) and not living independently. Under these circumstances, the child can be added to your Spouse visa application.
If the child is over 18, they may still be able to apply as a dependent but they must still adhere to the above requirements. Additionally, they must:
- Already have received permission to enter or stay in the UK under a family visa when they were younger – for example, if you already applied for a Spouse visa previously and this is an application for an extension
- Be applying from inside the UK
Applying from inside the UK
If you previously entered the UK on a different visa category and have subsequently entered a relationship with and married a British citizen or settled person, you may then switch to a Spouse visa. You must still meet the above requirements for the visa.
There are different requirements based on the age of the child.
If your child was born in the UK, they will get the same leave as their parent.
If your child is under 18
If the child is under 18 when you apply, they can be added to your application as a dependent or apply separately. They must also meet the following requirements:
- Not be married or in a civil partnership
- Must live with you, rather than independently
- Be financially supported by you without state support or claiming public funds
If you cannot meet these requirements, you may still be able to apply if there are very serious reasons requiring the child to gain entry to the UK and there are plans and resources for the child’s care.
If your child is over 18
The parent applicant can still include the child on the application if they are over 18, or they can apply separately. To be added to a Spouse visa application as a dependent, they must fulfill the following criteria:
- You received permission to stay in the UK when you were under 18 on a family visa, such as a Spouse visa
- You do not live an independent life – have a home of your own, are married, have children, and support yourself
Applying from outside the UK
If you are applying for the Spouse visa as a partner of a British or settled person or someone with refugee or humanitarian status, the child will need to apply at the same time as you by filling in Appendix FM online form. If not, you will need to fill in both the online form and the Appendix 1 paper form.
Documents and information you will need
For the main applicant for the Spouse visa, you will need to assemble a lot of documentation and evidence to prove your relationship is genuine. This could include photographs, chat logs and evidence you have lived with each other, shared tenancy or mortgage agreements and bank statements or bills showing shared finances.
Other documents you will need:
- All personal details of yourself and your partner
- Yours and your partners passports
- Proof of your partners right to be in the UK, for example if they are a British citizen, their passport will show this.
- Biometric information
- Photograph to prove your identity
- Details of immigration and criminal history
- Parents dates of birth and nationality if from outside the UK
- A TB test result
- A pass certificate from a registered English Language centre (SELT)
- Another way to prove your English language level, for example a degree certificate
- Bank statements, pay slips or proof of savings to show you meet the minimum income requirement and can support yourselves in the UK
For each child applying on your Spouse visa, you will also be asked for:
- Their personal details – name, date of birth and nationality
- Who they live with
- Passport information
- Details of other people with parental responsibilities for the child
- How you are involved with the child day-to-day and care responsibilities
- Details of the child’s family
Applying on the basis of your private life (10 year route to settlement)
If for any of these reasons the child cannot be counted as a dependent by the parent on the application, the child may be able to apply on the basis of their “private or family life”. The child could be eligible for this route if they were born inside or outside the UK, but they must already be living in the UK.
You can apply if you are a child or family member of a:
- British citizen or settled person (someone with Indefinite Leave to Enter or Remain)
- Person with refugee or humanitarian status
To apply, you must also meet these requirements:
- under 18 and you’ve lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years, and it would be unreasonable to expect you to leave the UK
- between 18 and 24 and you’ve lived continuously in the UK for more than half your life
- 18 or over, have spent less than 20 years in the UK and would have very significant problems living in the country you’d have to go to – for example, you do not speak the language and could not learn it
- 25 or over and you’ve been in the UK continuously for 20 years
You must apply online and you can receive guidance on how to fill out the forms. If you are successful, you and your child will receive the same amount of leave, 30 months or two and a half years.
How can Manchester Immigration Lawyers help?
If you would like any further information or support in applying for your Spouse visa and how to include your children and dependents, our immigration advisors can help. We know how important it is to our clients to live together in the UK. That’s why our dedicated team is on hand remotely if you require support in how to apply to come to the UK. To set up an appointment, call our team today on 0161 532 7993.