Applying for a UK Child Visa

UK Law is focused on keeping families together wherever possible. But the complexities of modern families mean this isn’t always straightforward. That’s because the processes and rules involved can vary hugely depending on your circumstances. Navigating these rules can be tricky, which is why Latitude’s lawyers will be with you every step of the way.


Who can apply for a Child Dependant Visa?

Any child under 18 of parents who are settled, travelling to the UK for the purpose of settlement, or one of whom is British, may apply for entry clearance in the child dependant category. Having your child aged under 18 accompany or join you when you relocate to the UK is simple enough when both parents are together; if natural parents are separated, however, expert legal advice is essential.  You will have to consider issues such as sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing, or whether their exclusion from the UK would be undesirable, and suitable arrangements have been made for their care.

You should obtain specialist advice if you have adopted a child, or you have entered into a surrogacy arrangement abroad. Our expert solicitors will help you work all this out in your application process.

What are the visa requirements?

The precise rules you need to satisfy in order to secure a child settlement visa depend on your family circumstances. If both parents are travelling to the UK for the purpose of settlement, your own case may well be straightforward. Latitude Law’s solicitors have broad experience of complex family cases, and can work out the best possible route for you and your children.

You will have to provide evidence that your children will be financially supported without the use of public funds, and dependant children must not be married or living an independent life.

How we can help

At Latitude Law, we know all too well how important it is for children and their parents to stay together. However, one of the most important parts of applying for any visa is having the support of a legal expert to make sure your application contains all the correct information and documentation. Our immigration solicitors have vast experience of not only the child visa application process, but also judicial reviews, administrative reviews and the appeals processes that may follow if an initial application is refused. That means you’ll be working with some of the best solicitors in the industry when you and your family are looking to settle in the UK.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Latitude Law’s reputation in immigration law is second to none. That’s because we make sure we handle every case with as much care and attention as the next. Our in-depth knowledge of Home Office policy and the case law which guides the courts and tribunals in the UK make us one of the best choices for legal help when applying for a child dependant visa for the UK.

Child Visa Q&As

Is my child eligible to join me as a dependant in the UK?

If you are British, settled (have indefinite leave to remain) or are being admitted for settlement, your child may be eligible to join you as a dependant. There are several options: either both parents are present and settled in the UK or being admitted for settlement; one parent is present and settled and the other has died; one parent is present and settled and has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing; or one parent is present and settled and there are serious and compelling reasons why excluding the child from the UK is undesirable.

What are the financial requirements for bringing a child to the UK?

In most cases there is no fixed financial requirement for bringing a child to the UK. You must show that the child will be accommodated and adequately maintained without recourse to public funds, such as benefits. Adequate maintenance means your net income, less housing costs, is more than you would receive on state benefits. You could also meet this requirement by demonstrating you have adequate savings.

What documents are required to apply for a UK child visa?

You will need to provide original documents. Your passport and/or biometric residence permit; your child’s passport & birth certificate; evidence of your ongoing relationship with your child – call histories, messages, travel documents; and proof of your income and accommodation – pay slips, bank statements, P60s, tenancy agreements or mortgage statements.

Must both parents live in the UK to be eligible for a child visa?

Usually, both parents need to live in the UK. However, only one parent needs to be in the UK if they have sole responsibility for the child or there are compelling reasons why the child should be granted a visa.

Do I need to have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain for my child to gain British Citizenship?

In theory, no. The Secretary of State can exercise discretion and register your child as a British Citizen if it is considered appropriate, having regard to published Home Office guidance. Practically, you must show that your child’s future is in the UK. The requirements for this are similar to the requirements for the child dependent visa (set out above). Both the child’s parents must be settled in the UK or, if you have sole responsibility for your child, they could apply if you alone are settled.

Does a child need to demonstrate a good understanding of the English language?

No, there is no requirement for a child to demonstrate an understanding of the English Language.

What is the expected processing time for my child's visa application?

Current service standards indicate that 95% of settlement applications are decided in 12 weeks. Depending on where you apply, a priority service might be available. If purchased, your application will be considered ahead of standard applications.

What happens if my child's visa application is refused?

If your child’s visa is refused, you can appeal against the decision to an independent Immigration Tribunal. You must lodge your appeal within 28 days of the refusal if your child is outside of the UK.

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