UK Parent Visa for Australians

You may be eligible for a UK Parent visa if you want to join your child, who is a resident or citizen of the United Kingdom.

To learn more about the UK Parent visa, your eligibility, the application process, and how it applies to Australians, book a consultation with one of our UK immigration lawyers today. You can reach us via the online contact form or call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 for immediate assistance.

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    The UK Parent Visa: An Overview

    The UK Parent visa is a category of UK Family visa that allows overseas parents of dependent children living in the UK to come to the UK to take care of them. It is designed for parents who are ineligible for a partner or spouse visa. If you have a civil partner who can sponsor you as a spouse, you must apply for a Spouse or Partner visa instead.

    To qualify for a UK Parent visa, your child must be under 18 years old, and you must have sole or shared responsibility for them. You must provide documentation to prove this. You must also meet the financial and language requirements for the visa.

    The initial Parent visa allows you to remain in the UK for two years and nine months and an additional two years and six months upon renewal, making a total of five years. After this, you become eligible to apply for permanent residence.

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    UK Parent Visa Requirements


    You and your child must meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify for a Parent visa. Your child must:

    • Be under 18 when you apply. Alternatively, your child must have been under 18 years old when you initially got your leave. In addition to this, they must not be living an independent life. This implies that at the time of your application, they are still financially dependent on you.
    • Be living in the UK at the time of your application.
    • Not be in a civil partnership or married.

    In addition to these requirements, your child must meet one of the following requirements:

    • They must be a British or Irish citizen.
    • Your child must be settled in the UK (hold an indefinite leave to remain or EU-settled status)
    • Pre-settled in the UK under the EU settlement scheme and have been living in the UK before 1st January 2021.

    The parent must also fulfil certain criteria as set by the Immigration Authorities in the UK. This includes:

    • If you have sole parental responsibility for your child, you must be living outside the UK at the time of your application.
    • You must prove that you’re actively involved and intend to continue being involved in your child’s upbringing.
    • You must have sufficient financial means to support yourself, your child, and any other dependents without recourse to public funds.
    • You must have a good knowledge of the English language.

    The following requirements apply if you share parental responsibility for your child with their other parent or a carer.

    • The child’s other parent must not be your partner.
    • You must have direct in-person access to your child (if they’ll be living with the other parent or carer) as granted by a parental agreement or court order.
    • The child’s other parent must be an Irish or British citizen or a UK permanent resident (hold an ILR, settled status, or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme).

    Active Parenting Requirement

    You must provide relevant supporting documents to convince the Home Office that you’re taking an active role in your child’s upbringing and intend to continue doing so upon arriving in the UK. The document must:

    • Be less than four years old.
    • Be from the government, court, the child’s school, or a medical professional.
    • Show that your child lives with you or you’re responsible for their care.

    You can use any of the following documents:

    • A letter from your child’s school confirming that you take them to school and participate in parent meetings,
    • A letter from your child’s doctor or dentist confirming that you bring them for appointments.
    • A letter from the local authority to your address confirming your child’s school.
    • A court order paperwork that confirms that your child lives with you or you’re actively involved in their upbringing. You’ll need to obtain written permission from the court to use this as evidence.
    • A parental agreement drafted by a lawyer and signed by you and the other parent.
    • Social services paperwork that confirms you’re actively involved in your child’s life, or you’re applying for access.
    • A confirmation letter from HMRC showing that you’re claiming Child Tax Credit.

    The Home Office does not consider greeting cards, text messages, social media chats, and photographs solid evidence of a relationship with your child.

    Financial Requirements

    You must prove to the Home Office that you can financially support yourself and your child (and any additional dependents) in the UK without claiming public funds. You must also have adequate accommodation in the UK.

    There’s no specific minimum amount that makes for sufficient financial means. What is left of your income after deducting tax, insurance, and housing costs from your income is used to determine adequate means. The Home Office guidance stipulates that it must be greater or equivalent to funds available to you if you receive public aid.

    Adequate accommodation means where you intend to live in the UK must neither be overcrowded nor violate public health regulations.

    If you do not meet the financial requirements, you may still be able to obtain a Parent visa if your child has lived in the UK continuously for the last seven years, and it would be unreasonable for them to leave.

    English Language Requirement

    Parent visa applicants must prove that they have a good knowledge of the English language. They can prove this by:

    • Presenting an academic qualification taught or researched in English and approved by ECCTIS as equivalent to a UK degree or higher.
    • Passing an approved English language test at  CEFR A1 level.

    Nationals of a majority English-speaking countries, including Australia, are exempt from this requirement. Therefore, you do not have to prove your English language skills.

    Our immigration team is here to help you obtain a UK parent visa. Contact Us

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      How to Apply for the UK Parent Visa

      Here are the steps to applying for a UK Parent visa:

      • Create an account on the application portal using your email
      • Complete and submit the standard Parent of a Child visa online form and form VAF4A3 if you’re applying from Australia. Print out the form after completion.
      • Pay the required application fee and immigration health surcharge.
      • Book a biometric appointment at a local Visa Application Centre (VAC)
      • Attend your VAS appointment to submit your biometric information (photo and fingerprints). You’ll also submit the printed application form and other supporting documents during this appointment.
      • Wait for the Home Office’s decision.

      Documents Required for UK Parent Visa Application

      You must provide the following supporting documents when applying for a Parent visa.

      • Your Australian passport with at least one empty page
      • Completed UK Parent visa application form (Form VAF4A)
      • Copies of the biometric pages of your previous passports
      • Your biometric residence permit (if you have one)
      • Passport-size photographs
      • National insurance number, if you have one
      • Proof of adequate financial means (recent payslip or bank statements)
      • Evidence of relationship with your child
      • Details of previous immigration applications
      • Details of your Parents’ nationality and date of birth
      • Criminal background record
      • Tuberculosis test result, if applicable
      • Certified translation of any document not in English or Welsh.

      Processing Fees and Time

      The Parent visa application fee is £1,846 for applications from outside the UK and £1,048 for applications from within the UK. The same also applies for each dependent you will be adding to your application.

      You and your dependents will also be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge fee.

      UK Parent visa applications from outside the UK usually take about 12 weeks to process, while applications from within the UK take about eight weeks.

      You can pay for a priority service and get your decision within five working days.

      Visa Validity Period And Renewal / Extending Options

      At initial issuance, the Parent visa is valid for two years and nine months with the option to renew. Upon renewal, you’ll be granted an additional leave of two years and six months, totalling five years of stay.

      After five years of residing in the UK on a Parent visa, you may be eligible to settle in the UK permanently.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      The UK Parent visa is one of the sub-categories of the UK family unification immigration pathway. It allows the Parent of a British or UK-resident child to remain in the UK to care for the child, provided they’re not married to or partners with the child’s other parent. So, if you’re considering joining your child in the UK, Total Law can help you facilitate the process.

      Our team of UK immigration solicitors are conversant with the nuances of UK immigration policies and have helped thousands of people reunite with their loved ones over the years. We can assist you irrespective of your unique circumstances.

      We’ll guide you in determining your eligibility, preparing relevant supporting documents, filing the UK visa application, and following up with the Home Office for a decision.

      Book a consultation with one of our immigration experts today. You can reach us via the online contact form or call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 for immediate assistance.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                You can switch to a Parent visa while inside the UK depending on your current visa type. You cannot switch to a Parent visa if you’re on a Visitor visa in the UK. You must leave the UK and apply from outside.

                If your child turns 18 after you have submitted your visa application, it will not affect the Home Office’s decision, provided that your child is not living an independent life or has formed a separate family unit.