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Dependent Child Visa UK

Dependent children of British citizens or settled persons in the UK can sponsor their foreign national child for a Dependent Child UK Visa.

If you have any questions regarding the UK child visa application or other immigration advice, you can contact our professional immigration lawyers to discuss any concerns you may have, or for some help navigating the application process. You can call us on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.

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    Eligibility Requirements For The Child Dependent Visa

    As per the definitions of immigration rules, a “child” is defined as a person who is under the age of 18 at the time of the UK Child Visa application.

    The United Kingdom Child Dependent Visa permits children to join their parent(s) in the UK so long as one of the parents has been granted entry clearance. This means that the parent is a British citizen, a European Union (EU) national or they have the right to live and work in the UK.

    The process can become a bit more complicated if the applicant is a single parent trying to bring a child to the UK. In this situation, the single parent needs to prove they have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing and not just legal custody.

    For a child visa application to be successful, there are a number of general requirements that need to be fulfilled. The UK child visa requirements include:

    • The visa applicant, the child, must be under 18 years old
    • The child must not be married or in a civil partnership and must not have an independent family unit
    • The child must not be living an independent life (They should instead be completely reliant on their parents financially)
    • The child has to be financially supported by their parents and not be receiving public funds or benefits
    • Importantly, at least one of the parents has to be applying for a UK visa either as a partner joining the other parent (e.g. under the UK marriage visa or civil partnership category) or as a parent with sole responsibility.

    In limited exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to apply for a child visa for children over 18 years old the child has mental or physical disabilities.

    In addition, if the parent is a European Economic Area or European Union national, the age limit for children is extended to 21 years and the application can be made from inside or outside the UK.

    The Child Dependent Visa category applies to adopted children. If the child visa is for an adopted child, then adoption arrangements should be fulfilled inside the UK, with additional paperwork.

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      At Least One Parent Is Living Or Applying To Live In The UK

      If a child’s parent is settled in the UK, like holding Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), the child can join them and get ILR too. Parents can settle in the UK after living here for a certain time, usually 5 years, on a work or other visa.

      At least one parent has or is getting a partner visa.

      If a child’s parent has or is getting a partner visa under the family visa scheme, the child can join them in the UK. Children must rely on the parent with the partner visa. They can apply together or later. After living in the UK for 5 years with the parent, the child can get Indefinite Leave to Remain.

      At Least One Parent Has Limited Leave To Remain

      Some long-term visas allow holders to bring their dependents or for dependents to join them in the UK. These include work visas like the Skilled Worker visa and student visas. Children usually get permission to stay based on their parents’ visa duration. After 5 years in the UK, they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, but they must continue living with the sponsoring parent for permanent residency.

      Can Step-Children Be Added To A Child Dependent Visa?

      Step-children can be included in a Child Dependent Visa application for the UK, but more evidence may be needed to meet immigration rules. The Home Office wants to avoid breaking up families and will want proof that either the main applicant or their partner is legally responsible for the child’s care. Applicants must show that they can financially support the child, take care of their daily needs, including schooling, and have permission from the other biological parent for the child to live in the UK.

      If there’s any doubt about legal custody, the Home Office may reject the application or ask for more details. It’s wise to seek advice from our immigration lawyers at Total Law to ensure all requirements are met.

      Required Documents For The Dependent Child Visa

      The supporting documents for the Dependent Child Visa may include the following:

      • A valid passport or other valid travel document and two suitable and recent passport pictures
      • Information on the child’s upbringing, such as who the child lives with, the parental responsibilities and involvement in the day-to-day, and information on the child’s extended family.
      • All names of the family applicants and child’s date of birth
      • A copy of the biometric residence permit (if applicable)
      • Information of any previous immigration applications (if applicable)
      • Proof of accommodation in the UK
      • Marriage Certificate or civil partner certificate of parents
      • Birth certificate of children(s)
      • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
      • Criminal background test results
      • Documents to show that you meet the necessary financial requirements, including bank statements, a letter from your employer (including your job title, time worked there, and salary), and 6 months’ worth of payslips

      It is important to note that all the documents submitted for the child must be submitted in English and must be translated by a professional translator. It is required to have at least one blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

      Financial Requirements For The Child Visa Application

      As the UK government doesn’t wish to bring people to the country who are not capable of financially supporting themselves, the parental sponsor of a dependent child has to be able to earn a minimum amount of money.

      If the parent has been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain or holds British citizenship, then only one parent must prove that they can maintain and accommodate the child without claiming benefits.

      If the parent is a fiance, unmarried parent, or the spouse of a British citizen or holds Indefinite Leave to Remain, they will need to show that they have an income of (at minimum) £18,600 per year, with £3,800 for the first child applying for the dependent child visa.

      For any additional child coming on the Child Visa, parents will need  £2,400 for each additional child.

      In addition to a suitable annual salary, there are other sources of income that can be used to prove the requirements for a Child Dependent Visa. These include cash savings, money from a pension, and non-work-related income, such as earnings from assets such as property rentals.

      To prove financial support, the parent must show their bank statements and payslips and a letter from their employer including the details of the job and current salary.

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        How To Complete The Application Process For A Child Visa

        The visa application process is completed online, with a few forms done from outside the UK. The forms to complete will depend on the status of your parents making the application.

        If applying from outside the UK and if your parent fits into one of the following categories, the child dependent form must complete the Appendix FM online form:

        • A British or Irish citizen
        • Has Indefinite Leave to Remain
        • Is settled in the UK with Indefinite Leave to Remain, settled status, or proof of permanent residence
        • From the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein who has pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
        • Is a Turkish Businessperson visa or Turkish Worker visa
        • Has refugee status or humanitarian protection

        If the parent doesn’t fit into one of the above, the visa application must include both the Appendix 1 form and the online application form.

        If applying from inside the UK, the UK visa application must be done online. 

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          Fees For The Dependent Child Visa UK

          If the visa application is processed from outside of the UK, the fee is £1,464. If you apply in the UK the fee is £993 or £1,583 if you apply in the UK with the premium priority service that speeds up the process.

          Applicants must also pay the immigration health surcharge of £1,000/per year.

          Processing Time For The Child Visa

          Per immigration rules, a dependent child will be given a visa in line with their parents going to the UK. For example, if the parent is applying for say, a Minister of Religion Visa, and everything is in line and eligibility, the child will be given permission to join their parents.

          Otherwise, applications made in the UK take 8 weeks. Applications made from outside the UK can take between 8 – 12 weeks.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Yes, dependent child visa holders are permitted to get a job in the UK. They are able to work in a variety of jobs including as self-employed, but they are not permitted to work as a professional sportsperson or a doctor/dentist in training.

                    Children above the age of 16 can legally work in the UK. Children under the age of 16 have more strict rules about when they can work and what type of job they can have, as working would conflict with their full-time education, which should take precedent.

                    There is no English Language requirement for children entering on a Dependent Visa UK. However, if they become a British citizen through naturalisation, they will need to pass an English Language Test.

                    With the Dependent Child Visa, you cannot claim benefits or any other public funds in the UK or apply for British Citizenship until properly eligible by spending the required period of years in the UK.

                    You are permitted to work, study, extend your stay in the UK and switch to a different visa while in the UK.

                    When an applicant is successful, the applicant will be granted a visa that is stamped on their passport.

                    If applying as the child of a British/settled person or a child dependent of a spouse/civil partner/unmarried partner, the visa is granted for a maximum period of just over 2 and a half years, with the possibility of extension of an additional two and a half years.

                    If applying as the dependent of a fiancé(e) or a proposed civil partner, the visa is good for a maximum period of 6 months. After their parents are married, they and their parents can apply to switch to further leave to remain as the dependent of a civil partner/spouse.

                    Once the applicant has had a minimum of 5 years on the Child Dependent Visa, they will then be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.