Bringing your Child to the UK
A UK Child visa is similar to a UK Spouse visa with some age and consent related differences.
To succeed in an Appendix FM Child visa both parents should be in the UK or one in the UK (Sponsor) and other parent is joining the sponsor at the same time as the child.
entry clearance requirements for your child are as follows:
- The child must be under the age of 18 at the date of application;
- The child must not be married or in a civil partnership;
- The child must not have formed an independent family unit;
- The child must not be leading an independent life; and
Either your current partner is the child’s other parent, or you have had and continue to have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing.
There are situation where the child is born abroad and the parents already have the visas. In this situation the child will apply for a visa and the mother or the visa parent will still form as part of the sponsor’s financial calculations. If the sponsor needed £18,600 for the spouse, now they need to show £22,400 as a child is now also being sponsored. Of course none of this applies if the child is British and so not in need of a UK visa.
If the child is a step-child of the sponsor, then there is an additional requirement since there may be a parent with Parental Responsibility who must also consent to the child leaving their current residence country and relocating to the UK. This sometimes can be difficult if the parents are separated and have poor or no communication. Also if the other parent is deceased or whereabouts unknown. In most cases having a court order giving the sponsored parent full child custody makes establishing parent with sole care and responsibility much easier.
There are occasions, where the estranged parent is the sponsored parent or the sponsor and now looking to re-connect with the child and provide better care and opportunity by bringing them to the UK. Here there is an additional difficulty as on the face of it, the parent abroad has the main care and responsibility thus makes it easier for the UK to refuse a visa as they look to reduce influx of people from abroad.
One of the key requirements for entrance to the UK as a child of a parent settled in the UK, is that the applicant must show that the parent inviting the child has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing. This is difficult when there is a parent still abroad, not coming to the UK, who could take care of the child abroad on a day to day basis and may even oppose the child’s relocation. Simply providing a consent letter from the parent abroad does not establish that the UK based parent has sole responsibility.
Appendix FM Child is a UK immigration route for children seeking to enter or remain in the UK on the basis of their family life with a parent who is either a British citizen, someone settled in the UK or has refugee status or humanitarian protection.
There is an application fee (£1600) and a IHS medical fee (£1,175) similar to a spouse visa application. The IHS fee is less for a child (£470 per year of visa rather than £624) and does not apply if it is an Indefinite leave to enter application. The time for a response or decision is usually similar to a UK Spouse visa about 12 weeks.
Work on documents and legal papers for sole responsibility if relevant in your case. Seek legal help as this is not an easy application.
Thinking of bringing your child to the UK? give us a call on 02071933839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your case assessed and the requirements in your particular situation explained in detail.