British citizens who have children living outside the UK can bring them to the UK via the Child Visa, which falls under the Family Visa category.
A UK family visa is the type of visa you will need if you wish to enter and stay in the UK to live with a family member for more than 6 months. In addition to the child visa, other types of family visas for the UK include:
- Visa for spouse
- Parent visa
- Visa for a relative who will provide you with long-term care
What is a UK child visa?
The UK child visa is a type of visa that allows UK citizens or residents without immigration restrictions to bring their non-EU children to the UK. Therefore, the main criterion for a child to be eligible for this type of visa is that one of her parents already resides in the UK. The requirements for this type of visa mainly depend on whether you were born in the UK or abroad.
Who is eligible for a dependent child visa?
To be eligible for a dependent child visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- The child must be under 18 years old.
- The child must not be married or living in a civil partnership.
- The child does not have to live an independent life and must be financially dependent on the parent or legal guardian in the UK.
- The parent or legal guardian in the UK must have a valid visa allowing them to stay in the UK for more than six months.
How to apply for a visa for dependent children?
The process of applying for a dependent child visa can be complex and it is recommended that you seek professional advice to ensure your application is completed correctly. However, the following steps provide a general overview of the application process:
- Fill out the online application form and pay the application fee.
- Book an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) center to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and photos).
- Prepare the required documents, including the child’s passport, birth certificate and proof of financial support.
- Attend your appointment at the UKVCAS center with your child to provide biometric information and submit the required documents.
- Please wait for a decision on your application.
What documents are required for a dependent child visa?
The following documents are generally required for a dependent child visa application:
- The child’s passport and two passport-sized photographs.
- The child’s original birth certificate, showing the names of both parents.
- Evidence of financial support, such as bank statements or pay slips from your parent or legal guardian in the UK.
- Evidence of your parent or legal guardian’s immigration status in the UK, such as a copy of your visa.
- It is important to note that additional documents may be required depending on your individual circumstances.
How long does it take to process a dependent child visa application?
The processing time of a dependent child visa application may vary based on a number of factors, including the country in which the application is made and the complexity of the case. In general, processing times can vary from a few weeks to several months.
Is it possible to extend the visa for dependent children?
Yes, a dependent child visa can be extended as long as the child continues to meet the eligibility requirements. It is recommended to request an extension at least two months before the visa expires.
What are the key factors to consider before applying for a dependent child visa?
Before applying for a dependent child visa, it is important to consider the following factors:
- The child must be financially dependent on the parent or legal guardian in the UK. This means that the parent or legal guardian must have sufficient financial resources to support the child without relying on public funds.
- The parent or legal guardian must have a valid visa allowing them to stay in the UK for more than six months.
- The child does not have to live an independent life and must be able to demonstrate that he or she will be cared for and supported while in the UK.
- Your child may be asked to attend an interview as part of the application process.
Can a dependent child visa lead to a solution in the UK?
Yes, a child-dependent visa can lead to settlement in the UK, also known as indefinite leave to remain (ILR). However, this will depend on a number of factors, including the length of time the child has spent in the UK and whether they continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
What are the benefits of a dependent child visa?
The Dependent Child Visa offers a number of benefits, including:
- The ability for a child to join their parent or legal guardian in the UK.
- The child’s ability to attend school in the UK.
- The child’s ability to access healthcare in the UK.
- The possibility of the child eventually settling in the UK.
What are the disadvantages of a dependent child visa?
The dependent child visa also has some disadvantages, including:
- The requirement for the parent or legal guardian in the UK to have sufficient financial resources to support the child without relying on public funds.
- The requirement that the child be financially dependent on the parent or legal guardian in the UK.
- The possibility that the child may experience culture shock and difficulty adjusting to life in the UK.
Visa fees depend on how you apply. If you apply from outside the UK to be reunited with your parents, you will have to pay a fee of £1,464. However, if you apply in the UK online or by post, the fee will cost you £993 and £1,583 if you apply in the UK in person with the premium service.
Even if you apply as a dependent in addition to the other parent’s application, you will still have to pay the fee of £1,464 if you apply from outside the UK, £993 if you apply in the UK online or by post and £1,583 if you apply in person in the UK with the premium service.
In order to apply for a child visa in the UK, you need to submit some documents commonly required for each type of visa, in addition to the supporting document. The main documents you will need to present are the following:
- Valid passport with at least one blank page for visa purposes
- previous passports
- 2 color passport size photos
- Evidence of English language requirement
- Proof of financial means
- Evidence of the relationship with your UK resident parent, such as photos of the two of you together, etc.
You will also need to submit supporting documents that will provide the following information:
- Your full name
- your date of birth
- details of any previous immigration applications, if any
- details of any criminal convictions, if any
- your social security number, if any
- your date of birth and your parents’ nationality if you are applying from outside the UK
- your tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where you need to take the test
- You will need to provide a translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh
Application processing time
The process usually takes up to 12 weeks or up to 8 weeks if you apply in the UK online or by post. On the other hand, if you apply in person in the UK, you will receive a response regarding your spouse visa application, within one day
However, processing your application may take longer if:
- you do not meet the income requirements
- you cannot demonstrate your knowledge of English
- you must attend an interview
- have a criminal record
- they did not provide all the requested documents
If your application is approved, you will receive a biometric residence permit which will be valid for 2.5 years. You will need to request an extension before it expires. With this biometric residence permit you will be able to study and work once you reach the age of majority.
Can a grandparent apply for a dependent child visa for their grandchild?
No, only a parent or legal guardian can apply for a dependent child visa.
Is it possible to apply for a dependent child visa at the same time as a parent or legal guardian’s visa application?
Yes, a dependent child visa can be included as part of a parent or legal guardian’s visa application.
Can a minor over the age of 18 apply for a dependent child visa?
No, a child must be under the age of 18 to be eligible for a dependent child visa.
Is it possible to revoke a visa for a minor dependent if the parent’s or legal guardian’s visa is revoked? Yes, if the parent or legal guardian’s visa is revoked, the minor’s visa may also be revoked.
How long can a child stay in the UK on a Child Dependent Visa?
A child can remain in the UK for the same length of time as their parent or legal guardian, up to a maximum of five years.
The Child Dependent Visa is a valuable option for parents or legal guardians who wish to bring their children to join them in the UK. However, it is important to carefully consider the eligibility requirements, the application process and the potential advantages and disadvantages before applying.
If you are considering a dependent child visa, we recommend that you seek professional advice to ensure your application is completed correctly and to increase your chances of success.