How to apply for a visa as the parent of a child in the UK

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The Immigration Rules permit parents living overseas, who have British or settled children living in the UK, to apply for a visa to come to live with them. In this post we will consider the requirements that a parent applying for a visa in this category must meet in order to make a successful application.

Overview of the Immigration Rules on visas for parents

The requirements of the parent route are set out in “Section EC-PT: Entry clearance as a parent of a child in the UK”. This section can be found within Appendix FM, an appendix to the main body of the Immigration Rules. When you click through to Appendix FM, the drop-down menu to access Section EC-PT is confusingly labelled “Family life as a parent of a child in the UK” but it relates to the same route.

The main issues for applicants are explored in our Free Movement article. In summary, to make a successful application the parent must

  • Meet the relationship requirement with the child

  • Not be in a relationship with the child’s other parent or carer

  • Provide evidence that they are taking, and intend to continue to take, an active role in the child’s upbringing

  • The parent must also be

    • Outside the UK
    • Over 18 years of age
    • Able to adequately maintain accommodate themselves and any dependants on arrival
    • Able to speak English to an acceptable level (CEFR A1)
  • The child must be

    • Living in the UK
    • Under 18 years of age
    • Either a British national, or have settled status in the UK

    Main image credit: Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash