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Bringing your child to the UK – Sole Responsibility

Children of British citizens or parents who are settled holding Indefinite Leave to remain can apply for their children to join them if the parent or parents are in the UK and have sole responsibility for the child. The similar requirement of sole responsibility also applies to parents who hold limited leave to remain or are granted limited leave to remain and want their child to join them or accompany them.

Who Is a Dependent?

Generally, a child under the age of 18 years is a dependent child. The children who may be dependent due to their medical needs such as disability, etc can also be considered dependents even if they are above 18 years of age. The threshold for children above 18 years is based on compassionate and compelling circumstances which is very high.

Entry clearance to the UK

Eligibility conditions are different for parents with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain. If you have or are applying for limited leave to remain as a parent, your child needs to meet the following conditions to get entry clearance to the UK
  • Your child must be below 18 on the date of application
  • Your child must not be married or in a civil partnership or living an independent life
  • Your child must be supported financially without a claim of public fund
  • Either your current partner is the other parent of the child or you always had and continue to have sole responsibility for your child's upbringing

Sole Responsibility

The sole responsibility has been defined by the Upper tribunal TD (Paragraph 297(i)(e): “sole responsibility”) Yemen [2006] UKAIT 00049 The determination states:
“Sole responsibility” is a factual matter to be decided upon all the evidence. Where one parent is not involved in the child’s upbringing because he (or she) had abandoned or abdicated responsibility, the issue may arise between the remaining parent and others who have day-to- day care of the child abroad. The test is whether the parent has continuing control and direction over the child’s upbringing, including making all the important decisions in the child’s life. However, where both parents are involved in a child’s upbringing, it will be exceptional that one of them will have “sole responsibility”.
If you want to apply for your child’s visa to join you in the UK you can contact or team of experts on 02034111261 or email us at –
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Visa and Migration is a private OISC regulated company (F201500999) and is not an official Government body. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the UKVI website.