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UK Child Visa

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UK Child Visa Applications

What is a Child Visa?

A UK child visa is a visa issued to a child of any person who is legally present in the UK. In order to be eligible, the parent (or parents) need to prove that they hold sole responsibility for the child. Sole Responsibility is the key in these cases. A child is classified as a person under the age of 18 years prior to the date of application, and will generally be granted the same length of visa as their parent in the UK. Mostly these are called dependent visa for the child under the point based system category

If the parent holds indefinite leave to remain or British Citizenship, the child will be granted Indefinite Leave to Enter, such applications are made under paragraph 297 of the Immigration Rules. Although the requirement for sole responsibility still has to be proven by the parent of the child. If the parent holds limited leave to remain then the application will be made for limited leave to enter for the child in line with the leave granted to the parent. 

If you can meet the requirements (as outlined below), you can apply for a child dependent visa or Indefinite Leave to Enter from overseas.

Child Visa Requirements & Eligibility

Dependent child visa requirements can be complex, depending upon the circumstances of the applicants. For an application to be successful, there are a number of general requirements that need to be fulfilled. These include:

  • You - the child - must be under 18;
  • You must not be married or living in a civil partnership;
  • You must not be living an independent life - i.e. the child must be dependent on their parent or parents in the UK;
  • You must be financially supported, without recourse to public funds or benefits; 
  • Evidence of adequate arrangements for the child are made in the UK; 
  • One of your parents must be applying for a UK visa - either as a partner joining the other parent (e.g. under the UK marriage visa category) or as a parent with sole responsibility.

In some exceptional circumstances, it is possible to apply for a child visa for children over 18, such as for a child with mental or physical disabilities. In addition, if the parent is an EEA/EU national, the age limit for children is 21 years and the application can be made from inside or outside the UK and applications are made under Appendix EU. 

This visa category also applies to adopted children. In this case, adoption arrangements should be fulfilled inside the UK or the adoption must have taken place under the Hague Convention, with additional evidence required as part of such application. The adoption must be regonised under Adoption (Recognition of Overseas Adoptions) Order 2013.

Financial Requirements

If the parent holds indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship, then the parent must be able to prove that they will be able to maintain and accommodate the child without recourse to public funds (i.e. without claiming additonal recourse to public funds or benefits). This requirement of maintenance and accommodation works according to the rules under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. 

If the parent is a fiance, unmarried parent or spouse of a British national or a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain, the parents need to prove that they have an income of at least £18,600 per year, plus £3,800 for the first child. If the parent is looking to bring more than one non-EU child to the UK, they will need additional funds to support them; £2,400 for each additional child.

Aside from an 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 property rentals.

Required Evidence

As with many other visa applications, a number of documents need to be submitted as part of your child settlement visa. These include:

  • Your passport and 2 recent passport photographs, which is taken at the visa application centre;
  • Evidence of your - and your child's - age;
  • Evidence of Sole Responsibility or Sole Custody;
  • Accommodation in the UK;
  • DNA - may be required in some cases;
  • Documents to show that you meet the necessary financial requirements, including:
    • Bank statements of the parent who is residing in the UK
    • A letter from your employer, including your job title, the period the parent has worked there, and your current salary
    • 6 months payslips.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Child Visa to the UK?

Under Appendix FM of the immigration rules, a child will be given a visa in line with that of their biological parents. In other words, the applicant will be given a temporary three month visa, and will then be able to collect their biometric residence permit from a relevant post office - this lasts for 2.5 years or according to the length of the visa for the parent.

In-country application takes between 8 weeks to 6 months, while application from outside the UK may take anything from 8 to 12 weeks - unless you are purchasing priority service. Currently, the processing timings are 24 weeks due to Ukrainian crisis. Once an applicant has completed 5 years residence in the UK, they can apply for settlement in the UK. Children who turn over 18 after arriving in the UK will need to prove they live with their parent(s) and continue to be dependent on them.

Child Visa Fees - How Much Does a Child Visa Cost?

The application fee for a dependent child visa from outside the UK is £1,538, plus the Immigration Health Surcharge of £1410 if applying under Appendix FM or other dependent category. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1,048 plus an Immigration Health Surcharge of £1175. If applying for Indefinite leave to enter then the only fee applicable from outside the UK is £1538 and no Immigration Health Surcharge.

UK Child Visa Refusal Reasons

It may be the case that your initial application for a UK child visa is refused. There are various reasons why this can happen, including supplying incorrect documents, not disclosing previous visa or immigration issues, or assuming that the Home Office would be lenient or would find information themselves. 

You should avoid such mistakes so that the Home Office does not get a chance to refuse your child visa application. In order to get expert legal advice on your UK visa application, get in touch with us today.

How We Work

When you start to apply for a child visa in the UK, we assess your circumstances and provide a quote for our services. If you choose to move ahead with you visa application, you pay an initial 50% deposit - and 50% of submission of the application. 

At this stage, we provide you with a comprehensive checklist of documents tailored to your circumstances, as well as templates approved and accepted by the Home Office. We advise you on the evidence you’ll need to supply and the process of submitting the application for a dependent child visa from the country you apply from, suggesting any amendments your application may need.

We do not leave any scope for refusal of your application - if there is anything which is of concern we point this out to you and help you to remedy the issues. We prepare and finalise your application for submission and book you an appointment in the country where you provide your biometrics. We also prepare detailed representations for the Home Office or UKV&I in reference to the Immigration Rules. Should there be a delay to your UK child visa processing times, we will chase the application for you

Do you need to apply for a UK Child Visa?

Speak to our experts to find out about our fast, friendly and affordable service

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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.