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Child Dependant Visa from Outside the UK

Bring your child to live with you in the UK

If you are in the UK with British Citizenship, Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Remain, you may be able to bring your child from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to live permanently with you in the UK.

Several types of Visa allow non-EEA nationals who are working or studying in the UK to bring their dependants to the UK. These are the Start Up, Innovator, Tier 2 and Tier 4 Visas. In those cases you must show the family relationship and that you have sufficient funds to look after them in the UK.     

But, if you are not working or studying here, the Child Dependant Visa requires stricter conditions if you want to bring your non-British or Non-EEA child to the UK permanently. 

You are British or have Indefinite Leave to Remain and live in the UK

In this case, you must show that:  

  • You are the parent of the child. They must be under 18 years old and not already leading their own independent life
  • You are British or have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK 
  • Both parents are in the UK, or
  • One parent is in the UK and has sole parental responsibility for the child. In other words, the other parent takes no part in the child's upbringing. They will not care for the child in their home country 
  • If the other parent is not in the UK and does have parental responsibility, you must show that there are serious and compelling reasons why the child should be allowed to live in the UK
  • You are able to adequately accommodate and maintain the child 
  • This type of Visa can be used if there are no parents in the child's home country but there is a relative in the UK who is British or has Indefinite Leave to Remain

If your child's application is successful they will be granted indefinite leave to enter. This means they are immediately free of immigration restrictions and do not have to renew their visa.

You have Limited Leave to Remain in the UK, (your leave has an expiry date)

You can also apply to bring your child here if the child did not come with you when you first arrived in the UK.

It is essential for you to show:

  • You are the parent of the child who must be under 18 years old. This means that they are not already leading their own independent life
  • That you have Limited Leave to Remain in the UK as the parent or partner of a British Citizen or a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain
  • You have sole parental responsibility for the child, or
  • There are serious and compelling reasons why the child should be allowed to live in the UK
  • You are able to adequately accommodate and maintain the child

Working with us on your Child Dependant Visa application

In many cases, the question of sole parental responsibility is central to the application. It can be difficult to prove a negative; the child's other parent is not involved at all with the child and any decisions about their upbringing. We work with you to gather the best possible evidence to show you have sole parental responsibility.

If the other parent is taking some role in the child's upbringing or there are difficulties proving that the other parent is absent, it is essential to show that there are serious and compelling reasons why the child should not be turned away from the UK and should be with the parent here. This is where our knowledge and experience play a key role. We can argue that it is in the child's best interests to live with the parent in the UK and present evidence to the Home Office that there are serious and compelling reasons why the child should be allowed to come to the UK.

The Home Office looks very closely at this type of application. It is therefore essential that they are well-evidenced and argued.

How does the process of gaining a Child Dependant Visa work?

We talk to you first and find out about you and your child. We will look at any paperwork you have and advise whether you have a good chance of succeeding with an application to bring your Child Dependant to the UK. At Immigration Legal Services, we are scrupulously honest. If we start work for you and, at some point along the process, we do not believe you will succeed because your circumstances do not fit the legal framework or if the evidence is weak, we will tell you.

"Fantastic service from Sallie and the team. They came recommended to me."

Ekul Star

We would never encourage a client to start or continue an application to bring a Child Dependant to the UK if we consider that the Home Office are highly likely to refuse the application. We do not make false promises and we do not raise unrealistic expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

My child lives in Uganda with her grandparents. They are getting old and cannot continue to look after her. Can I bring my daughter to the UK to live with me?

You will need to show that you take all the major decisions in your child's life. These include decisions about education, health etc., and if you perhaps send money and communicate and visit her regularly. You will also need to prove that her father has no responsibility for her and that your parents can no longer care for her.

My child's mother has brought him up from birth. She wants him to live in the UK to get a good education. Will I be able to get him here?

It is highly unlikely that such an application will work. If your child has a mother who can look after him and shares parental responsibility with you, the Home Office will see no reason why he should be allowed to live in the UK.

If my child gets here on this Visa, how long can she stay?

She will be granted Indefinite Leave to Enter if you are British or have Indefinite Leave to Remain. If you have Limited Leave to Remain, she will have leave in line with yours.

Get in touch
Bring your child to live with you in the UK
We strongly advise you to talk to us about these types of application. Find out more by calling or emailing us. We offer a free 20 minute initial consultation.
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  • "The team went an extra mile and fought my case much more and much better than I would have expected. In the end, my case was successful and I cannot thank them enough for all they have done. If I ever need legal help in the future I will definitely use their services again and recommend them for their reasonable prices, supportive advice and first rate legal services."
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  • "Excellent people, excellent service. They made the process of bringing my husband to the UK painless. Couldn’t have done it without them, highly recommend!"
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