For a child to qualify as a dependant, the child must be under the age of 18 (for non EEA child dependants), not leading an independent life, unmarried (or not in a civil partnership) and has not formed an independent family unit.
For child dependants, in most cases the home office requires that both parent are in the UK with the child. However where just one of the parent is in the UK, the Home Office requires that the sponsoring parent (in the UK) must show that they have sole responsibility for the child or children as the case may be.
Where one of the parent is in the UK and the other partner is overseas, and the sponsoring parent (in the UK) cannot show that they have sole responsibility for the child, they must provide evidence of a serious and compelling family or other considerations which make the exclusion of the child undesirable. In all the aforementioned instances, evidence of childcare arrangements must have been made.
There is a difference in the age at which children are considered as dependants for non EEA and EEA applications. Where overseas non EEA nationals can only apply for child dependent visas for their children who are under the age of 18, the EEA nationals can apply under the same route for children up to the age of 21.
However, it is important to mention that in both cases, a child who is not financially dependent on his parent (who are resident or settled in the UK), or are leading independent lives or are married or have formed an independent family unit will not be considered a 'dependent child'.
There have also been slightly complex situations where the parent in question are either separated and/or share custody of the child or children as the case may be. In these instances, the applicant must prove that they have had "sole responsibility" in the upbringing of the child and/children.
It may be important to consult a good immigration lawyer to advice on the best way to present the peculiarities in proving sole responsibility.
Child dependant UK visa applications can be grouped into 3 basic categories: –
Where the parent of a child is a settled person, the child can apply to join them here in the UK and be granted an indefinite leave to enter/remain directly. However, in order for the child to qualify for the ILR, the following conditions will have to be met: –
2. The child is under 18 and is neither leading an independent life, nor is married nor have formed an independent family unit.
3. Adequate maintenance and accommodation provisions must be have been made available without recourse to public funds.
The Home Office complies with strict adherence to the sole responsibility principle. When making an application based on having been solely responsible for the child, any form of interference by the other partner would break the sole responsibility; based on the conclusion that the there is some form of shared responsibility in the child's upbringing.
We have seen a couple of situations where Entry clearance officers follows the all-or-nothing rule in determining sole responsibility. This is where a decent immigration law firm such as Reiss Edwards can be of a massive help in your application.
A number of visa categories allow holders to bring in their dependents with them or to join them in the UK. A larger proportion of those visa categories include long-term visa categories. The dependent in this case would be children of the visa holders who are less than 18 years old.
Here, the dependents are normally given a leave to enter or remain based on the length the leaves of their parent. They are also able to apply for extensions in line extension applications of their parent.
Furthermore, in event that a child who applied as a dependent of a person who has limited leave to remain in the UK has now become 18 years old while in the UK, they would still be considered as dependents and can even apply for further extension or indefinite leave to remain in line with their parent's extension even after becoming 18 as long as there still part of the parent's household.
Children on child dependent visas enjoy the full rights of access to state education and healthcare. However they are not allowed to claim government financial benefit; this means that they have no recourse to public funds.
Where an EEA national seeks to bring their children to join them in the UK. It is very important that such EEA national is exercising their treaty rights in the UK. The exercise of treaty rights relates to whether or not they are employed, unemployed or claiming unemployment benefits.
According to the Immigration rules, where an EEA national is exercising Treaty rights in the UK they are permitted to sponsor their child dependants to join them in the UK up until the age of 21. Child dependants need not be married, lead an independent live, have formed an independent family unit or financially dependent.
For entry clearance applications, where the child is not an EEA nationals themselves, they can apply on an EEA family Permit. This permit is usually valid for 6 months when granted. The child would then need to switch to an EEA residence card to extend their stay in the UK.
Once the child has completed 5 years in the UK, the child can then apply for a permanent residence. In order to be eligible for permanent residence, the child needs to be with the sponsoring parent.
We pride ourselves as a leading child dependant visa lawyers in London. Our high success rate to application submitted ratio gives us even more confidence in handling any type of child dependant visa application. Be sure to take advantage of our free initial assessment over the phone to determine whether you meet the requirements to qualify or not.
Should you need any further query or assistance with a Child Dependant Visa application, please feel free to contact us on 1st Floor, Holborn Gate, 330 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QT. Tel: 02035407770. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our specialist immigration lawyers are keen to hearing from you.