What is the Child Dependent Visa?
This is an immigration permission for non-EEA national children who wish to join their parent in the UK.
Generally speaking, a child dependent is classed as someone who is under 18. However, in certain circumstances, if a child is over 18 and they do not live an independent life (for example, haven’t left home, are not married and don’t have children), they may also be eligible for a Child Dependent Visa.
The Child Dependent Visa can be split into two categories:
- Those applying to join/travel with their parent with Leave to Remain (long-term immigration permission)
- Those applying to receive settled status in the UK on the basis of being a child of a parent (or, in some circumstances, through a relative) with settled status/citizenship
Child Dependent Visa for Children of Parents with Leave to Remain
A South African child might be eligible for a Child Dependent Visa if their parent is applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as the partner of a British citizen or person with settled status, or if the child’s parent has already been granted entry clearance or leave to remain as the partner of a British citizen or person with settled status.
It must be proven that:
- The applicant is the child of a parent who is in the UK who is applying to come to the UK as a partner, or already has done AND
- The applicant’s parent’s partner is also the applicant’s parent OR
- The applicant’s parent has sole responsibility for them OR
- There are a serious and compelling reasons which make the exclusion of the applicant unreasonable
What Financial Requirements Need to be Met?
One of the key requirements for a child dependent visa is for the parent to be able to prove that they have the financial means to support their child.
The parent must be able to demonstrate that they have an annual income of at least £18,600 (through their own finances or combined with their partner) and an additional £3,800 for the first child and another £2,400 for each additional child.
Your financial means can be demonstrated through:
- Cash savings up to £16,000
- Pension money
- Income from non-employment finances such as property rentals, investments, stocks and shares
UK Settled Status for South African Children
A South African child can also emigrate to the UK if their parent has UK settled status.
UK settled status refers to someone who has Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status in the UK (or British citizenship). If a child is eligible for this route, they will receive Indefinite Leave to Remain status automatically.
The child could be eligible if:
- They are under 18
- They are not married/in a civil partnership or living an independent life
- They will be financially supported without the need to claim public funds
If the child is over 18, they might still be eligible if:
- They got permission to stay in the UK on a family visa when they were under 18-years-old
- They do not live an independent life
This route is possible in the following circumstances:
- The child will be joining both parents in the UK and both parents are British citizens or have Indefinite Leave to Remain status, or they are both applying for ILR
- One parent is a British citizen or has ILR and the other parent is applying to join them in the UK
If the child will be travelling to join one parent and if one of the following applies, the child will also be eligible:
- One parent is a British citizen or has ILR and the other parent is deceased
- One parent is a British citizen or has ILR and that parent has sole responsibility for the child
- One parent is a British citizen or has ILR and there are serious and compelling reasons which mean that it would be undesirable to exclude the child from coming to the UK
Also, the child will be eligible if they are coming to live with another relative who is not their parent and that relative has British citizenship or ILR status, and it would be undesirable to exclude the child from coming to the UK.
Are There Other Immigration Permissions Enabling Children to Join Their Parents in the UK?
The parent of a South African child can include the child in their application for a number of immigration permissions. Whilst not generally regarded as a child dependent visa, this route to UK residency will still enable a child to live with their parent in the UK.
The child will usually be eligible if their parent is applying for one of the following UK visas:
As with standard child dependent visa applications, the applicant’s sponsor (parent) will need to demonstrate that they have the financial means to support their child in the UK.
What are the Required Documents for Child Dependent Visa Applications?
The documents which will need to be submitted in a child dependent visa application depends on the particular circumstances surrounding the application.
Generally speaking, the following information of the child will need to be provided:
- Their name, nationality and date of birth
- Current passport or other valid travel ID
- Details of any previous immigration applications made
- Details of who the child normally lives with
- Any other people who are involved in the child’s day-to-day life
- Any countries the child has lived in or visited
Here at the Immigration Advice Service, we can help you to compile your documents to formulate your portfolio of evidence. Our highly skilled and experienced immigration lawyers can help to ease your mind and take charge of your application, whichever route you are using to bring your child to live with you in the UK.
Call us now on 0333 305 9375 for more information.
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This depends on the permission you have been given in the UK. If your child is accepted as a dependent, they will be given the same immigration permission as you. This means that they will be eligible for British citizenship when you are.
ILR status is typically granted after five years of lawful residence in the UK. However, in certain circumstances, it might be given sooner.
If a child is joining their parent in the UK for a period of longer than six months, they will need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo), which will form their Biometric Residence Permit.
If the application was made in South Africa, the child can provide the biometric information in South Africa at a visa application centre – they will be informed of where they need to go after the application has been completed.
If the child is in the UK, they will usually provide the information at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.
When the Biometric Residence Permit is ready to be collected, a nominated adult must collect the permit if the child is under 18.
The IAS has a proven track record of helping foreign nationals to successfully reunite with their families in the UK. We fully understand the importance of family life and being close to your loved ones.
Child dependent visas, and the rules around them, are often complex and it can be difficult to understand exactly what is required of you. This is where we step in. With a wealth of experience in the field of immigration law, we can give you the peace of mind you need.
- Determine whether your child is eligible for a Child Dependent Visa
- Help you to compile your portfolio of evidence, a key part of any UK immigration application process
- Complete all relevant application forms to the highest standard
- Prepare a letter of representation to send to immigration officials to support your case
- Submit your full application to the Home Office and liaise with them throughout the process