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This category is for the children of people who are British citizens, or who have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. The application can be made from the UK if the child is here legally, even as a visitor; otherwise it must be made from the child’s home country. Children get settlement immediately.
If you yourself are coming to the UK as a spouse, fiancé or unmarried partner there are additional requirements that your children have to meet.
All children must be under the age of 18, still dependent upon their parents, single and not leading an independent life, and free from any unspent convictions.
You must be able to maintain and accommodate the children adequately from your own resources, without needing help from public funds.
If you are the only parent in the UK, you will need to demonstrate either that your child’s other parent is dead, or that you have sole responsibility for the child.
If you cannot prove either of these things, you need to satisfy the Home Office that there are ‘serious and compelling family or other circumstances’ that would make it undesirable to refuse your child permission to live with you in the UK.
Over the years the courts have held that ‘sole responsibility’ means more than just supporting your child financially, though that is, of course, an important element of what you have to prove.
You will need to show that you have kept in regular contact with your child, and that even though you have left someone else with the day-to-day care, you have been the person who has made all the major decisions in the child’s life.
What this means is not explained in the Immigration Rules. In general, if you are relying on this, you will need to be able to prove why it would be detrimental for your child to be unable to live with you in the UK. This could, for example, be because the care arrangements in place are no longer workable, or because of serious health issues, or if the child is being abused or ill-treated.
The UK recognises legal adoptions from countries that have signed up to the Hague Convention, and from certain other ‘designated countries’. If you have adopted a child legally but the country in which the adoption has taken place does not meet this criterion, then the adoption will not be recognised as valid for the purposes of UK immigration.
If you and your partner live overseas for 18 months or more, and adopt a child who has lived overseas with you for 12 months or more, this could be recognised as a ‘de facto’ adoption.
If you yourself have a visa as a spouse, fiancé or unmarried partner, then you can bring your children to the UK with you.
You have to show that you satisfy all the requirements given above, but you have to show a specific financial requirement – in addition to the £18,600 that is required to sponsor you, you need to show £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 for each additional child.
Your children will be issued with visas in line with yours, and will be eligible to apply for settlement when you are.
Has your child’s application been refused?
Appeal rights have changed
Since 06 April 2015 the right of appeal has been severely limited, so that while you can still appeal if your visa is refused, you can only do so on human rights grounds. Human rights law itself is in the process of changing, with the government’s stated intention to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights.
You can read more about the appeal process, and how we can help you with your appeal, on our Appeals page.
All our lawyers have specialised in UK immigration law for at least 14 years now, so when it comes to making a successful application, we know what we are talking about. When you instruct us we will:
Ensure that you know what the rules are
Though the Immigration Rules set out the requirements that you have to show you meet, Home Office caseworkers are also issued with separate guidance documents, which tell them how to interpret the Rules, what documents are required and when they can exercise discretion in a case. We look at all these things when we advise you on what is needed.
Give you a complete list of documents
It is for an applicant to provide supporting documents to show how the requirements of the Immigration Rules are met. We provide a complete list of all the documents you will need, both those that are mandatory as well as those we recommend based on our experience of preparing several thousand successful applications.
Check your documents
Most applications, even those made in the UK at a premium appointment, are decided on the basis of the papers that are submitted, without you ever being interviewed. We check your documents, and work with you for as long as it takes to get them perfect, so that any problems are dealt with and rectified before your application is submitted.
Prepare the application to a very high standard
We will complete all the paperwork, and draft detailed legal representations that set out your case, address any issues that may be problematic, and then go through the different requirements of the Immigration Rules and show how you meet each one.
Provide unlimited advice and support
We will work with you for as long as it takes to get your paperwork perfect. And because we charge a fixed fee, you can call or email us at any time that your have a question without any extra charge, no matter how many times that is.