In today’s globalised world, it’s common for families to live in separate countries from each other.
But there often comes a time when people want to be reunited. This will usually mean applying for a visa and moving to another country.
In the UK, there are a range of family visas available, from spouse visas to dependent relatives. And in the case of dependent children, there is a specific category dedicated to this type of family connection.
As the name suggests, it’s for dependent children (under the age of 18) of someone living in the UK. It allows a child to move to the UK to be with the parent. This could be following a divorce or a change in the family circumstances.
Keep reading for more information about this visa category to find out if it’s the right one for you.
The Child Visa category allows a child, or children, to join a parent already living in the UK. As long as that parent has legal responsibility for the child and they are either a permanent resident or have indefinite leave to remain.
As with all visas though, there are certain conditions that must be met. To apply for the visa, you will need:
Successful applicants are granted a visa in line with the parent’s leave to remain. So, if the parent has a two-year visa, the child will get the same.
After five years in the UK, there is the option to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
However, Family Visas can be complicated categories depending on personal situations. So it can be useful to visit the British government website to find out more.
You can apply for this visa from either inside or outside of the UK. But there is a difference in how much the application will cost depending on where you are when you apply.
If you apply from inside the UK, the fee is £1,033.
If you apply from outside of the UK, the fee is £1,523.
You might also have to pay the healthcare surcharge. And there is a fee of £19.20 to provide biometric information (photograph and fingerprints).
The processing times vary depending on where you are when you apply.
If you’re inside the UK when you apply, you should get a decision within eight weeks.
If you’re outside of the UK, it can take up to 12 weeks.
But if you need a decision quickly, there is the option to pay £800 for the super priority service. With this service, you can get a decision by the end of the next working day.
If you want to join a parent in the UK but you’re not classed as a dependent child (e.g. over the age of 18), there are other immigration pathways.
For example, you could apply to study at a British university or get a short-term study visa to do an English language course.
You could go for a Skilled Worker Visa if you already have some professional work experience. Or consider the start-up route if you’re a recent graduate and you have a business idea.
Or if the parent has settled status, it might be possible to apply via the EU Settlement Scheme for a family permit.
Alternatively, you could even visit your family member first as a tourist to see if the UK is the right place for you before making a big decision.
Whatever the route you decide you take, being informed about the immigration process is the first step to a successful move to the UK.
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