Applying for “Parent of a child” visa can be complex and not as straightforward as one might think

When applying for a visa as “Parent of a child living in the UK”, it is necessary to take a comprehensive approach to the whole application and preparation process and consider a number of factors, which we have outline below.

If the future of a child is connected to the UK, then he/she should live together with parents or one of them. However, in reality Home office has to consider other factors while making the decision.

First of all, the child should have a stable immigration status in the UK. For example, to be eligible to live with his overseas parents in Britain, he/she should be either the UK national or be permanently settled in the country or legally live in the UK for a continuous period of seven years.

There are three major factors, which would affect parent’s visa application.

  1. Playing an active role in the child’s upbringing

The Upper Tribunal in the case of SR (subsisting parental relationship – s117B(6)) Pakistan 2018 UKUT 3345 (IAC),  outlined the most relevant positions in the question of children’s upbringing:

“…all the particular facts will need to be considered in the round, including inter alia: the age, and if appropriate the wishes and feelings of the child; the nature and extent of direct and indirect contact between parent and child; its duration; whether the parent has “parental responsibility” and; the nature and extent of the role played in decision-making for the child and his / her upbringing…”

As you can see, the judge at the Upper Tribunal separates the concept of “upbringing” of the child and the involvement of parents in his/her life. Parents should influence their child’s life and development process, by making decisions on his/her behalf, taking necessary actions and generally play an active role in their upbringing. It is not enough just to keep a constant contact with a child.

  1. Existing and genuine parental relationship

There should be an established genuine relationship between parent and child. It is not enough just to be a biological father or mother. The relationship should include an element of direct parental custody.

  1. Reasonableness of return

It is also necessary to demonstrate that it is inappropriate or unfair to consider the possibility of a child leaving the UK. In simple words, if there is no one in Britain, who could officially take care of the child, the parent has reasonably good grounds to get a visa and stay in the United Kingdom to avoid the child leaving the UK in order to relocate to the country of his/her parents.

To summarise, there is an unofficial threshold of what you should expect in different situations:

  1. In most cases it is in the child’s interests to live together with parent/s. It can be one of the grounds for a parent to get the visa but unfortunately it is not sufficient enough just on its own to secure the positive decision of the Home Office.
  2. If there is an established genuine relationship between parent and child and it is not appropriate for the child to leave the UK, applicant may get a 2.5 year visa and apply for ILR after living 10 years in the country.
  3. If parent truly plays important role in the child’s upbringing with a direct access or sole responsibility, then the applicant most likely will be granted a 2.5 year visa with a potential to get ILR after 5 years.

To sum up, parents who have stronger and closer relationship with their children are more likely to get a visa to stay in the UK and in the future in the shorter time receive permanent residence status.

Posted on Oct 21, 2018.

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