Immigration Application – Apply For Your Child to Join You
If you are a British citizen and you are currently living abroad and would like to bring your child with you to the UK, or you are already in the UK with limited or indefinite leave to remain and wish for your children to join you, there are provisions in the UK Immigration Rules to enable you to do so on the basis of their relationship to you as a ‘dependant child’.
The rules are different depending on whether you, as a parent, have been granted limited leave, or indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
If you, as a parent, have or are applying for limited leave to remain in the UK, the entry clearance requirements for your child are namely as follows:
- The child must be under the age of 18 at the date of application.
- The child must not be married or in a civil partnership.
- The child must not have formed an independent family unit.
- The child must not be leading an independent life; and
- Either your current partner is the child’s other parent, or you have had and continue to have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing.
If you have been granted Indefinite leave to remain in the UK, or you are British and you would like to apply for your child to join you in the UK, a different part of the Immigration Rules will apply to you – Part 8.
One of the requirements for entrance to the UK a as a child of a parent is that the applicant must show that the parent inviting the child has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing.
This is a factual matter to prove, to be decided upon all the evidence we provide with the application. The term responsibility in the immigration Rules should not be understood as theoretical or legal obligations but rather as a practical one. In other words in each case we need to look at the facts of the case and see who is exercising responsibility for the child. The responsibility may have been for a short duration or it can be for a long time. Responsibility for the child’s upbringing may be undertaken by individuals other than the child’s parents and may be shared between different individuals. The issue of sole responsibility is not just a matter between parents, so even if only one parent involved in a child’s upbringing, that parent may not have sole responsibility. It is understandable that when a parent lives in another country the day to day responsibility or decision making for the child’s welfare may necessarily be shared with others such as relatives or friends because of the geographical separation. However, this does not prevent a parent having sole responsibility within the meaning of the Rules. The test is not whether anyone else has the day to day responsibility, but whether the parent has continuing control and direction of the child’s upbringing. Ie., making all the important decisions in the child’s life.
In order to succeed in an application, the entry clearance officers must be provided with all the evidence, in order to satisfy the Rules and its requirements. We need to demonstrate financial and emotional support, ongoing communications, the delegation of duties and if there are serious and compelling reasons, why the exclusion of the child is undesirable.
Best Interests of the child
The leading case with regard to best interest is ZH (Tanzania) v SSHD  where the Supreme Court concluded that any decision which is taken, without having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of any children involved, would not be in accordance with the law. In other words would not be lawful. The term “best interests” broadly describes the well-being of the child but it doesn’t offer a precise definition. Therefore, the best interests of a child, must be determined per case.
Danielle is an experienced Immigration Lawyer, and together with her team of Immigration Solicitors, she will be able to give you comprehensive advice on the relevant requirements, help you to gather the right evidence and aim to make the process as clear and straightforward as possible. If you would like Danielle and her team to assist with your application, or you have a general query please do not hesitate to call us on 020 7267 4133.