Can I bring my child to the UK?
The UK generally only grants dependant visas to children when both parents are in the UK, either settled or on a qualifying visa. Otherwise, you will need to prove that you have sole responsibility for your child. Your child must be under the age of 18 on the date you apply and must not be living an independent life. There is also often a maintenance requirement.
Visas that allow you to bring your family to the UK include:
Skilled Worker visas
Under the new points-based system, the Tier 2 visa is now known as the Skilled Worker visa. Your partner and children can join you in the UK and their visa will have the same end date as yours.
You can bring children under the age of 18 to the UK with you. Children who are already in the UK as your dependant can remain on your visa if they’re over 18.
You must prove that you’re related to your child and, if they’re over the age of 16, that they live with you (or are enrolled in full-time education), are unmarried, do not have children of their own and are financially supported by you.
You will need to have money available for your child to support themselves in the UK. This amount is currently £315 for one child and £200 for each additional child, and it will need to be available for at least 28 sequential days.
Health and care visa
A new visa for doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals has been introduced and one of the benefits it offers is the ability to bring your family with you to the UK. This visa fits under the Skilled Worker route, but visas cost less and you do not need to pay the health surcharge.
Tier 1 visas
General and Entrepreneur
If you haven’t already been living in the UK for 12 months, you must show that you have at least £1,890 per child to support them before they’ll be permitted to join you. If you have been living in the UK for over a year, this maintenance requirement falls to £630. This is outside of any funds you’re required to hold to support yourself.
Similar to the previous category, if you have been in the UK for less than a year, the maintenance requirement is £1,260 and it falls to £630 after the first year.
However, in the case of the Graduate Entrepreneur, the maintenance requirement can be met by savings that have been held for at least 90 consecutive days or by an endorsement letter from the Department of International Trade showing that you've been awarded funding sufficient to cover the requirements.
Investor, Exceptional Talent, Global talent
There are no maintenance requirements for children of those on these visas.
Tier 4 (Student dependant)
If you are planning to study in the UK for over six months, you may be permitted to bring your child to the UK. This will depend on what level you’re studying at and your financial situation. You will have to prove you are related to your child and that you will be able to care for your child while they’re in the UK.
Temporary workers must show savings of at least £630 to support their child, held in a bank account for at least three months before applying. However, a Tier 5 A-rated sponsor can provide a certification letter stating that they will accommodate the family member for a month and this can satisfy the requirement.
Requirements for a child UK dependant visa
- Under 18 on the day of application
- Unmarried and do not have an independent family unit
- Not living an independent life
- Children over 16 must prove they still live with the parent or include evidence that they are away due to academic endeavours and are still fully financially supported by their parents
- Maintenance requirements may apply
- You may have to prove your relation to your child
- You may have to prove you have sole responsibility for your child
Settlement (indefinite leave to remain)
Dependant children are generally granted indefinite leave to remain at the same time as their parents. Children under 18 will not need to take the Life in the UK test or prove English language proficiency in order to qualify.