Family Visa:
Applying as a Parent

If you wish to live in the UK to care for your child, you may apply for a Family Visa as a parent.

The UK Immigration Rules allow for  parents living overseas, who have British or settled children living in the UK, to apply for this visa to come to live with them.

This is recommended only if you do not meet the criteria to apply as a partner.

Eligibility Criteria

You meet the eligibility criteria as a parent if your child: 

  • Is below the age of 18 
  • Does not live an independent life
  • Lives in the UK

In addition, they must also satisfy one of the criteria listed below:

  • They have a British or Irish citizenship
  • They have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
  • They have a pre-settled status and are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein 
  • If you’re applying in the UK, they must have lived in the UK for 7 years continuously and it would not be reasonable for them to leave

The main requirements for an applicant is that you 

  • Possess good knowledge of the English language.
  • Can financially support yourself and/or other dependents without the aid of public funds.
  • Provide proof of having an active role in your child’s life and intent of continuing to do so. 
  • Not be in a relationship with the child’s other parent or carer.

How do I prove I have an active role in my child's life?

Letters of proof include: 

  • Letters from your child’s school demonstrating you take them to school/ participate in school events 
  • Doctor, dentist, or health visitor confirming that you take them to appointments
  • Letter from the other parent. Please note, you are required to submit an official proof of their identity as well. 

What does it mean to ‘live an independent life?’

The term living an independent life refers to an individual who has left home or is married and has a family. Under such circumstances, you do not meet the eligibility criteria to apply for a Family visa as a child.

Length of stay

You are eligible to stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months on this visa after which you may apply for an extension on your visa.


Family Visa: Applying as a partner

If you are applying from outside the UK, you should make an application for a visa no more than 3 months before you plan to be in the country.

For applications made within the UK, you should make an application for a visa no more than 3 months before your current visa expires.

It takes between 8 to 12 weeks for the Home Office to make a decision on applications from outside the UK following submission. The timeline may currently be longer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It takes up to 8 weeks for the Home Office to make a decision on applications from within the UK following submission. The timeline may currently be longer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority service is available as an additional purchasing option for applications made within the UK with a decision made in either 5 days or 24-hours depending on the service chosen.

You can add other children to your application as dependants if one of the following applies:

  • They are below the age of 18 years
  • They do not live an independent life

Once you have submitted an online application form, you must also submit your biometrics at a UK Visa Application Centre. The supporting documentation you are required to submit will depend on the facts of your particular case.


There are many requirements to be met to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration. The Immigration Rules contain strict requirements in terms of the evidentiary documents that must be provided.

Woodcock Law is well placed and highly experienced in providing advice and assistance on making a Partner Visa application. We appreciate that many of the requirements may seem overly complex and onerous, but we can assist you in your application.

We recommend getting in contact with us on 020 7712 1590 for our expert advice on such an application before any action is taken

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. While Woodcock Law Limited makes every effort to keep this information current, prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on


Woodcock Law & Notary Public is the combined trading name of Woodcock Law Limited (Co. No: 12080697) and Woodcock Notary Public Limited (Co. No: 12085976). Woodcock Law Limited is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (registration number 664924). Woodcock Notary Public Limited is regulated through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury for work undertaken by Mr Nathan Woodcock as a Notary Public. Woodcock Law Limited is a member of Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association. (Membership Number: 7980).

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer
Designed by Woodcock Marketing | Copyright 2022 | Woodcock Law & Notary Public | All Rights Reserved