The Child Visitor Visa has been replaced with the Standard Visitor Visa. The minor visitor category is reserved for children under the age of 18 who wish to come to the UK for a period of up to 6 months (or up to 12 months if accompanying an academic visitor). This includes children who wish to study in the UK for up to 6 months.
One of the key factors in tourist visa entry clearance applications is to satisfy the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) that the applicant has strong family, financial, and social ties to the country of origin and will therefore return to the country of origin during the visit. The UK.
What is a UK Child Visa?
The UK child visa is a type of visa that allows UK citizens or residents without immigration restrictions to bring their non-EU children to the UK. Therefore, the main criterion for a child to be eligible for this type of visa is that one of her parents already resides in the UK.
How to apply for a child visa?
You will need to apply online if you are applying from outside the UK. You will also need to complete the VAF4A Appendix 1 application form.
However, if you are in the UK you have two choices. You can apply online or by post. You can also apply at a premium service center. To do this you will need to fill out the form and book an appointment, or submit an application online and book an appointment.
If you apply in the UK, you will receive a letter when you apply asking you to provide your biometric information, i.e. your fingerprints and a photo.
UK Child Visa Requirements
For children born in the UK
If the child was born in the UK, you will be granted the same residence permit by the Home Office as your parents.
You will need to use form FLR(M) if your parents have restricted permission to stay in the UK:
- as a partner, settling in 2 years
- as a partner, settling in 5 years
You will instead need to use the FLR(FP) form if your parents have restricted permission to stay in the UK:
- as a partner, settling in 10 years
- as a parent, settling down in 5 years
- as a parent, settling down in 10 years
- based on their private life (10-year course)
- For children born outside the UK
- If your child was born outside the UK, your age will determine whether you can apply or not.
If you are under 18 then you must:
- not be married or in a civil partnership
- do not live an independent life
- be supported financially without claiming public funds
- One of your parents must also apply for the visa as a joint partner with the other parent or as a parent who has sole responsibility for you
If you are over 18, your parents can include you in their application as a dependent. You can also apply separately, but in both cases, you can only apply if:
- you were granted permission to enter and remain in the UK for a specified period of time on a family visa when you were under 18
- you don’t live an independent life
Financial requirements for applying for a child visa
This requirement must be met by the parent living in the UK. The UK’s visa policy stipulates that, to bring a non-EU citizen to the UK, a person must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial funds to sponsor both of them. Your parent must demonstrate an income of at least £18,600 per year. You could also use your savings, if you have any, to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds.
The reason for this requirement is that the UK does not want to bring in people who are unable to support themselves financially, so they require them (or their sponsor) to be able to earn a minimum amount of money.
If the sponsoring parent who lives in the UK intends to bring her other children who are not British citizens or EEA citizens to the UK, she will have to earn extra money for each.
Many people fail to obtain a visa because they cannot meet this requirement, to which Home Affairs gives great importance and attention. The upside of this requirement is that any legal source of income can be counted for the parent to meet the income requirement, such as:
- salary, if the parent earns it in the UK
- cash savings over £16,000
- pension money
- non-business income, such as property rent or dividends
- To prove your income you may need to submit evidence such as:
- bank statements of the parent resident in the UK
- 6 months of pay slips
- A letter from an employer that includes the job title, parent’s employment period, current salary and pay stubs
Visa fees depend on how you apply. If you apply from outside the UK to be reunited with your parents, you will have to pay a fee of £1,464. However, if you apply in the UK online or by post, the fee will cost you £993 and £1,583 if you apply in the UK in person with the premium service.
Even if you apply as a dependent in addition to the other parent’s application, you will still have to pay the fee of £1,464 if you apply from outside the UK, £993 if you apply in the UK online or by post and £1,583 if you apply in person in the UK with the premium service.
In order to apply for a child visa in the UK, you need to submit some documents commonly required for each type of visa, in addition to the supporting document. The main documents you will need to present are the following:
- Valid passport with at least one blank page for visa purposes
- previous passports
- 2 color passport-size photos
- Evidence of English language requirement
- Proof of financial means
- Evidence of the relationship with your UK resident parent, such as photos of the two of you together, etc.
- You will also need to submit supporting documents that will provide the following information:
- Your full name
- your date of birth
- details of any previous immigration applications, if any
- details of any criminal convictions, if any
- your social security number, if any
- your date of birth and your parents’ nationality if you are applying from outside the UK
- your tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where you need to take the test
- You will need to provide a translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh
Application processing time
The process usually takes up to 12 weeks or up to 8 weeks if you apply in the UK online or by post. On the other hand, if you apply in person in the UK, you will receive a response regarding your spouse’s visa application, within one day
However, processing your application may take longer if:
- you do not meet the income requirements
- you cannot demonstrate your knowledge of English
- you must attend an interview
- have a criminal record
- they did not provide all the requested documents