British citizens who have parents living outside the UK can bring them to the UK through the Parent Visa, which falls under the Family Visa category.
A UK family visa is the type of visa you will need if you wish to enter and stay in the UK to live with a family member for more than 6 months. In addition to the Parent Visa, other types of UK family visas include:
- Visa for spouse
- Visa for children
- Visa for a relative who will provide you with long-term care
What is the UK Parental Visa?
The UK Parent Visa is a type of visa established for cases where a parent wishes to join their child who is a citizen or resident of the United Kingdom without immigration restrictions. Please note that you can only apply for this type of visa if your child is a dependent UK resident under the age of 18.
UK Parental Visa Requirements
The child resident in the UK and the parent who wishes to join them in the UK must both meet certain criteria set by the immigration authorities in the UK.
If you are planning to join your dependent child, the main thing you need to know before applying for this type of visa is that if your partner lives together with the child and is resident in the UK, then you will need to apply for the UK visa for spouse. You can only apply for a UK parent visa if you are no longer in a relationship with your child’s other parent who is resident in the UK.
The other eligibility criteria are as follows:
- Your child must be under 18 years of age on the date of application and not living an independent life
- You must be the parent of a British child or have indefinite leave to remain
- You must have shared or sole parental responsibility for your child who is resident in the UK
- If you share responsibility, the child’s other parent does not have to be your partner
- If you share responsibility, the child’s other parent must be a British citizen or resident in the UK
- During your application, you will need to demonstrate that:
- you are taking an active role in your child’s education and intend to continue to do so
- you have a good knowledge of English
- you can financially support yourself and your child in the UK
Parental responsibility requirement
You will need to demonstrate to the consular officer that you are taking an active role in your child’s education and that you intend to continue to do so. You will have to prove this through documents such as:
- Confirmation from the school that you participate in evenings and meetings with parents,
- Confirmation from the school that you are also taking your child to school,
- Confirmation from the dentist that you bring your child to appointments.
If your child has been living in the UK for too long and you don’t have any of the evidence mentioned above, you can simply send photos of the two of you whenever you meet. You can send photos of when you took your child to the park, cinema, theater, library, etc. This requirement arises from the fact that immigration authorities want to know if they are bringing someone to the UK who will actually look after their child and take an important role in their children’s education.
Financial requirements for UK parental visa
Failure to meet financial requirements is the main reason why many people fail to obtain a UK parent visa. The main reason behind this requirement is that the UK does not want to accommodate people who are unable to support themselves financially, so it requires them to be able to demonstrate that they can earn (or have) a minimum amount of money. .
If you want to join your child in the UK, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial funds to sponsor both you and your child. That’s why you need to prove you have an income of at least £18,600 a year. You could also use your savings to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds.
If you plan to bring other children who are not British or European Economic Area (EEA) citizens with you to the UK, you will need to:
- earn an extra £3,800 a year for your first child
- earn an extra £2,400 a year for each child you have after your first child
- Any legal source of income may count towards you meeting the income requirement, such as:
- your salary, if you earn 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 will need to submit evidence such as:
- Bank statements
- 6 months of pay slips
- A letter from an employer that includes your job title, the length of time you worked there, your current salary, and also your pay stubs
Language requirements for parental visa
The English language requirement is a very important requirement without which you cannot get a UK parent visa. When you submit your visa application, you will need to submit some documents as proof of your English language proficiency.
You can demonstrate your knowledge of English:
- by submitting a document or academic qualification taught or researched in English, recognized by UK NARIC as equivalent to a British degree or above
- take an approved English language test and pass with at least an A1 CEFR level in speaking and listening.
- Here you can find a list of approved English-language tests and providers.
Residents of English-speaking countries are exempt from the English language requirement, as listed below:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- New Zeland
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States of America
Individuals who belong to one of the categories listed below are also exempt from the English language requirement:
- Candidates over 65
- Candidates come to be treated by a relative
- Applicants with a physical or medical condition that prevents them from meeting the requirements
Parent visa fee
Visa fees depend on how you apply. If you apply from outside the UK to join your child, 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.
You will have to pay an extra £1,464 for each dependent you plan to bring with you to the UK 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 the United Kingdom. UK in person with premium service.
Documents required for parent visa application
For a UK parent visa you will need to submit the common documents usually required by applicants, as listed below:
- Valid passport with at least one blank page for visa purposes
- Previous passports
- 2 color passport-size photos according to ICAO standards
- Evidence of English language requirement (as explained above)
- Proof of financial means (as explained above)
- Proof of parental responsibility in the form of a photo of the two of you together (as explained above)
- In addition to these documents, you will also need to submit other supporting documents which 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
How long does it take to get a UK parent visa?
The fastest way to get a response to your visa application is to apply in person in the UK, from then you will receive a response regarding your visa application within one day.
However, the process takes up to 12 weeks to process if you apply from outside the UK or up to 8 weeks if you apply in the UK online or by post.
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
In general, if you have applied to join your child, you will be granted leave to remain in the UK for 2 years and 6 months. After this period it will be necessary to extend your stay.
Senior Citizen Visa in UK
However, if you are the parent of an independent child living in the UK and you wish to join them because due to your age, physical or mental health you need someone to look after you, then you will need to apply as an adult being cared for by a relative .
To be fully eligible for this type, you and the child you intend to join in the UK must meet the following requirements:
- Your child must be over 18 and independent,
- your child must be a British citizen resident in the UK,
- you and your child must meet the financial requirement,
- you must demonstrate that you require long-term assistance to carry out daily personal and household activities due to illness, disability or age,
- the care you need is not available in your country of residence.
How to apply for a UK parent visa?
The UK parent visa application process is very similar to other application processes. It really depends on how you apply. You will need to apply online if you are applying from outside the UK. You will also need to complete the VAF4A 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.