You can apply for a Parent visa UK which falls under the Family visa category if you're a parent of a British citizen or settled child and living outside the UK. Parent visa category for a parent exercising access rights to a settled child in the UK or wishing to continue a parental relationship with their settled child.
We are experts in dealing with parent route applications under the 5 and 10 years route to settlement. If instructed we will carry out all the work on the application until the decision is received from the Home Office UKVI. Please contact an expert UK immigration lawyer at Rex Law Chambers to fully assess your eligibility for both 5 and 10 years route to settlement by considering all the relevant information so that we can advise you on the chances of success in your application in particular if you have any exceptional circumstances or any adverse personal or immigration history.
If you need the help of an expert UK immigration lawyer with your visa application, please contact us to get legal advice & assistance.
Table of Contents
- What is a parent visa?
- Parent route visa requirements
- Adequate accommodation requirement
- English language requirement
- Parental responsibility
- UK parent visa supporting documents checklist
- How to apply as a parent of a British child?
- Extension of UK parent visa
- UK parent visa processing time 2023
- UK parent visa application fees
- How can our immigration lawyer help you?
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
What is a parent visa?
The Parent of a British Child visa (5-year route) is a visa category designed for non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who are the parents of a British citizen or settled person in the UK, and who wish to join them in the UK. This visa category is also known as the "Family Route" or "Family Visa".
The parent visa route is intended for a parent who has responsibility for or access to their child following the breakdown of their relationship with the child's other parent.
The route is also for applicants who:
- have sole parental responsibility for their child; or
- do not live with the child (who lives with a British or settled parent or carer), but they have direct access (in person) to the child, as agreed with the parent or carer with whom the child normally lives, or as ordered by a court in the UK; or
- (for leave to remain application) are the parent with whom the child normally lives, rather than the child’s other parent who is British or settled.
Parent route visa requirements
To be eligible for this visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- Relationship: You must be the parent of a British citizen or settled person in the UK, and have sole responsibility for their upbringing or shared responsibility with another parent who is also British or settled in the UK.
- English language proficiency: You must be able to speak and understand English at the required level. You can demonstrate this by passing an approved English language test or by having an academic qualification that was taught in English.
- Financial requirement: You must meet the financial requirement, which is currently set at a minimum income of £18,600 per year. If you have other dependents, the financial requirement may be higher.
- Accommodation: You must have suitable accommodation for you and your family, without relying on public funds.
- Immigration status: You must not be in the UK illegally, or be subject to any immigration restrictions that prevent you from staying in the UK.
- Immigration history: You must not have breached any UK immigration laws, and must not have any criminal convictions that would make you ineligible for a visa.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
Adequate accommodation requirement
To meet the adequate accommodation requirement for a UK Parent visa, the couple must demonstrate that they have suitable accommodation in the UK that meets certain criteria. The accommodation must:
- Be owned or occupied exclusively by the UK-based partner, or be owned or leased jointly by the couple.
- Be free from overcrowding, and meet the relevant health and safety standards.
- Not be rented from a local authority or a housing association.
- Not be subsidized by public funds.
The accommodation requirement can be met in different ways, such as by providing evidence of ownership or occupancy of a property, a rental agreement, or a letter of support from a friend or family member who is willing to accommodate the couple. If the couple does not have suitable accommodation when the application is submitted, they may still be able to apply for an Unmarried Partner visa, but they will need to demonstrate that they have made adequate arrangements to secure accommodation once they arrive in the UK.
English language requirement
To apply for a UK Parent visa, you must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to a certain level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
You need to have sole or shared parental responsibility for your child.
If you share parental responsibility, the child’s other parent must not be your partner. They must also either:
- be a British or Irish citizen
- have settled in the UK - for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
- be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status - they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
If the child lives with their other parent or carer, you must have access to the child in person, as agreed with the other parent or carer or by a court order.
UK parent visa supporting documents checklist
To apply for a UK parent visa, the following documents are typically required:
- Valid passport: The applicant must provide a valid passport or other travel document.
- Financial documents: Evidence of meeting the financial requirement, such as payslips, bank statements, or a letter from an employer.
- Accommodation documents: The couple must provide evidence of meeting the accommodation requirement, such as proof of ownership or occupancy of a property, or a rental agreement.
- English language test certificate: The applicant must provide a valid English language test certificate unless they are a national of a majority English-speaking country.
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
How to apply as a parent of a British child?
Below is the step-by-step process to apply for a UK parent visa:
- Check if you meet the eligibility criteria
- Gather the required documents
- Apply online using the correct application form & submit documents
- Pay the visa application fee
- Attend a biometric appointment
- Wait for a decision
Extension of UK parent visa
If you are already in the UK with leave to enter or remain as a parent of a child who is British or settled in the UK, you can apply for renewal of your leave to remain. The application for renewal of leave to remain as a parent is made online using the application form FLR (FP).
UK parent visa processing time 2023
The standard parent visa UK processing time in 2023 is currently 3-6 months. However, you may be able to use priority service to fast-track your application and get a faster decision within 15-30 working days.
UK parent visa application fees
The parent visa UK fee is £1,538 if you are applying from outside the UK using standard service. You may be eligible to use priority service to get a faster decision. You need to pay a priority service fee in addition to the application fee.
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and you should always check the most up-to-date information on the UK government's official website before applying for a visa.
How much does a UK visa application cost?
The cost of a UK visa application varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for, your location and the type of service such as 'standard service', or 'priority service'.
Here are some common costs associated with applying for a UK visa:
- Home Office visa application fee
- Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) (unless visa length is less than 6 months or you're exempt)
- Biometrics fee (if applying from inside the UK)
- The 'priority service' fee to get a faster decision (if applicable)
- English language test fee (if required)
- Immigration lawyer fees (if using legal services to boost your chances of success & avoid mistakes)
Please note that the above is a general list of costs associated with UK visa applications. There may be additional costs such court fee and translation fee depending on your circumstances.
Immigration lawyer fees
Our expert UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every step of the UK visa application process including advice about legal requirements and eligibility criteria.
At Rex Law Chambers, our immigration lawyer charges a fixed fee between £800-£1000 for our complete legal services in relation to your UK visa application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
How can our immigration lawyer help you?
As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:
- assess your eligibility for the relevant visa type by fully considering your circumstances;
- advise you on the required supporting documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application;
- assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are as per the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
- advise you on strengths and potential weaknesses in your visa application and how you can overcome such weaknesses if any;
- complete the online immigration draft application form to share it with you for cross-checking;
- submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the relevant commercial partner of the UKVI;
- prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you are meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Rules so that you have the maximum chances of succeeding in your visa application;
- upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application in their correct format and order;
- dealing and responding to any caseworker enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information concerning your pending immigration application;
- do all the follow-up work on your immigration application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.