Family visaFamily visa as a parent – the 7 year visa route

In the UK, you need a family visa to live with a member of your family if you intend to live with them for more than 6 months. Applying for a family visa can be done either from inside the UK (switching from another visa) or applying from outside the UK on an entry clearance application.

Key criteria for the 7-year child route

If your child lives in the UK, you can apply to live with them under certain circumstances.

Your child, at the time of the application, must be:

  • Under 18
  • Dependent on you and not live an independent life, e.g married and left home

If you are applying from the UK, the child must have lived for 7 continuous years in the UK to the point where it would be unreasonable for the child to leave. 

Additionally, one of the following must apply:

  • Your child is either a British or Irish citizen 
  • They are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and hold a pre-settled status


Family visa application if your child is a British citizen or settled in the UK:

You must, as a parent, show either sole or shared parental responsibility for the child. If the responsibility is shared, the other parent must:

  • Not be your partner
  • Be either settled in the UK or a British citizen

One of the key things to be proven is to prove that you have an active, steady role in your child’s upbringing and that you continue to do so after applying. For this, you must show documentation and other evidence that you participate in and attend the child’s routine activities, e.g in school. The type of evidence to be presented is dependent on each circumstance for both the parent and the child.

You must also:

  • Prove your knowledge of English
  • Be able to support yourself and your child without seeking recourse to public funding

Family visa application if you, as a parent, do not meet one or any of these requirements:

  • Your child is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years
  • It would be unreasonable for the child to leave the UK

If the application is successful, your leave will be granted for 2 and a half years after which you will need to extend your family visa.

How can NA Law help with your family visa?

Family visa applications can often be complex, time-consuming and at risk of being rejected if you do not submit the correct documentation or make the relevant arguments. NA Law will guide you through the process, find the most efficient solution to suit your immigration goals and keep you informed throughout.

Contact us today for a case assessment!


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