Parent – 5 Year Route to Settlement Visa
If you are the parent of a ‘Qualifying Child’ in the UK, you may be able to apply to join or remain with that child in the UK as a Parent provided you meet all the relevant requirements. You will be initially issued with a limited visa which you must extend until you complete 5 years as a Parent and then you can apply for indefinite leave to remain. The requirements to qualify for a visa as a Parent are strict and therefore it is important to ensure you are well advised. We have outlined below some of the main requirements:
You must be able to prove you meet the following requirements:
- Relationship to a ‘Qualifying Child’;
- Parental Responsibility;
- English language; and
To apply as a parent, your child must either:
- be under 18 on the date you apply
- have been under 18 when you were first granted leave and not live an independent life – Your child is living an independent life if, for example, they’ve left home, got married and had children.
In order for your child to be a ‘Qualifying Child’ under the Immigration Rules, your child must be living in the UK and one of the following must also be true:
- they’re a British or Irish citizen
- they’ve settled in the UK – for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
- they’re 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 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
If your child has settled status you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme or for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit.
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.
You must be able to prove that you’re taking an active role in your child’s upbringing and you plan to continue after you apply. For example you could provide letters from your child’s:
- school confirming you take them to school or go to parent evenings
- doctor, dentist, or health visitor confirming that you take them to appointments
- other parent confirming how much contact you have with your child
If you provide a letter from the other parent, you’ll need to include proof of their identity. This should be an official document which has their signature on it, for example a copy of their passport, tax return or photocard driving licence.
You will need to demonstrate that you have a certain level of proficiency in English. You can prove this with an academic qualification, or by taking a test.
You can prove your knowledge of English if you have a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English. If your qualification is from a UK university or college, you only need your degree certificate.
If your qualification is from a university or college outside the UK, you’ll need to provide a certificate from UK NARIC to show that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher and that it was taught in English.
Take an approved English language test
You can prove your knowledge of English by passing an approved English language test. The minimum level you need to demonstrate will depend on the type of application you are making :
- If you are applying for Entry Clearance, you need to show a minimum of CEFR Level A1
- If you are applying for Leave to Remain , you need to show a minimum of CEFR Level A2
- If you are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain, you need to show a minimum of CEFR Level B1 and Knowledge of Life in the UK
In some cases, you do not need to prove your knowledge of English or take a test if one of the following is true:
- you’re over 65
- you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from meeting the requirement
You also will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:
Antigua, Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, USA
You must also prove you can financially support yourself without claiming public funds. If your child or any other dependants live with you, you must also prove you can financially support them without claiming public funds.
If you do not meet the requirements
If you do not meet the English language and financial requirements you can still extend your permission on the basis of exceptional circumstances to stay if:
- your child in the UK is a British or Irish citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years
- it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK
If you do not meet the requirements and your application is successful due to exceptional circumstances, you will be granted leave to enter or remain on the 10 Route to Settlement.
How to apply
Your application will need to be submitted online.
You’ll need to prepare information and documents to provide with your application.
You will be required to pay a visa fee and an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. If you are in the UK and cannot afford to pay the fee, you can apply online for a Fee Waiver Request to have your visa fee and/or IHS fee waived. You might not have to pay the fee if you:
- do not have a place to live and you cannot afford one
- have a place to live but cannot afford your essential living costs like food or heating
- have a very low income and paying the fee would harm your child’s wellbeing
Please note that if you are granted Fee Waiver, then you will be placed on the 10 year Parent Route.
How long you can stay
You can stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months on this visa if you apply for entry clearance from outside the UK. After this you’ll need to apply to extend your stay.
If you extend your family visa or switch to this visa from within the UK you can stay in the UK for 2 years and 6 months. After this you’ll need to apply to extend your stay.
If you are placed on the 5 Year Parent Route, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain after completing 5 years under this route. If you are placed on the 10 Year Parent Route, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain after completing 10 years under this route.
Makka Solicitors provides comprehensive immigration advice on applications for entry, leave to remain and indefinite leave to remain as a Parent. Please refer to our Fees page for full details of all of our fees for immigration applications.