29 Nov How to apply for a parent visa under Appendix FM of Immigration rules
To successfully apply for a parent visa under the family visa route, a migrant must meet the requirements listed under the “Family life as a parent of a child in the UK—Appendix FM”. This immigration category is also inherently linked to Article 8 ECHR: Right to respect for private and family life.
In general terms, your child must be a minor and living in the UK – they should not be deemed as having developed an independent life.
The child needs to have established a permanent life in the UK. Therefore, they will be either a British Citizen or settled in the UK, or have limited leave under Appendix EU.
In some cases, it might be possible to argue that although a child has limited leave to remain (in-country), he/she has in fact built a private/family life, for instance in the case of a minor who has lived in the UK for 7 years or more continuously and when there is strong evidence that it would be unreasonable to ask them to leave.
The parental visa process focuses on the examination of parental relationships and detailed regulations are listed about this. According to the E-ECPT.2.3. Either –
(a) the applicant must have sole parental responsibility for the child; or
(b) the parent or carer with whom the child normally lives must be-
(i) a British Citizen in the UK, settled in the UK, or in the UK with limited leave under Appendix EU in accordance with paragraph GEN.1.3.(d);
(ii) not the partner of the applicant; and
(iii) the applicant must not be eligible to apply for entry clearance as a partner under this Appendix.
(a) The applicant must provide evidence that they have either-
(i) sole parental responsibility for the child; or
(ii) 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; and
(b) The applicant must provide evidence that they are taking, and intend to continue to take, an active role in the child’s upbringing.
Parents must have independent parental authority or direct access to the child. Sole responsibility is not necessarily the same as having legal custody or access to a child. It arises when a person has exclusivity over “the continuing control and direction … in respect of the ‘important decisions’ about the child’s upbringing”.
In either of the two qualifying relationships under E -ECPT.2.4., there is direct control or care of the child and plays a significant role in the child’s development.
There is no specific amount required in terms of the applicant’s income and savings in E-ECPT.3.1. and E-ECPT.3.2. However, the applicant will need to show that there will be adequate maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds
E-ECPT.3.1. The applicant must provide evidence that they will be able to adequately maintain and accommodate themselves and any dependants in the UK without recourse to public funds
E-ECPT.3.2. The applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation in the UK, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if-
(a) it is, or will be, overcrowded; or
(b) it contravenes public health regulations.
This is in part because the financial proof has already been requested under E -ECPT.2.4.(b) “taking, and intend to continue to take, an active role in the child’s upbringing”.
Financial support/contribution might be used as a tool to substantiate the parental relationship, – however, emotional care and playing a significant role in the child’s welfare and upbring are equally if not more important.
Applicants will also need to meet English language proficiency requirements unless they are from a majority English-speaking country or are exempted. The minimum request is Level A to be able to adapt to life in the UK and look after the children better.
In summary, all requirements of the Parent visa under Appendix FM are considered with the best interest of the child in mind. Applicants need to play an integral and important role in their children’s development and be well-equipped to care for them.
Contact Our Immigration Team
For expert advice regarding any aspect of the UK visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.