Requirements for Temporary and Permanent Stay in UK for Bereaved Children of Armed Forces Member, Civilian Employees and their Dependants, and Armed Forces Member that are under Immigration Control


The procedure to enter the United Kingdom, in relation to individuals who are dependent on a person serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, is defined in the UK Immigration Rules. The UK Immigration Rules serve as a set of laws defining requirements and procedures for all visa categories, for example, the visitor visa, United Kingdom investor visa, entrepreneur programme UK, tier 1 business visa, t1 graduate entrepreneur visa etc.

The Secretary of State, who resides over the Home Office, is responsible for overlooking all immigration cases of the country, including the procedure for Armed Forces members and any dependants who wish to join him/her. It also defines procedure for any relevant civilian employees who are non-UK nationals.

The following article highlights the regulatory procedure for dependants by looking at the case of bereaved children; in addition to defining procedure for civilian employees.

Requirements for Bereaved Children of Armed Forces Members to enter the UK 

To be recognized as a child who had a parent passed away, the child must fall on the following criteria:

  • A parent of the child, who held responsibility over him/her, has passed away;
  • The parent who passed away must have been a non-UK national (such as a Commonwealth citizen) serving in Her Majesty’s Forces. In the case where the parent who has died was a discharged member of HM Forces, he/she must have been granted permission to enter the UK;
  • Furthermore, the parent can also be a UK national serving under HM Forces;
  • The other parent must also have been granted permission to enter the UK with the deceased partner. In the case, where the other parent was not granted permission to enter the country, there must be compelling reasons that the Home Office must review if permission is to be granted under such circumstances.
  • In the case where the other parent has also passed away, the guardian who now holds responsibility over the child will be reviewed.

If the child falls under the above described criteria, the following requirements must be met to be given permission to enter the UK:

  • The child age applying under such conditions must be less than 18. If that child is older than age 18, he/she must last have been granted entry into the UK under these circumstances;
  • The child is currently living outside of the UK;
  • The child applying under such conditions must not be having a separate life from parent(s);
  • The child is not under any form of marriage or a civil partnership;
  • The child applying under such conditions must not have formed a different family;
  • The child should not be subject to any grounds for refusal under the law of the UK;
  • The child must have applied for, or should have been granted, an entry clearance document relevant to his/her current predicament;

In the case where the child wishes to be granted permanent residency in the UK, the below listed requirements must be met:

  • The child is currently residing in the United Kingdom;
  • The child age applying under such conditions must be less than 18. If that child is older than age 18, he/she must last have been granted entry into the UK under these circumstances;
  • The child is currently living outside of the UK;
  • The child applying under such conditions must not be having a separate life from parent(s);
  • The child is not under any form of marriage or a civil partnership;
  • The child applying under such conditions must not have formed a different family;
  • The child should not be subject to any grounds for refusal under the law of the UK;
  • The child must have applied for, or should have been granted, an entry clearance document relevant to his/her current predicament;

In the case where the child is not granted permanent residency in the country, the Home Office might still review the child’s application and grant him/her a period of 30 months of stay in the country depending on the circumstances.

Requirements for Civilian Employees to be met to enter the UK 

To be recognized as a civilian employee under UK law, the below listed criteria must be met:

  • The employee must be a civilian employee;
  • The employee intends to leave the country after his/her period of employment is completed;
  • The employee must provide necessary evidence in his/her application form regarding his/her financial stability. Furthermore, the employee must meet the expenses necessary to provide for his/her accommodation along with possessing the finances to provide for any dependants;
  • If the employee place of stay, where he/she intends to live along with his/her dependants, becomes overcrowded or causes any health concerns (as defined in UK law), the accommodation will not be considered adequate.

In the case where the civilian employee wishes to temporarily stay in the country, the following requirements must be adequately met:

  • The employee is currently living outside of the UK;
  • The employee has applied for the relevant entry clearance document necessary under these circumstances;
  • The employee should not be subject to any grounds for refusal under the law of the UK;

In the scenario where civilian employee is a member of NATO or the Australian Department of Defence, a period of stay of 6 months will be granted to the individual if the purpose of stay can be fulfilled within this timeframe. Otherwise, a period of stay of 5 years will be granted. Furthermore, the employee will not be allowed to take money from public or seek any other employment.

In the case where the civilian employee wishes to permanently stay in the country, the following requirements must be adequately met:

  • The employee must currently be residing in the United Kingdom;
  • The employee was last granted permission to stay in the UK under similar circumstances, and has been offered a permanent position in the UK as a civilian employee;
  • The employee is not currently in violation of any of the immigration laws of the UK excluding overstaying for a period shorter than 28 days (since this is not considered a breach of immigration law);
  • The employee has submitted the relevant information in his/her application under such circumstances;
  • The employee should not be subject to any grounds for refusal under the law of the UK;

Requirements for Dependants of Armed Forces Members (who are not in HM Forces) and Civilian Employees for entry in UK

  • The dependant must have a sponsor who is serving in an armed force along with not falling under immigration control or have a sponsor who is a civilian employee granted permission to stay in the country as such;
  • The sponsor of the dependant must be his/her partner (excluding a fiancé or proposed civil partner);
  • The partner of the dependant along with him/her must be aged 18 or above;
  • The dependant’s partner must not be involved in any other marriage or partnership;
  • In the case of the dependant being a child joining his/her parent, the child must not have a family separate from his/her own;
  • In the case of the dependant being a child joining his/her parent, the child must not be living a life independent from his/her own;
  • The dependant must provide necessary evidence in his/her application form regarding his/her financial stability. Furthermore, the dependant must meet the expenses necessary to provide for his/her accommodation along with possessing the finances to provide for any dependants;
  • If the dependant place of stay, where he/she intends to live along with his/her dependants, becomes overcrowded or causes any health concerns (as defined in UK law), the accommodation will not be considered adequate;
  • The dependant intends to leave the country after his/her purpose of visit is completed;
  • In the case of the dependant’s sponsor being his/her parent, both the parent(s) holding responsibility over the child must join him/her. Furthermore, in the scenario that only one parent can accompany the child, a compelling case must be presented to the Home Office regarding the predicament, which will be assessed and the Home Office will decide whether the dependant should be granted permission or not.
  • In the scenario where one of the parents has passed away, only the parent holding responsibility over the child will be considered.

Requirements for entry of Armed Forces Members that fall under Immigration Control

The below listed requirements must be met to enter the UK under such circumstances:

  • The person serves in a foreign Armed Force;
  • The person has been invited by HM Forces to serve temporarily under training in the Armed Forces of the UK;
  • The person has been invited by the Defence Ministry to undergo any study programme or to get training in any military equipment being supplied by a UK-based company;
  • The person intends to leave the country after his/her purpose of visit is completed;
  • The person must provide necessary evidence in his/her application form regarding his/her financial stability. Furthermore, the person must meet the expenses necessary to provide for his/her accommodation along with possessing the finances to provide for any dependants;
  • The person will not request finances from public funds;
  • If the person place of stay, where he/she intends to live along with his/her dependants, becomes overcrowded or causes any health concerns (as defined in UK law), the accommodation will not be considered adequate;
  • The person must currently be living outside of the UK;
  • The person has provided the necessary information required in the application form along with applying for (or possessing) the relevant entry clearance document in this regard;
  • The person should not be subject to any grounds for refusal under the law of the UK;

In the case where the above mentioned requirements are adequately met by the person, a period of stay of maximum 4 years is allowed. The period of stay is determined by the required period as per the purpose of visit such as duration of training. An additional period of 3 months above the 4 year period can also be granted by the Home Office in the scenario where the person requires this time to meet any transit regulations. Furthermore, the person will not be allowed to request finances from public funds.

For any person looking to permanently stay in the country under these circumstances, the following requirements must be met:

  • The person is currently living inside the UK;
  • The person was last granted permission to stay in the UK under circumstances that align with the current circumstances of the person;
  • The person is not currently in violation of any of the immigration laws of the UK excluding overstaying for a period shorter than 28 days (since this is not considered a breach of immigration law);
  • The person has submitted the relevant information in his/her application under such circumstances;

In the case where the above mentioned requirements are not adequately met by the person, a period of stay of maximum 4 years can still be granted. The period of stay is determined by the required period as per the purpose of visit such as duration of training. An additional period of 3 months above the 4 year period can also be granted by the Home Office in the scenario where the person requires this time to meet any transit regulations. Furthermore, the person will not be allowed to request money from public funds.

It should be noted that the Secretary of State possess the right to deny any person a visa under any category for example the visitor visa, United Kingdom investor visa, entrepreneur programme UK, tier 1 business visa etc. if he/she considers their presence in the country to be a threat to the public good.