Visa Regulations to Enter UK as a Bereaved Partner or Children of an Armed Forces Member


The laws defining the visa process for dependants of Armed Forces is detailed in the UK Immigration Rules, a set of laws that describe visa requirements and procedures for all visa categories such as UK business immigration visa, home office investor visa or London investor visa, prospective entrepreneur visa UK etc. The Home Office is the official department of the UK government responsible for handling all immigration cases.

In relation to Armed Forces members who are not nationals of the UK, but have still served in some aspect such as Commonwealth members of Her Majesty’s Forces, a member of the NATO forces or an employee of the Australian Department of Defence; a certain set of regulatory procedure exists that must be followed to be given permission.

The following article describes regulatory procedure and requirements that must be met for any dependants (such as spouses, civil partners, children etc.) that wish to join the armed forces member in the UK.

Requirements to be recognized as a Bereaved Partner of an Armed Forces Member

To be recognized as a bereaved partner under such circumstances, the below listed requirements must be met:

  • One of the conditions listed below must be true of the bereaved partner:
  • The partner of the person applying under these circumstances was a member of HM Forces and was a non-UK national or a Commonwealth citizen;
  • The partner of the person applying under these circumstances was a member of HM Forces who was discharged, and was granted permission to temporarily or permanently stay in the UK;
  • The partner of the person applying under these circumstances was a UK national serving in HM Forces;
  • The partner of the person applying under these circumstances has passed away;
  • Both the person and his/her partner must have been over the age of 18 when the relationship was carried out;
  • Both the person and his/her partner must have been in a relationship that was not illegal under UK law;
  • The couple must have met in person to be considered a valid relationship;
  • The relationship of the couple must have been legitimate and not devised for the purpose of gaining entry into the UK;
  • The couple must have intended to stay together and continue the relationship permanently at the time the relationship was being carried out.

Requirements to Enter the UK as a Bereaved Partner of an Armed Forces Member

  • The partner of the person applying under these circumstances is currently living outside of the UK for the purpose of staying with his/her sponsor who was posted overseas;
  • The partner of the person applying has applied for a valid entry clearance document under these circumstances;
  • The partner of the person who was an Armed Forces member does not fall on any of the grounds for refusal defined in the immigration law of the UK;

Requirements to apply for Permanent Residency in the UK as a Bereaved Partner of an Armed Forces Member

  • The partner applying is currently residing in the United Kingdom;
  • A valid application has been submitted to the Home Office regarding the case to stay in the UK as the bereaved partner of an armed forces member;
  • The partner applying does not fall on any of the grounds for refusal defined in the immigration law of the UK;

In the case where the partner fails to meet the requirements for permanent residency under these circumstances, a period of 30 month stay can be granted to him/her. During this limited period of stay, the partner is not allowed to take money from public funds.

Requirements to apply for Permanent Residency in the UK as a Partner of an Armed Forces Member who is suffering from Domestic Violence 

  • The partner applying under such circumstances is currently residing in the UK;
  • The partner of the member applying was a UK-national or a Commonwealth citizen serving in HM Forces;
  • The partner applying does not fall on any of the grounds for refusal defined in the immigration law of the UK;
  • Significant proof must be provided regarding the person’s case of domestic violence, and evidence that the relationship ended as a result;

In the case where a partner fails to meet the requirements for permanent residency under these circumstances, a period of 30 month stay can be granted to him/her. During this limited period of stay, the partner is not allowed to take money from public funds.

Requirements to enter the UK as Children of an Armed Forces Member 

  • The individual applying is the child of a member of HM forces who is currently serving. In the case where the HM Forces member has been discharged, he/she must have been granted permission to stay in the UK.
  • Other than the parent who is serving in HM Forces, the other parent must also have been granted permission to stay in the UK under the same circumstances as that of his/her partner. In the case where the other partner has not been given entry, permission will only be granted if the case of the child provides compelling reasons of the child’s well being if he/she is separated from his/her parent in the UK.
  • It should be noted that in the case of the parent serving in HM Forces has sole responsibility over the child, compelling factors will not be necessary to be provided.
  • The age of the child must be less than 18. In the case where the child is over the age of 18, he/she must last have been granted permission to stay in the country temporarily under these circumstances;
  • The child must currently be residing outside of the United Kingdom;
  • The child is not married or carrying out a civil partnership, as such a relationship is considered illegal under UK law;
  • The child must not be living a life separate from his/her parents who hold responsibility over him/her;
  • The child must not have formed a different family from his/her parents;
  • The child has submitted the relevant application information for an entry clearance document to enter the UK as the child of an Armed Forces member;
  • The individual applying does not fall on any of the grounds for refusal defined in the immigration law of the UK;
  • The parents of the child who hold responsibility over him/her are financially stable enough to provide for his/her accommodation without having to resort to require money from public funds;
  • The child at present does not qualify for permanent residency in the country.

In the case where permission is granted to temporarily stay in the country under such circumstances, the period of stay will be 5 years maximum and will be granted to be of the same length as that of the parent serving as an Armed Forces member. The period of stay that will be granted to the child will also end at the same time his/her parents stay ends.

Furthermore, the child or parent(s) will not be allowed to take money from public funds on the child’s behalf.

  •  


Requirements to apply for an Extension to stay in the UK as Children of an Armed Forces Member

  • The age of the child must be less than 18. In the case where the child is over the age of 18, he/she must have been granted permission to stay in the country temporarily under these circumstances;
  • The child must currently be residing outside of the United Kingdom;
  • The child is not married or carrying out a civil partnership as such a relationship is considered illegal under UK law;
  • The child must not be living a life separate from his/her parents who hold responsibility over him/her;
  • The child must not have formed a different family from his/her parents;
  • The child has submitted the relevant application information for an entry clearance document to enter the UK as the child of an armed forces member;
  • The parent of the child serving in HM Forces must have completed a period of service that amounts to at least 5 years;
  • Other than the parent who is serving in HM Forces, the other parent must also have been granted permission to stay in the UK under the same circumstances as that of his/her partner. In the case where the other partner has not been given entry, permission will only be granted if the case of the child provides compelling reasons of the child’s well being if he/she is separated from his/her parent in the UK.
  •  It should be noted that in the case of the parent serving in HM Forces has sole    responsibility over the child, compelling factors will not be necessary to be provided.
  • The child applying does not fall on any of the general grounds for refusal defined in the immigration law of the UK;
  • In the case where the child is older than 18, he/she must show that his/her English language skills are adequate enough to be granted extension on the original stay;
  • The parents of the child who hold responsibility over him/her are financially stable enough to provide for his/her accommodation without having to resort to require money from public funds;

In the case where the extension is granted to stay in the country under such circumstances, the period of stay granted will be at most 5 years, and will be of the same length as that of the parent serving as an armed forces member. The period of stay that will be granted to the child will also end at the same time his/her parents stay ends. Furthermore, the child or parent(s) will not be allowed to take money from public funds on the child’s behalf.

Requirements to apply for Permanent Residency in the UK as Children of an Armed Forces Member

To apply for permanent residency under such circumstances, the below listed criteria must be met:

  • The child is currently residing inside the UK;
  • The other parent of the child who holds responsibility over him/her must also be in the UK. In the case where he/she is not in the country, but a case is made whereas compelling factors relating to the safety of the child being tied to his/her being in the UK is made, permission can be granted to the child to enter the UK.
  • The parent of the child serving in HM Forces must have completed a period of service that amounts to at least 5 years;
  • The age of the child must be less than 18. In the case where the child is over the age of 18, he/she must last have been granted permission to stay in the country temporarily under these circumstances;
  • The child is not married or carrying out a civil partnership, as such a relationship is considered illegal under UK law;
  • The child must not be living a life separate from his/her parents who hold responsibility over him/her;
  • The child must not have formed a different family from his/her parents;
  • The child must not be in defiance of any of the immigration laws of the country. Note that overstaying for less than 28 days is not considered illegal under UK law;
  • The child applying does not fall on any of the general grounds for refusal defined in the immigration law of the UK;
  • In the case where the child is older than 18, he/she must show that his/her English language skills are adequate enough to be granted extension on the original stay;
  • The parents of the child who hold responsibility over him/her are financially stable enough to provide for his/her accommodation without having to resort to require money from public funds;

In the case where the child fails to qualify for permanent residency, a period of stay of 30 months can still be granted given that a request to seek public funds is not made while in the UK.

Furthermore, the general grounds for refusal defined in the UK Immigration Rules apply to all visa categories including UK business immigration visa, London investor visa, prospective entrepreneur visa UK etc. and if that grounds are proved to be implemented on the applicant the visa will not be granted.