What are the visa and settlement requirements for children of UK visa-holders and spouses/civil partners of individuals who entered under humanitarian protection or as a refugee for temporary stay?


The immigration process for temporary and permanent stay in the United Kingdom varies according to different visa categories such as UK startup visa, UK investor visa scheme, UK business immigration etc. The regulatory procedure is based off laws that have been passed over the years and exists to define a certain process that the Home Office, the division of the UK government responsible for handling immigration cases, must follow.

In relation to family members who are dependent on a person who is in the UK, or wishes to come to the UK, a certain procedure has been defined in Part 9 of the UK Immigration Rules. These family members can also come to the UK with the UK visa holder, who they are dependent on, if they can provide necessary evidence of their dependency.

Certain requirements of the visa process must also be fulfilled by the family members to be granted permission to enter the UK. These requirements, for different categories of family members such as children, partners, parents, grandparents etc. are explained below.

Requirements for Children to Temporarily Stay in UK when Parent(s) have been granted Temporary/Permanent Permission to Stay

The UK recognizes a person as a child only if he/she is under the age of 18. The child can be granted entry to join his/her parent if the parent has been given permission to stay in the UK based on the Points Based System. The child must not be a national of the UK and should meet the entire criterion to be given an entry clearance document.

The requirements for a child in this scenario are listed as:

  • The child must not have entered the country illegally;
  • The child must not be subject to any laws listed in the general grounds for refusal in the UK Immigration Rules;
  • The child must not live a separate life whereas he/she is independent from his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s);
  • The child must submit the necessary evidence to back his/her claim that he/she will leave the country after the intended period of stay;
  • The parent of the child who was granted stay in the UK based on the Points Based System must prove that he/she has the necessary funds to provide for accommodation and other expenses of the child. However, if the parent entered the country on a Tier 5 Temporary Worker visa, or a Tier 1 investor visa UK immigration this requirement can be exempted;
  • If the parent of the child who has been granted stay in the UK based on the Points Based System entered on the Tier 4 General Student visa, he/she must have granted a period of stay longer than 6 months. Furthermore, the parent must have been sponsored by the government for the Tier 4 visa;
  • If the child was born in the United Kingdom to the migrant who entered based on the Points Based System, the relevant information in the birth certificate must be submitted along with the names of both the parents;
  • The parents must provide significant evidence that the accommodation that will be provided for the child meets the necessary standards and regulations of the UK;
  • The child must not be subject to any breach in the immigration laws of the country. Furthermore, it should be noted that overstaying for no more than 28 days in the UK does not count as a breach of law;
  • A child over the age of 18 must submit necessary financial documents such as two copies of his/her bank statement, credit card receipts, NHS registration number, driving license and an official letter from the child’s educational institute. Furthermore, the child’s letter issued from the educational institute must bear an official stamp and should be issued from an authorized figure of that institution.
  • These documents must be dated within one month of the visa application being submitted;
  •  If the child is the subject of rent or board, he/she must provide all the relevant information regarding the details for each month;
  • If the child does not live with his/her parent on the basis of whom he/she wishes to enter the UK, the reason must be provided in the visa application. If the reason is academic purposes, the child must provide a letter confirming this from the educational institution. Furthermore, the financial details of the child’s stay away from his/her parents will also be needed to be submitted;
  • The parents or the child will not be allowed to request finances from any public funds of the UK;
  • The child will be required to register with the police, if required by law.

If the parents were granted a temporary period of stay in the UK, the child will also be granted the same period of stay as that of his/her parents, on the basis of whom the visa was granted. In the case that the parents were granted permanent residence in the UK, the child will be granted a period of 3 years to stay in the UK.

Requirements for Children to Permanently Stay in UK when Parent(s) have been granted Temporary/Permanent Permission to Stay

  • The child must not be subject to any laws listed in the general grounds for refusal in the UK Immigration Rules;
  • The parent of the child, on the basis of whom the child is applying to enter the UK, has been granted permanent residency in the UK under the Points Based System;
  • The child is currently living in the UK as the child of the parent who was granted nationality of the UK;
  • The child must not have entered the country illegally;
  • The child must not live a separate life whereas he/she is independent from his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s);
  • The child must not be married or be in a civil partnership, as such an arrangement for children under the age of 18 is illegal under UK law;
  • The child’s parents must not have been in breach of any of the immigration laws of the UK to settle in the country;
  • If the child was born in the United Kingdom to the migrant who entered based on the Points Based System, the relevant information in the birth certificate must be submitted along with the names of both the parents;
  • The parents must provide significant evidence that the accommodation that will be provided for the child meets the necessary standards and regulations of the UK;
  • The child must not be subject to any breach in the immigration laws of the country. Furthermore, it should be noted that overstaying for no more than 28 days in the UK does not count as a breach of law.

Requirements for Temporary Stay of Spouses/Civil Partners of Individuals who entered the country for Humanitarian Protection or as a Refugee

  • The spouse/civil partner must be married, or in a civil partnership, to a person who was granted permission to stay in the UK on the basis of humanitarian protection;
  • The marriage or civil partnership must not have been formed for the purpose of gaining residence in the UK, and sufficient evidence must be provided to assert this fact;
  • The spouse/civil partner of the person who was granted humanitarian protection or refugee status must prove his/her English language skills to be adequate. This can be done by taking an English language test which contains a listening and speaking section. Furthermore, the test must be approved by the Secretary of State and must meet the criteria of the Common European Framework of Reference.
  • However, this requirement can be exempted for individuals who are above the age of 65, have a physical or mental health condition that prevents them from meeting this requirement or the Home Office assesses the conditions of the individual and exempts this requirement due to compassionate circumstances.
  • The above mentioned English language requirement is exempt from all individuals applying from the below listed countries:
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • United States of America
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Belize
  • Jamaica
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Australia
  • Guyana
  • The Bahamas
  • New Zealand
  • Dominica
  • The spouse/civil partner of the individual who was granted humanitarian protection or refugee status must possess a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD degree from an educational institute that is the equivalent of a similar educational institute in the UK. The degree of the applicant must also have been taught in the English language and be recognized by UK NARIC to meet the necessary standards;
  • The couple must have met each other in real life;
  • The couple must prove their intention that they want to live with each other permanently, and the marriage/civil partnership has no possibility of breaking off after the visa is granted;
  • The couple must prove that they are financially stable enough to provide for their housing and other expenses to stay in the UK and will not need to request finances from public funds at any point in the future;
  • The couple are financially capable of providing for any dependants;
  • The spouse/civil partner of the person who was granted humanitarian protection or refugee status must submit a valid entry clearance document upon arrival in the UK.

For applicants looking to extend their stay in the country in this category, the below listed requirements will be needed to be met:

  • The couple has had a subsisting relationship for at least a 2 year period since the person  was granted residency in the UK on the basis of humanitarian protection or as a refugee;
  • The spouse/civil partner must be married, or in a civil partnership, to a person who was granted permission to stay in the UK on the basis of humanitarian protection;
  • The spouse/civil partner of the person who was granted humanitarian protection or refugee status must prove his/her English language skills to be adequate. This can be done by taking an English language test which contains a listening and speaking section. Furthermore, the test must be approved by the Secretary of State and must meet the criteria of the Common European Framework of Reference;
  • However, this requirement can be exempted for individuals who are above the age of 65, have a physical or mental health condition that prevents them from meeting this requirement or the Home Office assesses the conditions of the individual and exempts this requirement due to compassionate circumstances;
  • The spouse/civil partner of the person who was granted humanitarian protection or refugee status must possess a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD degree from an educational institute that is the equivalent of a similar educational institute in the UK. The degree of the applicant must also have been taught in the English language and be recognized by UK NARIC to meet the necessary standards;
  • Neither of the persons in the marriage or civil partnership must be in any other marriage, civil partnership or relationship of that form;
  • The couple must not be related to one another where the relationship becomes illegal under UK law;
  • The couple must prove their intention that they want to live with each other permanently, and the marriage/civil partnership has no possibility of breaking off after the visa is granted;
  • The couple must prove that they are financially stable enough to provide for their housing and other expenses to stay in the UK and will not need to request finances from public funds at any point in the future;
  • The couple are financially capable of providing for any dependants;
  • The spouse/civil partner of the person who was granted humanitarian protection or refugee status must submit a valid entry clearance document upon arrival in the UK.

It should be noted that the Secretary of State possesses the right to deny any person a visa on any visa category (e.g. Tier 5 visit visa, UK startup visa, UK investor visa scheme, UK business immigration etc.) or remove any person, if it is felt necessary under the maintenance of public order and the law.