What is meant by ‘Other Categories’ under the Immigration Rules of UK and their visa requirements?


The United Kingdom immigration process is regulated through a legal document known as a ‘visa’ granted to any non-UK national, to serve as proof for legal entry into the country. The Home Office is the official government department of the UK responsible for deciding on visa cases.

Each visa category i.e. Tier one visa UK, Tier 2 visa, Tier 4 visa and Tier 5 visa types and their sub-categories (UK Tier 1 investor visa, UK Tier 1 entrepreneur visa, UK graduate entrepreneur visa, UK Tier 4 student visa, UK Tier 5 worker visa etc.) exist to cater to a different reason a person might come to the UK on. For example, a person who applies to come to the UK for purposes of study will apply on the Tier 4 visa while a businessman coming to the UK with the intention of investment purposes will apply on the Tier 1 Investor visa. The requirements and regulatory procedure also varies for each visa type, along with the number of people that can enter on a certain visa type. In this regard, the ‘other categories’ is a list compiled in the UK Immigration rules, defining reasons not properly laid out in any visa category. This serves to define the laws and requirements for any person wishing to enter the UK on a reason as laid out here, such as long residence in the UK, relevant Afghan citizens or a person exercising his/her right to a child holding nationality of the UK.

The requirements for all of these categories listed in the immigration laws (namely the UK Immigration Rules) are as follows:

Requirements for any Person to Enter the UK by exercising his/her right to see a Child who holds UK Nationality

The requirements for any non-UK national seeking access to his/her child who is currently residing in the UK and holds nationality of the UK are listed as follows:

  • The applicant must provide significant evidence to show that he/she is the legal parent of the child residing in the UK;
  • The person who is currently taking care of the child in the UK must hold legitimate nationality of the UK;
  • The applicant must provide significant proof to the Home Office that he/she has legal access to see the child, implying he/she has not been forbidden to do so by law. In this regard, the applicant must produce a valid residence/contact order issued by a UK court, or a statement in the form of a certificate issued by a judge establishing the applicant’s intent to visit his/her child.

In the case of a certificate being issued by a judge, it should be made sure that along with it confirming the applicant’s intent to visit his/her child, it should also state that:

  • The applicant will actively partake in the upbringing of the child;
  • The child’s age is less than 18;
  • The applicant possesses the adequate finances to financially support the child’s upbringing along with that of any dependants without asking for money from the UK government;
  • The applicant is of the caliber to provide for his/her own accommodation in the UK;
  • The applicant has applied to be given an entry clearance document for this reason.

In the scenario the above mentioned requirements are fulfilled by the applicant, he/she will become eligible to enter the UK for a limited period of time under these circumstances. However, it should be noted that the applicant must produce the entry clearance document issued to him/her upon arrival in the country as failure to do so can result in him/her being denied permission to enter the UK by an Immigration Officer.

Furthermore, the time period for which the applicant can stay in the UK under these circumstances is a maximum of 1 year for the first visa application.

Requirements for any Person seeking an Extension to stay in the UK by exercising his/her right to stay with a Child who holds UK Nationality

It should be noted that some of the requirements for an extension in this category are the same as above, the rest are detailed below which together with the rules above make up the total requirements. These are as follows:

  • The applicant seeking an extension in this category previously has been residing in the UK on this same category, that was granted for entry;
  • The applicant is the spouse, civil partner or an unmarried partner where the relationship is akin to marriage with the other parent;
  • The applicant during his/her stay, has not performed any actions that are against the immigration laws of the country;
  • The applicant, during his/her stay, has not gone against any of the conditions that were in his/her previous visa under which he/she is currently staying in the UK;
  • Any other dependants along with the child must also be provided adequate accommodation without asking for money from the UK government;

In the scenario the above mentioned requirements are fulfilled by the applicant, he/she will become eligible to enter the UK for a limited period of time under these circumstances. However, it should be noted that the applicant must produce the entry clearance document issued to him/her upon arrival in the country, as failure to do so can result in him/her being denied permission to enter the UK by an Immigration Officer.

Furthermore, the time period for which the applicant can stay in the UK under these circumstances is a maximum of 1 year for the first visa application.

Requirements for any Person seeking UK Nationality by exercising his/her right to stay with a Child who holds UK Nationality

It should be noted that some of the requirements for gaining permanent residency under this category are the same as the conditions for entry under this category, the rest are detailed below; which together with the rules for entry, make up the total requirements. These are as follows:

  • The applicant was granted permission to stay in the UK under this category for a period of 1 year, a time he/she has successfully fulfilled prior to applying for permanent residency under this category;
  • The applicant must provide evidence that he/she in this time period, has actively participated in the child’s upbringing, and will continue to do so as legally obligated to if permanent residency is granted;
  • The applicant must show that he/she frequently visits, or has stayed with the child during the period he/she remained in the UK;
  • The applicant must show that during stay in the UK, he/she has financially provided for the child and other dependants thereof, and will continue to do so in the future too without asking money from public funds;
  • The age of the child must still be less than 18 years;
  • The applicant must not be liable for having broken any laws or his/her actions thereof, that result in him/her being subject to grounds for refusal;
  • The Home Office will carefully assess the English language skills of the applicant and whether the applicant meet the required standard for gaining nationality under this category.

In the scenario where the Home Office assesses the applicant’s application for permanent residency, and is not satisfied with any of the above requirements not being met, the result could be the refusal of permanent residency for the applicant. In the scenario the application is accepted and residency is granted, the applicant must produce a valid entry clearance document to an Immigration Officer.

Requirements to Enter the UK as a Gurkha discharged from the British Armed Forces

Under UK law, a ‘Gurkha’ is any soldier who is a native of Nepal, and has been recruited by the British Armed Forces to serve in the defense of the United Kingdom. To gain entry into the UK as a Gurkha who has been discharged from the army, the below listed requirements must be met:

  • The applicant’s service in the army as a Gurkha must amount to a period of at least 4 years;
  • The applicant must have been discharged from the army on or after the 1st July, 1997;
  • The applicant must have completed the period engagement;
  • The applicant’s visa application for entry into the UK under these circumstances must have been made within 2 years of being discharged from the army;
  • The applicant is in possession of an entry clearance document for entry into the country as a Gurkha who has been discharged from the British Army;
  • The applicant must not be liable for having broken any laws or his/her actions thereof, that result in him/her being subject to grounds for refusal;

In the scenario the above mentioned requirements are fulfilled by the applicant, he/she will become eligible to enter the UK for a limited period of time under these circumstances. However, it should be noted that the applicant must produce the entry clearance document issued to him/her upon arrival in the country as failure to do so can result in him/her being denied permission to enter the UK by an Immigration Officer.

Furthermore, the period for which entry will be granted under this category can be for an indefinite period of time.

Requirements to Permanently Settle in the UK as a Gurkha discharged from the British Armed Forces

It should be noted that some of the requirements for an extension in this category are the same as above, with one more rule added. Combined with the requirements above, all of these must be fulfilled to be given permanent residency in the UK.

The added requirement is such that during the applicant’s stay in the UK, he/she should not have broken any immigration laws or gone against any conditions that were set in his/her visa application. It should be noted that staying in the UK for less than 28 days past the due date of the visa does not count as a breach of law, as this time period is granted so that applicants can deal with any unforeseen circumstances.

Furthermore, in the scenario the Home Office assesses the applicant’s visa application for permanent residency under these circumstances but is still not satisfied, he/she can be refused nationality of the UK. However, the Home Office might still grant the applicant a further temporary period of stay for a maximum time of 30 months.

Requirement to Enter the UK as an Afghan Citizen

The United Kingdom recognized any person an Afghan citizen permissible to enter the UK if the below criteria is met:

  • The applicant is currently residing in Afghanistan;
  • The applicant holds nationality of Afghanistan;
  • The applicant is an adult under UK law (which means he/she is above the age of 18);
  • The applicant was serving as an employee in Afghanistan in the UK Ministry of Defence, the Department for International Development or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office;
  • The UK government categorized the applicant as ‘redundant’ after the 18th December, 2012, which means that his/her services were no longer required;
  • The UK Ministry of Defence, the UK Department for International Development or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated the case for the applicant to be eligible for the UK settlement package as part of the Ministerial Statement;

In the scenario the above criteria is satisfied and the applicant qualifies to enter the UK as an Afghan citizen under these circumstances, the temporary period of stay that will be granted by the Home Office will be a maximum of 5 years.

It should be noted that the Secretary of State, who heads the Home Office, reserves the right to deny any person visa on any category (UK Tier 1 investor visa, UK Tier 1 entrepreneur visa, UK graduate entrepreneur visa, UK Tier 4 student visa, UK Tier 5 worker visa etc.) if his/her presence is felt to be a danger to the public well-being.