UK Parent Visa


Parent Visa

An Overview of Parent Visa

Embarking on the journey to unite with your child in the UK begins with understanding the essence and beneficiaries of the UK Parent Visa. This visa pathway is designed for parents aiming to partake actively in the upbringing of their child, residing in the UK. Let’s delve into the core purpose of this visa and identify who this visa caters to.

The UK Parent Visa is granted for an initial period of 2 years and 9 months, with the possibility to extend it for another 2 years and 6 months​.

Who is this Visa For?

The UK Parent Visa is primarily for parents with a child who is:

  • Under 18 years of age at the time of application, or
  • Was under 18 when the parent was first granted leave.

Furthermore, the child must:

  • Reside with the parent, unless they are away for full-time education, like at a boarding school or university.
  • Not be married or in a civil partnership.

Moreover, the child should be living in the UK and must satisfy at least one of the following conditions:

  • They are a British or Irish citizen.
  • They have settled in the UK, which implies they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or proof of permanent residence.
  • They are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status, provided they started living in the UK before 1 January 2021.
  • If the application is made within the UK, the child must have lived in the UK for seven years continuously, and it should not be reasonable for them to leave.

Purpose of the Visa

The UK Parent Visa stands as a bridge to reunite parents with their children residing in the UK. It caters to the fundamental essence of family, enabling parents to play an active role in the upbringing of their child. With this visa, parents can live, care for their child, and partake in their educational and developmental journey, nurturing the bond that is quintessential to a child’s growth and well-being.

What Can You Do On this Visa?

The UK Parent Visa is not merely a gateway for parents to live with their children in the UK; it’s a conduit for a plethora of opportunities and responsibilities that contribute towards a fulfilling family life. Here’s a comprehensive rundown of what you can engage in under this visa:

Family Reunification:

The primary objective of the Parent Visa is to facilitate family reunification. It enables parents to live, bond, and grow together with their children, fostering a nurturing familial environment that is conducive for the holistic development of the child.

Active Parental Role:

Holders of the Parent Visa are expected to take an active role in their child’s upbringing. This includes being involved in their education, health, and daily life, ensuring that the child has a supportive environment for their growth and development.

Access to Healthcare:

Upon paying the healthcare surcharge as part of the visa application, parents gain access to the National Health Service (NHS), ensuring they receive necessary medical care. This encompasses general health check-ups, emergency services, and specialized medical treatments.

Employment and Studies:

While the visa’s primary focus is on child care, it doesn’t preclude parents from seeking employment or pursuing further education in the UK. This not only allows for personal and professional growth but also contributes to financial stability, which is paramount for a secure family life.

Community Integration:

The Parent Visa paves the way for integrating into the UK’s diverse and rich community fabric. It affords parents the chance to engage with local communities, partake in cultural exchanges, and build a robust support network that can be invaluable in navigating the nuances of life in the UK.

Housing and Stability:

Securing stable housing is pivotal for creating a conducive environment for the family. The Parent Visa allows parents to rent or purchase property, ensuring a stable and comfortable abode for the family.

The UK Parent Visa, while centering on family reunification, opens up a realm of possibilities that significantly enhance the quality of life and provide a stable foundation for both the parent and the child to thrive in the UK.

What You Cannot Do On this visa

The UK Parent Visa is a pathway for parents to reside in the UK to care for their children. However, it comes with certain restrictions to ensure the visa’s primary objective is met and to maintain the integrity of the UK’s immigration system. Here’s a glimpse into the limitations under this visa:

Access to Public Funds:

Holders of the Parent Visa are generally not allowed to access public funds. This includes benefits like unemployment allowances, housing benefits, and other social welfare provisions. This restriction underscores the importance of financial self-sufficiency for visa holders.

Change of Visa Category:

Once in the UK on a Parent Visa, transitioning to another visa category may be restricted or may require a fresh application from outside the UK. It’s crucial to adhere to the terms of the Parent Visa to avoid jeopardizing your immigration status.


Remaining in the UK beyond the visa validity without securing an extension or a new visa is a violation of the immigration rules. Overstaying can lead to serious consequences including removal from the UK and a potential ban on future entry.

Unauthorized Employment:

While the Parent Visa allows employment, engaging in unauthorized employment or working for an employer not listed on your visa can lead to visa cancellation. It’s imperative to adhere to the employment terms stipulated in the visa.

Engaging in Business Ventures:

While the visa allows for employment, launching or managing business ventures may be outside the purview of allowed activities. It’s advisable to seek legal counsel to understand the nuances of business-related activities under this visa.


Providing false information or misrepresenting facts during the application or the tenure of the visa is a serious offence and can lead to visa cancellation, fines, or even prosecution.

Adherence to the restrictions of the Parent Visa is paramount for a hassle-free stay in the UK. Understanding these limitations helps in planning a lawful and comfortable life in the UK while nurturing the bond with your child.

Key Takeaways of this visa

The UK Parent Visa is a significant initiative that echoes the UK’s commitment to preserving family unity and ensuring the well-being of children. As you contemplate embarking on this journey, here are some key takeaways that provide a clearer perspective on the Parent Visa:

Family Reunification:

The visa primarily aims at reuniting parents with their children residing in the UK, fortifying the family structure which is crucial for the emotional and psychological well-being of the child.

Eligibility Criteria:

A well-defined eligibility criteria ensures that the visa serves its intended purpose. The criteria encompasses the age and residency status of the child, the parent’s relationship with the child, and the parent’s ability to take an active role in the child’s upbringing.

Health Care Access:

With the payment of the health surcharge, the visa grants access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), ensuring that parents and their children have the necessary medical care.

Employment Opportunities:

While the primary focus is on child care, the visa also permits parents to seek employment in the UK, thus fostering financial stability which is integral for a secure family environment.

Education Advancements:

Parents on this visa also have the opportunity to further their education in the UK, contributing to personal growth and better employment prospects.

Community Integration:

The visa serves as a conduit for cultural assimilation, community engagement, and building lasting relationships, enriching the life experience of the visa holders.

Regulatory Compliance:

Adhering to the visa regulations, including the restrictions on access to public funds and unauthorized employment, is crucial to maintain a valid immigration status and enjoy the benefits of the visa.

Future Planning:

The option for visa extension provides a scope for long-term planning, ensuring that parents can continue to provide support to their children during their formative years.

The UK Parent Visa encapsulates a blend of opportunities and responsibilities that go beyond just immigration, fostering a holistic environment for family growth and stability in the heart of the UK.


Eligibility Criteria For Parent Visa

When contemplating a marriage or civil partnership ceremony in the UK, it is paramount to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria set forth by the UK government for the Marriage Visitor Visa. The criteria are straightforward and are primarily aimed at ensuring the genuineness of the marriage or civil partnership intentions, as well as the temporary nature of the stay.

The journey to reunite with your child in the UK through the Parent Visa necessitates a clear understanding of the eligibility criteria laid down by the UK government. Here’s an updated and detailed guide on the prerequisites you need to meet to apply for this visa.

Age and Relationship Criteria

The age and relationship of the child to the applicant stand as the primary eligibility criteria. Your child must either:

  • Be under 18 on the date you apply,
  • Have been under 18 when you were first granted leave.
Residency and Marital Status of the Child

The child must:

  • Live with you, unless they are living away from home in full-time education, for example, at a boarding school or university.
  • Not be married or in a civil partnership.

Additionally, your child must be residing in the UK and one of the following must also be true:

  • They are a British or Irish citizen,
  • They have settled in the UK, for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence,
  • They are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status (they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021),
  • If you’re applying in the UK, they must have lived in the UK for 7 years continuously and it would not be reasonable for them to leave.
Parental Responsibility

You are required to have either sole or shared parental responsibility for your child. If you share parental responsibility, the child’s other parent must not be your partner, and they must either:

  • Be a British or Irish citizen,
  • Have settled in the UK,
  • Be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status (they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021).

In instances where the child lives with their other parent or carer, you must have access to the child in person, as agreed with the other parent or carer or by a court order.

Proving Your Involvement

You must be able to prove your active role in your child’s upbringing and your intent to continue this involvement post-application. Evidence required includes:

  • Documents from government bodies, schools, courts, or medical professionals that are less than 4 years old,
  • Proof such as letters from your child’s school or healthcare provider, and court order paperwork confirming your active role in your child’s upbringing.

You would need permission from the court to use court order paperwork as evidence in your application and must send written proof that the court has given you permission when you apply, for example, a letter from the court.

Health and Financial Sustainability (Implied Criteria)

While not explicitly stated, it’s reasonable to infer that the applicant should be in good health and have a stable financial standing to provide for the child adequately. It’s advisable to have health insurance and sufficient funds to support oneself and the child during the stay in the UK.

Additional Considerations

Due to the global health crisis, if applicants do not meet the rules to enter or remain in the UK because of coronavirus (COVID-19), they might still be able to apply to extend their stay or switch to a family visa.

This comprehensive elucidation of the eligibility criteria serves as a roadmap for prospective applicants, aiding in the preparation for the application process to reunite with their beloved child in the UK.


Navigating the Application Process For the UK Parent Visa

aking the decisive step to apply for the UK Parent Visa is laden with both hope and requisite formalities. The UK government has streamlined the process to ensure clarity and efficiency. Here’s a breakdown of the application trajectory that awaits prospective applicants.

Online Commencement

The application process primarily unfolds online, where applicants are required to fill out the requisite form, detailing personal information, the nature of their relationship with the child, and other pertinent details. It’s advisable to have all necessary documents handy to ensure accurate and complete information submission.

Documentation Galore

A robust documentation is the linchpin of a successful application. Applicants need to furnish evidence of their relationship with the child, proof of the child’s residence in the UK, and documents showcasing their active involvement in the child’s life. This could include birth certificates, school letters, medical records, and court orders where applicable. Additionally, financial documents to prove the applicant’s ability to support themselves and the child in the UK are imperative.

Biometrics Appointment

Post documentation submission, applicants are required to schedule a biometrics appointment. At this juncture, biometric information including fingerprints and a photo are captured to ascertain the identity of the applicant. It’s a straightforward yet crucial step in the application voyage.

Health Surcharge Payment

Applicants are typically required to pay a health surcharge as part of their application. This fee contributes towards the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and enables applicants to access healthcare in the UK during their stay. The exact amount may vary, hence checking the latest figures on the official website is prudent.

Visa Fee Submission

A non-refundable visa fee is another pivotal part of the application process. The fee structure might be subject to change; therefore, it’s advisable to check the latest updates on the official government website to ascertain the exact amount.

Waiting Game

Once the application, along with all necessary documents and payments, has been submitted, a waiting period ensues. During this time, the UK government evaluates the application. The duration of this period can vary, although the government endeavors to process applications promptly.

Decision Communique

The culmination of the application process is the decision notification. Applicants will receive a communication regarding the approval or denial of their visa. A successful application heralds the onset of a new chapter in the UK, whereas a denial may necessitate an appeal or re-evaluation of other immigration pathways.

Arrival Preparations

Upon visa approval, it’s prudent to plan the arrival meticulously. This includes informing the relevant UK authorities, securing accommodation, enrolling the child in school if necessary, and other logistical arrangements to ensure a smooth transition.

With a well-laid plan and adherence to the guidelines stipulated by the UK government, the path to reuniting with your child through the UK Parent Visa becomes a journey of hope, love, and anticipation. The UK Parent Visa not only facilitates familial reunions but also underpins the core values of family and nurturing relationships that are quintessential to a harmonious society.


Medical Treatments Under the UK Parent Visa

The UK Parent Visa facilitates parents to reside in the UK to care for their children. Besides nurturing family bonds, it also encompasses healthcare provisions, enabling visa holders to access medical treatments. Upon successful visa application, a mandatory health surcharge is payable, granting access to the National Health Service (NHS). This provides a safety net, ensuring that parents can receive necessary medical treatments without hefty out-of-pocket expenses. From general practitioner visits to emergency services and specialized treatments, the NHS coverage is comprehensive. This healthcare accessibility under the UK Parent Visa underscores the UK’s holistic approach to fostering a conducive environment for family reunification and well-being.


After You Have Applied for the Visa

After applying for a UK Parent Visa, await confirmation. It may take up to three weeks or longer, so be patient. Keep track of your application status online. Meanwhile, start preparing for your trip by researching about local customs, laws, and places you’d like to visit. It’s also essential to organise travel insurance covering health, travel delays, and losses. If you’ve not booked your flights and accommodations, wait and DO NOT buy ticket until your visa is approved to avoid potential losses. Remember to pack essential documents, including your passport with your visa, proof of financial sustenance, and return tickets. Lastly, make sure your passport validity extends beyond your travel dates.

The Visa Fee

The fee for the UK Parent Visa, when applying from outside the UK, is £1,846 and from within the UK, it’s £1,048. Additionally, a healthcare surcharge is applicable, costing £1,560 for a 2-year 6-month stay, and £1,872 for a 2-year 9-month stay​. The processing time can vary, so it’s advisable to check the latest updates on the official UK government website or contact the UK visa and immigration office for precise information.

Tracking Progress on Your Visa Application

Though there is no standard and easy way to track your visa application, you can ask for the concerned authorities for an update on your visa application. But you should not expect a quick response.

Getting a Decision on the Visa Application

In most of the cases you are informed about the decision on your visa application by the email for which the email address you gave during your visa application, is used. If you have requested an SMS alert service, you will also get an alert about the completion of your visa application processing process through an SMS.

What to Do if the Visa is Refused

In this visa category you don’t get a right of appeal or an administrative review.  This means that the only option for you is to try to remove the objection and apply again (unless you were refused with 720A).

Extending Your Stay Under the UK Parent Visa

The UK Parent Visa provides an initial avenue for parents to live in the UK to care for their children. However, life’s unpredictable nature may necessitate a longer stay than initially anticipated. In such scenarios, extending your stay under the UK Parent Visa is a viable option. The extension process requires a thorough examination of your current circumstances, ensuring that you continue to meet the visa requirements. Key among these are your ongoing relationship with your child, your financial stability, and your adherence to the UK’s legal stipulations.

The extension application entails a meticulous compilation of supporting documents, mirroring the initial application process. It’s prudent to commence the extension process well ahead of your visa expiry to avert any legal quandaries. Moreover, keeping abreast of any changes in immigration laws is pivotal, as these could impact your eligibility for an extension.

An extension under the UK Parent Visa reaffirms the UK’s commitment to preserving family unity, ensuring that parents can continue nurturing their children amidst a stable and conducive environment. Through a successful extension, parents can continue to partake actively in their children’s lives, fostering their development and well-being in the heartland of the UK.



Q1: What is the validity period of the UK Parent Visa?

A: The visa’s validity period varies based on individual circumstances and the specifics of each case.  Typically the UK Parent Visa is granted for an initial period of 2 years and 9 months, with the possibility to extend it for another 2 years and 6 months​.

Q2: Can I switch from another visa category to a UK Parent Visa while in the UK?

A: The eligibility to switch from another visa category to a UK Parent Visa depends on various factors including your current visa type.

Q3: What happens if my child turns 18 during my stay in the UK?

A: The key consideration is the age of the child at the time of the initial application.

Q4: Can I extend my UK Parent Visa?

A: Extensions are possible, provided you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

Q5: Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on a UK Parent Visa?

A: Eligibility for ILR depends on your circumstances, including the duration of your stay in the UK.

Q6: Is there a language proficiency requirement for the UK Parent Visa?

A: Language proficiency requirements may apply, depending on your circumstances.

Q7: How does divorce or separation affect my UK Parent Visa status?

A: Your visa status may be affected, and it’s advisable to seek legal counsel.

Q8: Can I travel outside the UK on a Parent Visa?

A: You should be able to travel, but ensure you have the proper documentation for re-entry.

Q9: How can I prove my relationship with my child?

A: Proof can include birth certificates, adoption papers, or legal documents establishing guardianship.

Q10: What if my child is living with the other parent?

A: You may still apply if you have access to the child and meet other eligibility criteria.

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