How To Apply For A Parent Of A Child Student Visa

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If your child is between the age of 4 and 11, and is applying for (or currently holds) a Child Student Visa, you may be eligible to apply for the Parent of a Child Student Visa.
UK Immigration
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If your child is between the age of 4 and 11, and is applying for (or currently holds) a Child Student Visa, you may be eligible to apply for the Parent of a Child Student Visa. This visa allows one parent to accompany their child or children to the UK while they undertake studies at an independent fee-paying school.

This comprehensive guide looks at the eligibility requirements for a Parent of a Child Student Visa in detail, alongside the process of applying for the visa.

Can Both Parents Apply for a Parent of a Child Student Visa?

The key limitation of this route is that while one parent can apply, the Child Student's other parent must not be in the UK or seeking to come to the UK. The other parent is, nevertheless, able to use the Visit Visa route to enter the UK, allowing them to visit the Child Student or help them settle into life abroad. The key point is that the child's other parent should not be attempting to relocate to the UK.

Accordingly, where there are multiple Child Student's from a single family, only one parent is permitted to act as their carer. It is not possible for one parent to act as carer for one Child Student while the other parent acts as the carer for another Child Student.

In some circumstances, the Home Office may allow a parent outside the UK to swap places with the relevant carer living in the UK, subject to the submission of a fresh application. This ordinarily results in the cancellation of the other parent's visa.

The Home Office Guidance does confirm that in some exceptional circumstances, one parent can make an application for a Parent of a Child Student Visa if the other parent is in the UK under a different immigration route. This might, for instance, encompass circumstances of divorce or estrangement, provided that the applying parent has sole responsibility for the Child Student.

Child Student Requirements

As set out above, the applicant's child must hold, or be in the process of applying for, a Child Student visa. The parent must be over 18 and the Child Student must be between the ages of 4 and 11. Accordingly, the application will be refused if by the date of decision on an application the Child Student has turned age 12.

Crucially, the relationship between the parent and child must be supported by evidence, or else the application will be refused.

Care and Financial Requirements

Those applying for a parent of a child visa must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate themselves, the Child Student(s), and any other dependents. The applicant can rely on funds held in their name or by a partner living outside the UK, subject to meeting additional requirements.

The level of funds that the applicant must show will depend on both who will be supported, and when the application is made. The Home Office Guidance confirms that different financial requirements apply in circumstances where:

  • The parent has lived in the UK for 12 months or more;
  • The parent is applying at the same time as their child; and,
  • The parent is applying at a different time to their child.

If you are concerned as to how you will meet the financial requirements, and what evidence must be provided, you may wish to contact one of our specialist immigration barristers.

It is also important to note that in addition to meeting the financial requirements set out above, applicants must also be able to maintain their main home outside the UK.

How to Apply for a Parent of a Child Student Visa

A parent can apply while their child holds leave as a Child Student or when submitting the Child Student's application. Before applying, the parent should check whether they are required to provide a valid TB certificate with their application, in accordance with Appendix Tuberculosis (TB).

Applications should be made online using the relevant application form. If applying from outside the UK, the correct form is "Parent of a Child Student". For those who currently have valid leave to remain in the UK and intend to switch, the correct form is "Application to extend stay in the UK: FLR(IR)". It is important to note that you cannot apply for permission to stay in the UK on this route if you were most recently granted permission as a Visitor, Short-term Student or outside of the Immigration Rules.

Applicants must pay the specified application fee, which is currently set at £637.00.

The applicant will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for each year of their stay. The IHS is currently set at £1,035 per year for adults and is paid upfront when submitting the application form.

If granted, the visa will be valid either until the Child Student's visa expires or until the Child Student's 12th birthday, whichever is sooner.

Can You Work or Study in the UK with a Parent of a Child Student Visa?

There are several prohibited activities for those holding a Parent of a Child Student Visa. These restrictions state that they are not permitted to work or study in the UK. Accordingly, applicant's cannot access public funds or benefits, or benefit from a UK State Pension.

The Parent of a Child Student Visa does not provide an opportunity for applicants to settle in the UK. Thus, the applicant's main home should continue to be abroad during their time in the UK. It is not possible to switch to a different type of UK visa while holding a Parent of a Child Student Visa.

For further information on the permitted and restricted activities for those who have obtained a Parent of a Child Student Visa, please see this post.

Can You Extend a Parent of a Child Student Visa?

It is possible to extend a Parent of a Child Student Visa from within the UK until the relevant Child Student child turns 12. Applicants who have lived in the UK for 12 months or more will meet the financial requirement automatically when making an extension application.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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