To be granted leave to enter or remain in the UK as a parent under the 5 year route to settlement, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be over the age of 18;
- Your child must be under the age of 18;
- Your child must live in the UK and
- Be either British or settled. For those applying from within the UK, there is also the option to rely on a child who is neither British, nor settled, but has been in the UK for more than 7 years and it would be unreasonable to expect the child leave the UK.
- You must not fail to meet the suitability requirements, which mostly has to do with not having a criminal conviction in the recent years and no adverse immigration history, in particular where deception was employed.
If you are in doubt whether a conviction that you had or your previous immigration history might affect your application, it is always advisable to seek legal advice prior to making the application.
As the application is based on your relationship to your child, naturally, there are certain relationship requirements:
- You need to demonstrate that you have sole parental responsibility for the child; or
- Direct access to the child, this should take form of either a child arrangement agreement or Court order;
In the cases where you have access to the child, the other parent should also be either British or Settled in the UK and they cannot be your partner, otherwise a partner application should be made, rather than a child application.
You must be able to demonstrate that you can maintain yourself and your child without recourse to public funds. While there is no exact amount attached to this requirement unlike that of the spouse or partner route, you will still be required to show that you either have savings or a reliable income.
You will need to demonstrate that you have adequate accommodation for you and your child without recourse to public funds. This means the accommodation will not be overcrowded and will not contravene the public health regulations.
English Language requirement
You will need to demonstrate that you meet the language requirement at a level at least A1 CEFR for initial applications and A2 and above for extension applications. This can be done either by sitting a specified test, or through evidencing the language knowledge through a qualifying degree. You can also meet this requirement without any additional evidence if you are a national of a qualifying English speaking country.
You will be exempt from meeting the language requirement, if:
- You are aged 65 and above;
- You have mental or physical disability that prevents you from meeting the requirement;
- There are exceptional circumstances preventing you from meeting the requirement.
Those who meet the above requirements, will be able to get an initial leave of 30 months (33 if applying for entry clearance) and then extend it for a further 30 months. Once you reach 60 months (5 years), you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a parent of a child in UK.