Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street London EC2N 1HN

MONDAY - FRIDAY - 9am to 6pm

Parent and Private Life Visas

If your child is British or has a settled status in the UK, under 18 years of age and living in the UK (usually, with their other parent), you can apply for entry clearance to join them in the UK. It will be a visa for 33 months with the right to work in the UK.

If you are already in the UK, you can apply to remain. Your child has to be British or has to have a settled status in he UK. Plus, it is also possible  to qualify if your child has lived in the UK for the past 7 years and would be adversely affected if you aren’t allowed to remain in the UK to take part in his life. A leave to remain is for 30 months (2.5 years).

We will guide you on applying under 10-year route. Maybe you overstayed your past visa, came to the UK as a visitor and remained since, and would now like to obtain a legal status here. We will advise on your chances on success under the 10-year route, and if your application is successful, you could later switch to the 5-year route to speed up your path to settlement.  Your immigration status will determine how long it will take for you to qualify for permanent residency/indefinite leave in the UK.  

5-year route is a standard one, meaning you could qualify for permanent residence status after 5 years in the UK in this status, not counting time spent on other visas, such as a student or a partner. The 1st visa is issued for 30 months (2.5 years) if you apply inside the UK, or for 33 months (2.5 years + 3 months) if you apply outside the UK. The 2nd visa is extension for further 2.5 years, then settlement.

10-year route is used when you have serious, exceptional circumstances why you cannot meet the Rules. It can be being unable to meet the financial rules or if you are currently without a legal status in the UK (i.e. an overstayer). The 1st visa is usually for 30 months (2.5 years or 2.5 years+3 months), then you need further 3 visas, each for 2.5 years, meaning you can only settle in the UK after 10 years.  

Depending on your personal situation, you could be placed on a 5- or 10-year route, as described above. You can also switch from 10-year route to the standard 5-year route as soon as you can meet all the requirements. 

Unlike with a Spouse/Partner visa, there is no specific amount of money you should be earning to qualify for a Parent visa. You must  that you have enough money to support yourself  without relaying on state welfare.  There is a specific calculation to evidence this, which we can advise on.

Applying outside the UK: standard service 3 months, priority 1.5 – 2 months. Applying inside the UK: standard service 2 – 6 months; next-day service – decision within 24 hours but appointments need to be planned in advance. The next day service is not normally available to those applying under the 10 year route.

If you are applying as the parent of child who has resided in the UK for at least 7 years, and that child does not have immigration status in the UK, the child will also receive a 2.5 year visa in line with the applying parent. The child will also be on a 5 or 10-year route to permanent residency/Indefinite Leave. 

This option is based on the  length of time you have lived in the UK. Examples: 20 years in any immigration status (with or without a visa); aged 18 – 24 years and lived in the UK for most of your life. Also, aged under 18 years and has lived continuously in the UK for at least 7 years and it would not be reasonable to expect the applicant to leave the UK. Other options may be considered, too, although they will be at the Government’s discretion.

The outcome of your 1st application is a visa for 2.5 years (30 months) with the right to work in the UK and other rights, such as to use the NHS.  

As above, the 1st visa is for 2.5 years. After that you can apply for extension, every time for 2.5 years, until you reach 10 years of legal stay, continuously, in this category.  After 10 years (in this category) you can qualify for settlement, i.e. Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

For example, if you have spent 20 years in the UK (with or without a legal status), you can make your 1st application under Private Live, which would result in a visa for 2.5 years. After that – extension for another 2.5 years, then the same twice more.  After 10 years like that, you could qualify for Indefinite Leave, in which case it would have taken you a total of 30 years! 

IMPORTANT!  There is another way to secure Indefinite Leave, which is open to everyone  who has spent 10 years continuously in the UK. In any category on any visa – but legally. If you qualify for this earlier than ’10 years on Private Life visas’, you can obtain ILR sooner. If you, however, had a gap in legal stay (i.e. was an overstayer at some point), this option won’t apply, but you could still carry on under the Private Life provision, which may take longer but still leads to ILR eventually. 

Priority consideration services for a Spouse/Partner visa are very popular: you would have a decision on the next working day after the appointment, as opposed to waiting – and worrying – for several months. You can also choose a service that takes 5 working days. The Government charges extra fee for each of these. 

We book an appointment for you, we upload the documents beforehand and ‘hold your hand’ throughout the whole process. You can keep your passport during the processing time.  

24-hour service and 5-working-day service are available for in-UK applications: switching to a Spouse or Unmarried Partner visa from Tier 4 and other permissible categories; applying as a Spouse after being on a Fiancée visa, extension after initial 2.5 years; ILR after 5 years. Not available under 10-year route. 

Standard service is also available and takes approximately 6 months for ILR, or 2 – 3 months for switching and extension. You can keep your passport during the processing time! Our How It Works page has more. This used to be postal service before it changed in November 2018. 

Applications outside the UK: standard service takes approximately 3 months, priority – approximately 1.5 – 2 months.