Family life in the UK with a child: 7-year Immigration Route to settlement for parents

Introduction

Under Family life in the UK parents who have a genuine and subsisting parental relationship with a child who is in the United Kingdom, and who has a British citizenship can apply for a settlement in the UK.

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7 year Route

Family life in the UK route can also be used by the parents who have a genuine and subsisting relationship with a child who is not a British citizen but the child has lived in the UK continuously for at least 7 years immediately before the submission of the application.

The applicant has to satisfy the Home Office that it is not reasonable and in the best interest of the child to leave the UK. The primary consideration for the Home Office is the child’s best interest.

Genuine and subsisting parental relationship

A relationship will be considered as genuine and subsisting where the applicant and child have lived or lives together, sees each other regularly or the applicant has relevant court orders which allow access to the child. The relationship between the applicant and the child could be  following

  • Biological
  • Adopted
  • Stepchild
  • Legal guardianship

Once the relationship is established as a genuine and subsisting, the next hurdle for the applicant is to prove that it would be unreasonable for the child to leave the UK.

7 or more continuous years

Finally, the applicant has to prove that the child has lived in the UK for more than 7 years continuously and it will be unreasonable to expect the child to leave the United Kingdom and live in another country. The factors which are generally considered by the Home Office are following

  • Significant risk to the health of the child, if removed from the UK
  • The dependency of the child on parents
  • The ability of the child to integrate into life in a country where parents will be sent
  • Whether the child can speak, read and write in the language of the country where parents will be sent
  • Cultural, social and family ties with the country where parents will be sent
  • Whether the child has attended school in that country
  • Country-specific risks, for example, war, genocide and persecution
  • Any other specific factors
  • Any case-specific exceptional factors

Family life in the UK with a child is a complex legal matter. It is advisable to always seek legal advice. If you are affected by the issues raised in this article, you can seek free legal advice from our experienced immigration lawyers.

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