Access to Child Visa
A parent whose child resides in the UK can apply for an Access to Child visa which gives permission to enter or remain in the UK in order for them to have contact with their child.
The following requirements must be met:
- The applicant must be the parent of a child who is resident here;
- The parent or carer with whom the child resides must be permanently resident in the UK;
- The applicant must have evidence that they have access rights to the child.
For the purposes of an access to child visa, this can either be in the form of a residence or contact order granted by a UK court, or a certificate issued by a district judge confirming that the parent intends to maintain contact with the child. Other requirements include:
- The applicant must show that they intend to take an active role in the child’s upbringing;
- The child must be under the age of 18;
- There must be adequate accommodation for the applicant and any dependants in the UK without recourse to public funds in accommodation which you own or occupy exclusively; and
- The applicant must show that they can also maintain themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds.
To get an access to child visa, the applicant will need to apply for entry clearance from a British Embassy or High Commission abroad unless they were previously granted and still have limited permission to remain here as the spouse or an unmarried partner of a person present and settled in the UK. This person must be the child’s other parent.
The applicant must show that they have not remained here in breach of the Immigration Rules and that they meet all of the other requirements listed above. If the applicant falls within this category the Home Office will accept a letter from the child’s other parent that the applicant is maintaining contact with the child as evidence that you have rights of access to your child in place of a court order.
If your access to child visa application is successful, permission to enter or remain in the UK will be granted for 12 months initially. At the end of this period before their leave expires, the applicant will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
In order to qualify for ILR, the applicant will need to show that they have been, and still intend to, take an active role in the child’s upbringing, show that the child visits or stays with them on a frequent and regular basis and that this will continue. The applicant also needs to show that they continue to have adequate accommodation and are able to maintain themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds. The child must also still be under 18.