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UK Parent Visa: Eligibility Criteria, Cost, and Steps to Apply

Parents can join their children in the United Kingdom just by getting UK Parent Visa. Find out how to apply and the requirements here. Moreover, UK Parent Visa is one of the UK Family visas that allow parents whose children live in the UK to join them. That is, British citizens who have parents living outside the United Kingdom can take them to the UK through the United Parent Visa.

The United Kingdom Parent Visa falls under the Family visa category. Therefore, this is the type of visa you need if you want to enter and remain in the UK to live with your family member for more than 6 months.

Furthermore, for parents to join their children in the United Kingdom with this visa, their children in the UK must be citizens or permanent residents with no immigration restrictions. Don’t forget that you can only apply for this type of visa if your child is a dependent UK resident that is less than 18 years.

However, this article will be guiding you on various requirements, steps, and eligibility criteria to apply for a UK Parent Visa.

UK Parent Visa Application process

The UK Parent Visa application process is very similar to the other application processes. It depends on the way you apply. You will need to apply online if you are applying from outside of the UK. You will also have to complete the application form VAF4A.

Whereas, if you are in the UK you have two choices. You can apply online, or by post. You can also apply at a premium service center. To do so you will have to fill in the form and book an appointment, or make an online application and book an appointment.

UK Parent Visa Requirements

The UK child resident, and the parent that wants to join him/her in the UK, both must fulfill some criteria set by the Immigration Authorities in the UK.

If you are planning to join your dependent child, the main thing you have to know before applying for this type of visa is that if your partner is living together with the child and is a UK resident, then you will have to apply for the UK spouse visa. You can apply for the UK Parent Visa only if you are no longer in a relationship with the other parent of your child residing in the UK.

The other eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Your child must be under 18 on the date you apply, and not live an independent life.
  • If you share responsibility, the other parent of the child must be a British citizen or settled in the UK.
  • You must be a parent of a British child, or have indefinite leave to remain.
  • If you share responsibility, the other parent of the child must not be your partner.
  • You need to have shared or sole parental responsibility for your UK resident child.

Throughout your application you will have to prove that:

  • you are taking an active role in your child’s upbringing and plan to continue doing so.
  • And you have a good knowledge of English.
  • you can financially support yourself and your child in the UK.

Parental responsibility requirement

  • You will have to prove to the consular officer that you are taking an active role in your child’s upbringing and you plan to continue doing so. You will have to prove through documents as:
  • School confirmation that you take part in parent evenings and meetings.
  • School confirmation that you also take your child to school.
  • Confirmation from the dentist that you take your child to appointments.

Note: if your child has been living for too long in the UK and you don’t have any of the above-mentioned evidence, then you can just submit the following:

  • pictures of you two whenever you meet.
  • You can submit photos that you took your kid to the park, cinema, theater, bookstore, etc.

This requirement comes as a result of the Immigration Authorities wishing to know if they are bringing to the UK someone who will care for their child and take an important role in their child’s upbringing.

UK Parent Visa Financial Requirements

The failure to fulfill the financial requirement is the main reason that many people fail to obtain a UK parent visa. The main reason behind this requirement is that the UK does not want to bring over people that are not capable of financially maintaining themselves, therefore they are requiring them to be capable to show proof they can earn (or possess) a minimum amount of money.

If you want to join your child in the UK then you will have to prove that you have enough financial funds to sponsor both you and your child. That is why you must prove that you have an income of at least £18,600 per year. You might also use your savings to prove you have enough funds.

Moreover, if you are planning to bring to the UK, other children who aren’t British nationals or European Economic Area (EEA) nationals with you, you will have to:

  • earn an extra £3,800 per year for your first child.
  • earn an extra £2,400 per year for each child you have after your first child.

Every legal source of income can be counted for you to meet the income requirement:

  • your salary, if you earn it in the UK
    cash savings above £16,000
  • pension money
  • non-work income, i.e. property rentals or dividends

Proof of Income

To prove your income you will have to submit proof, such as:

  • bank statements.
  • 6 months of payslips.
  • A letter from an employer which includes the job title, the period you have worked there, the current salary, and also payslips

Parent Visa Language Requirement

When you submit your visa application, you will have to submit some documents as evidence of your English knowledge. You can prove your knowledge of English with any of the following documents:

  • submitting a document or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English, which is recognized by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • taking an approved English language test and passing it with at least a CEFR level A1 in speaking and listening.

Those exempted from English Proficiency Tests

The residents of English-speaking countries are exempt from English knowledge requirements. They are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • USA
  • St Lucia
  • Trinidad and Tobago
    St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The application cost for UK Parent Visa

You have to know that Visa fees depend on the way you apply. For example, if you apply from outside the UK to join your child, you will have to pay a fee of £1,464. While if you apply from within the UK whether via the UK online or by post the cost will be £993 online, and £1,583 if you apply in the UK in person with the premium service.

Moreover, you will have to pay an extra fee of  £1,464 for each dependent you are planning to bring with you to the UK if you apply outside the UK, £993 if you apply in the UK online or by post, and £1,583 if you apply in the UK in person with the premium service.

UK Parent Visa Application Documents

Certain documents are required to apply for the United Kingdom parent visa. Those documents are:

  • Valid passport with at least an empty page to be able to affix the visa.
  • Previous passports.
  • 2 passport-sized color photos according to the ICAO standards.
  • Proof of English language requirement (as explained above).
  • Than Proof of financial means (as explained above).
  • Proof of parental responsibility as photos of you two together (as explained above).

Other required documents

Apart from the above-listed documents, you will also submit other supporting documents that will give the following information:

  • Your full name
  • details of any previous immigration applications, if any.
  • your date of birth
  • details of any criminal convictions, if any.
  • your national insurance number, if any.
  • Also, your parents’ date of birth and nationality if you’re applying from outside the UK.
  • your tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where you have to take the test.
  • You will have to provide a translation of any document that isn’t in English or Welsh.

Application processing time for UK parent visa

The application processing time varies depending on where you apply from and how you apply. For example, the fastest way to get an answer for your visa application is to apply in person in the UK.

Nonetheless, the processing time normally takes up to 12 weeks to be processed when you apply outside the UK. While up to 8 weeks if you apply within the UK either online or by post.

Though, the application processing might take longer if any of these happens:

  • you do not meet the income requirement.
  • cannot prove your English knowledge.
  • need to attend an interview.
  • have a criminal record.
  • haven’t provided all of the required documents.


How can I sponsor my parents to the UK?

Firstly, to sponsor an adult-dependent relative (bringing mother or father to the UK), your parents must prove that they are the parent aged 18 years or over of an individual who is a British citizen, settled in the UK, and has limited leave to remain in the UK under Appendix EU or is a person with refugee leave.

What is the UK Parent Visa Validity period?

Generally, when you apply to join your child, you will get a permit to stay in the UK for 2 years and 6 months. After this period you will have to extend your stay if you wish.

How long can parents stay in the UK?

You can stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months on this visa. After this, you’ll need to apply to extend your stay. If you extend your family visa or switch to this visa you can stay in the UK for 2 years and 6 months.

How can I bring my elderly parents to the UK?

To sponsor an adult-dependent relative, you need to be 18 years or over. The medical threshold for this is high. To bring an elderly parent to the UK, you must show that they cannot perform even the simplest of everyday tasks such as cooking, washing, and dressing.

Can I bring my parents to the UK after Brexit?

Overview. You may be able to get an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK if you’re a family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein. You may also be able to apply if you’re the family member of an eligible person from Northern Ireland.

Can I bring my parents to the UK permanently?

Simply put, you can’t. You couldn’t even if you were here permanently yourself (which, as a student, you are not). Parents of adult children are not eligible for dependent or family visas. If your parents wish to move to the UK, they will need to apply independently if they are eligible.


With the information we have given to you, we urge you to follow our guide to apply for a UK parent visa if you need to join your children in the United Kingdom.

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