Traveling with Children - Don't forget their Visa!

When Is A Dependent Child Visa Needed? Every nation in the world has specific requirements revolving around visa entry. When leaving one's home country for family travel, education or work you don't want to leave your children behind. What travel documents do they need to travel with you? 

This article covers visa requirements for children in particular.

Here is basic information on the most important things you should know about a dependent child visa and when you might need it.

dependent child visa

What Is A Dependent Child Visa?

A dependent child visa refers to a special government-endorsed permit that individuals settled in a foreign country can leverage to bring their children who are residents in another country to stay with them. It is one of the visas within the family visa category.

The nature of the visa the child gets often depends on the status of the parent that applies for the visa. If the parent, in this case, is a citizen or permanent resident in the country, the child gets to stay indefinitely in the country. Similarly, if the parent has a limited leave to remain, the child also receives a limited leave to enter and stay as long as the parent is in the country.

When Is it Needed?

A dependent child visa is needed when a parent who resides in a foreign nation or a citizen of a foreign country intends to bring their child into the country to live with them. Such a parent must demonstrate that they can fully care for their child's needs.

There are many reasons why people apply for a child-dependent visa. A vast majority simply want their children closer to them instead of the parent-child relationship dynamics being affected by distance. Other parents simply want to give their children opportunities for a better life.


What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Dependent Child Visa?

These specific requirements often vary depending on the status of the parent applying for the visa. The primary requirement is that the child needs to have at least one parent living and working in a foreign country.

The child must not be independent, married, or over the age of eighteen. Such a child must still be under the parent's care, guidance, and supervision. Also, the parent must have proof that they can care for and take care of the child's needs without having to depend on welfare services or government funds.

The parent also needs to provide proof of blood relations. For a child who has a parent that is a partner to a citizen or a permanent resident, the limited leave requirements mandate that the child is under the age of eighteen and unmarried, the parent who will be solely responsible for the child's needs must be established and must provide proof of funds.

It is pertinent to note that any of these applications can take place within and outside the designated country. Where both parents of a child are living apart - one in a foreign nation and another in a different country - the situation can be quite complex. The parent applying for the child visa would have to prove that they have solely been responsible for the child for a long time.

If a parent is a born citizen, some countries permit applying for citizenship for the child, too, instead of a dependent visa. This means the parent can extend their citizenship rights to a child not born in that country.

Documentation & Processing

Passport photographs, a valid international passport, proof of funds that the child will be financially taken care of, and proof of a parent-child relationship {e.g., a birth certificate or pictures taken together are the most important documents. Personal details such as the full name of the child and parent, dates of birth, information regarding any previous immigrations, criminal convictions, and an NI number should also be presented.

Once the documents are in order, the prerequisite fees have been paid, and they have been submitted to the Home Office, the waiting period is typically between 8-12 weeks. In scenarios where both parents of the child are in the same country or one parent is a citizen, the entire process is relatively straightforward and will be completed in eight weeks at most. Processes that involve proof of sole responsibility usually last longer (up to twelve weeks or more).


It is advisable for those going through this process for the first time to go through licensed immigration lawyers or agencies with caseworkers. This ensures that the whole process is smoother and easier. Moving a child across continents or countries can be easy, simple, and fast as long as established requirements are adhered to.




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