One of the biggest concerns for persons looking to obtain a permit or visa is whether their partners, spouses and children will be able to stay with them in the UK. Fortunately the UK immigration rules and Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 do make provision for dependants.
How to qualify
In order to qualify as a dependant, you must be the spouse, unmarried or civil partner of the main applicant. Children under the age of 18 years may also accompany the main applicant to the UK as dependants under the Immigration Rules. If you are applying as a dependant on someone who is an EEA national, the dependency age for children is 21.
It is sometimes possible for a child to accompany one parent to the UK, but special rules apply, and these applications are very fact centric, As a result, we advise you to contact us to ascertain your particular status.
Children over 18 need to qualify independently under the Immigration Rules for rights of residence in the UK. Exceptional applications for children over 18 to accompany parents as dependents may be possible in very restricted circumstances.
There are different maintenance requirements depending on the application being made by the main applicant, or immigration status of the sponsor, such as whether the sponsor is present and settled in the UK, the main applicant is residing in the UK on a visa, or have a right to reside under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations.
Length of stay and right to work
The length of the permit or visa will depend on whether the sponsor is present and settled in the UK, the main applicant is residing in the UK on a visa, or has a right to reside under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations. Generally speaking, where the main applicant is residing in the UK on a visa, the dependant will be granted leave in line with the main applicant. Where the sponsor is present and settled, generally speaking the dependant will be issued with a visa for 33 months. This visa must be renewed for a further 33 months, before an application for indefinite leave to remain can be made. Where an application is made under the European Regulations, the dependant will be issued with a five year permit, during which time the EEA national must be exercising a Treaty Right.
There are no work restrictions on the holder of a dependency visa.
It is possible for dependants to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain, provided that the main applicant obtains Indefinite Leave to Remain at the same time, and the dependant has spent sufficient time in the UK over the preceding period as applicable in each individual case. Where the sponsor is already present and settled in the UK, generally speaking the dependant must spend a probationary period of 60 months in the UK before applying for settlement. Dependants under the European Regulations are required to spend a period of five years in the UK, during which time the EEA national must be exercising a Treaty right, before applying for confirmation of the right of permanent residence.