Find out if your child can qualify for permanent residence in the UK. Learn about eligibility criteria and how to apply

Child UK Permanent Residence

When thinking about your child’s permanent right to live in the United Kingdom, navigating the immigration process confidently is key. This guide will give you insights into securing indefinite leave for your child, covering eligibility and application procedures.

Understanding Indefinite Leave 

This is a big step in your child’s journey to permanent residency in the UK. This status gives your child the right to live in the UK and access education, work, and public services.

Eligibility Criteria

To sponsor your child’s application for indefinite leave, you must meet the following criteria:

You and your child’s other parent will each have an indefinite right to stay in the UK. At the moment or when the time comes to move, you will be bringing your child to the UK with you.


You are just an adult who cares about your child’s upbringing and you got the stay permit without time restrictions in the UK. Therefore, it involves the main responsibility of not only feeding and nurturing your child but also his/her upbringing and welfare without the help of the other parent as much as possible.

Types of Permanent Rights to Live in the UK 

To successfully sponsor your child’s application, you must hold one of the following immigration statuses.

British citizenship

Irish citizenship (with a requirement that you are living or have lived in the UK)

Indefinite leave or right of abode

Settled status obtained through the EU Settlement Scheme

Applying for Indefinite Leave with Your Child

If you’re applying for yourself, you can also apply for your child at the same time. The Home Office will process your application first before considering your child’s case.

Considerations for Refugees and Those with Humanitarian Protection

If you are a refugee or have humanitarian protection in the UK, specific rules apply to your child’s ‘family reunion’ application.

Family Reunion Eligibility: Your child can apply for a ‘family reunion’ under certain rules if they were conceived or adopted before you were forced to leave your home country. This process is free and does not require indefinite leave.

Age and Location Criteria:

Child Outside the UK: To apply for indefinite leave, your child must be under 18 years old. Start the application process while your child meets this age requirement.

Child in the UK: If your child is currently in the UK, they can apply for indefinite leave if they hold a child visa. They can apply even if they are over 18 years old. Note that the type of child visa depends on the visa you hold when they enter the UK (partner visa or parent visa).

English Language and ‘Life in the UK’ 

Child applicants over 18 currently in the UK generally need to meet specific requirements, including passing the ‘Life in the UK’ test and an English language test.


‘Life in the UK’ Test: This evaluates knowledge of UK laws, the legal system, and aspects of life in the UK. It’s typically required for individuals aged 18 to 65, with exceptions for medical conditions.

English Language Test: Most applicants must pass an English language test, unless exempt due to factors like coming from an English-speaking country or holding an English-taught degree. Applicants with conditions preventing them from taking the test can provide medical documentation for support.

Preparation Tips for Tests

Enhance your chances of success in these tests with the following preparation tips.

English Language Test: Aim for at least level ‘B1’ on the CEFR scale, choose an approved test provider, and determine the required test level based on your previous visa application.

‘Life in the UK’ Test: Study the official handbook or use the TSO (The Stationery Office) official app. Additionally, consider enrolling in short courses tailored for test preparation.

Financial Requirements

10-Year Route: There are no specific requirements for this route.

Individuals on the 5-year route must demonstrate a specified level of income or savings which varies based on visa type

The parent of a child must pass the adequate maintenance test.

Partner Visa: Generally requires meeting the full financial requirement, unless the partner receives specific disability benefits where adequate maintenance test is applied.

Ensuring Suitable Accommodation 

The place of residence for you and your child must meet specific safety and suitability standards depending on your route to indefinite leave.

10-Year Route: There are no strict housing rules for those following the 10-year route to indefinite leave.

5-Year Route: Individuals on the 5-Year route must ensure that their residence is safe, suitable, and spacious enough for themselves and their household. While homeownership is not mandatory, having a stable, long-term residence is essential. This can include having a tenancy agreement or a dedicated room in your parents’ house.

Rights with Indefinite Leave

Your child can work or study in the UK.

 They are eligible to rent or buy property, including applying for council housing.

They have access to various benefits.

Utilization of NHS healthcare services is available.

They can enroll in educational institutions.

They have the freedom to leave and return to the UK without limitations.

Protecting Indefinite Leave Status

Keep in mind that your child could lose their indefinite leave status if they spend over two years in a row outside the UK, Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man.

Securing indefinite leave for your child is a big achievement toward their permanent residence in the UK. By knowing the eligibility criteria and requirements in this guide, you can navigate the application process well. This overview prepares you for this important journey.

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