UK Work Visas: Eligibility Guide for Dependents

Eligibility for Care Workers and Senior Care Workers’ Dependents

Who Can Apply?

UK Work Visas: Eligibility Guide for Dependents
UK Work Visas: Eligibility Guide for Dependents

If you’re in the UK under the occupation codes ‘6145 Care workers and home carers’ or ‘6146 Senior care workers‘, there are specific rules for your partner or children wishing to apply as your dependents.

Exemptions and Eligibility

  1. Existing Permission: If you’ve consistently held a Skilled Worker visa in these roles, any gaps in permission might be overlooked. Your dependents remain eligible as long as your initial application was before 11 March 2024. This rule applies even if their applications are processed later.
  2. Children Born in the UK: If your child was born here, they’re eligible to apply as your dependent.
  3. Continued Eligibility: If you’ve been a care worker since January 2022 with your partner and child already listed as dependents, they can continue under this status.
  4. New Applications: Even if you hadn’t applied for dependents previously, they could join you anytime during your visa period. This flexibility allows families to unite or grow in the UK, based on your professional stability.

Limitations on Switching Roles

Switching from another visa category to a care worker or senior care worker after 11 March 2024 poses restrictions for your dependents. They won’t automatically qualify to apply under your new status.

Understanding Dependent Visa Eligibility for Adult Children and Other Relatives

Adult Children

If your child is over 18 years old at the time of application and hasn’t been granted permission as a dependent before, they unfortunately cannot qualify as a dependent child. This policy is designed to maintain clarity within the immigration process.

Other Relatives

Similarly, other relatives, like parents or grandparents, are generally not eligible to apply as dependents, unless the applicants can demonstrate exceptional circumstances of their case. What these may be will dependent on the circumstances of each case.

Irish Citizens

Irish citizens stand as an exception. They don’t need permission to enter or stay in the UK. This means they can easily be considered the ‘other parent’ for dependent child applications, provided they live in the UK with the economic migrant. However, under rare circumstances, an Irish citizen could face entry restrictions.

Dependent Visa Applications for Children

The UK’s immigration rules have seen some updates, notably in how dependent children are considered within visa applications. These changes are now grouped under “Appendix Children,” focusing on three main areas:

  1. Relationship Requirements: You can usually prove by providing a copy of the child’s birth certificate with the application
  2. Care Requirements: The rules assess who is responsible for the child, whether it’s you, your partner, or both jointly.
  3. Age and Independence: There are specific conditions regarding the child’s age and whether they lead an independent life.

Definition of a Parent

The definition of “parent” for immigration purposes is broad. It includes step-parents if the biological parent has passed away, biological fathers of children born out of wedlock (provided paternity is proven), adoptive parents, and even someone who has taken on parental responsibility under specific conditions.

Children from Previous Relationships

If your dependent child is from a previous relationship, and the other biological parent is still alive, the rules consider whether you’ve become the child’s de facto adoptive parent. This includes living abroad with the child for certain periods and taking on the role of their parent in a genuine manner.

Exceptional Circumstances

In some cases, if there are serious and compelling reasons, a child may be granted entry or stay despite not meeting the typical criteria. This decision is made with the child’s best interests in mind, considering factors like their living arrangements, relationship with you and the biological parent who is your partner, and consent from the other biological parent.

Applying Under Exceptional Circumstances

UK Work Visas: Eligibility Guide for Dependents
UK Work Visas: Eligibility Guide for Dependents

When applying due to exceptional circumstances, it’s important to provide a detailed account of the child’s welfare and best interests. Questions to address include the child’s living situation, the consent from the non-applying biological parent, and any extraordinary circumstances that might affect their application.

Dependent Visa Applications: Meeting the Specific Requirements

Validity of the Application

First things first, ensure your application is valid. This means:

  • Using the correct application form: Always double-check you’re filling out and submitting the correct form.
  • Paying necessary fees: This includes any application fee and the Immigration Health Charge (IHS), unless exempt.
  • Providing biometric information: Depending on the age of the dependent, this could include photographs, fingerprints, and possibly a signature.
  • Ensuring identity and nationality proof: You need to provide a passport or travel document to establish the dependent’s identity and nationality.
  • Confirming the lead applicant’s status: The dependent’s application depends on the lead applicant’s visa status. This status can be applying, holding permission, or settled.

Exemptions and Specific Cases

  • Immigration Health Charge (IHC): Dependents of Health and Care visa applicants or holders benefit from an exemption from the IHC, alongside reduced application fees.
  • Biometrics: The requirement for biometric information varies with age:

– Under 6 years olds will only need to provide their photograph

– For ages 6 to 16: You need to provide both a photograph and fingerprints.

– Over 16 years old: A photograph, fingerprints, and signature are necessary.

Switching to a Dependant Visa

If you’re currently in the UK and considering changing your visa to become a dependant under the lead applicant’s route, there are specific conditions you need to be aware of. You can’t switch to a dependant visa if your current or last permission was granted under any of the following categories:

  • Visitor
  • Short-term student
  • Parent of a Child Student
  • Seasonal Worker
  • Domestic Worker in a Private Household
  • Additionally, if your permission was granted outside the Immigration Rules, you’re also ineligible.

Completing Your Studies

When applying for permission to stay after being recognised as a Student, ensure you have completed the course connected to your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). This means completing the coursework or, for PhD students, studying for at least 24 months.

You can usually prove course completion with the CAS end date. However, if you finished your studies early, submit extra evidence such as a transcript or a letter from your Student Sponsor. For PhD students, the course’s starting date also plays a crucial role in verifying completion.

Partner Visa Age Requirement

When applying for a partner visa in the UK, it’s essential that both you and your partner are at least 18 years old at the time of application. This age criterion applies universally across most visa categories, ensuring that both parties in the relationship meet the minimum age requirement for eligibility.

The only exception to this rule is for those applying under the UK Ancestry route, where applicants can be 17.

Understanding Suitability Requirements

When applying for permission to enter or stay in the UK, you need to be aware of the suitability requirements that could affect your application.

Part 9 outlines five main sections for refusal grounds, detailing conditions that might lead to your application’s denial. These vary from entry clearance issues to factors affecting your permission to stay. Familiarising yourself with the rules pertinent to your application type is crucial to meeting all required criteria.

Overstaying and Immigration Bail

Before submitting your application, check that you’re not currently breaching any immigration laws. There’s an exception for certain periods of overstaying, as outlined in the Immigration Rules, paragraph 39E.

Entry Clearance and Health Checks

First, dependents looking to enter the UK need to secure entry clearance before arrival. For stays over six months from a country on the UK’s TB screening list, they require a valid TB certificate.

Relationship Validation

It’s crucial to verify the legitimacy of your relationship. The application process often demands evidence that your relationship is genuine and ongoing. Sometimes, an interview is needed for a thorough assessment. Failing to attend the scheduled interview without a valid reason could lead to your application’s refusal.

Key Requirements for Partners

Partners will need to meet specific criteria to ensure their application’s success:

  • Both partners need to be over 18.
  • The relationship need to be legitimate, with no close familial ties.
  • Any previous relationships must have permanently ended.
  • Marriages or civil partnerships should be valid under the law where it was concluded.
  • For those unmarried or not in a civil partnership, the relationship have to be durable and ongoing.
  • The relationship have to be genuine and subsisting.
  • Polygamous relationships are subject to specific regulations.

The Financial Requirement

For dependent applying for a visa, excluding the Representative of an Overseas Business and UK Ancestry routes, the financial thresholds are as follows:

  • Dependent Partner: You’ll need £285.
  • For the first dependent child, you need to provide £315.
  • For any additional dependent children, you need £200 per child.

These amounts are essential unless you’ve been living in the UK with permission for at least 12 months before your application date.

Keep in mind, each applicant needs separate funds, and you cannot use these funds for other dependants. Also, the required funds should be in your account for at least 28 days before you apply. The evidence you provide should be no older than 31 days from the date of your application.

Special Requirements for Certain Jobs

UK Work Visas: Eligibility Guide for Dependents
UK Work Visas: Eligibility Guide for Dependents

For applicants linked to specific professions, particularly in healthcare, education, and welfare, there’s an additional layer of requirements. If you’re applying as the partner of a Skilled Worker in these areas, you might need to provide a criminal record certificate from countries where you’ve lived for 12 months or more in the past decade.

Business Ownership and Control

If you’re applying as dependants of Sole Representatives, make sure you don’t hold a majority stake or control over the overseas business represented by the lead applicant. This verifies the legitimacy and intention of the visa application.

UK Work Visas: Eligibility Guide for Dependents