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New UK Immigration Rules for Children and Families

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The government has recently announced the planned introduction of new immigration rules affecting children and families in a Statement of Changes in immigration rules, referred to as HC1118.

In this blog our immigration solicitors take a look at the planned immigration changes for children and families. If you need immigration advice on how the changes may impact your family call us for expert immigration help.

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors 

For advice on immigration law call the expert London immigration lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

Family and individual immigration rule changes

The UK government has said it plans to introduce new appendixes to the immigration rules on individual immigration applications. The three appendixes are:

  • Settlement Family Life
  • Private Life
  • Relationship with a Partner

The government rationale behind the changes in the immigration rules is to simplify the existing complicated rules. However, some question whether the revised immigration rules will be any easier to navigate for families without expert immigration legal advice.

Settlement Family Life

Appendix Settlement Family Life attempts to simplify settlement rules for people in the UK with permission as a partner or as a parent under Appendix FM ( such as the spouse visa or family visa) and who meet the eligibility criteria to apply for indefinite leave to remain after a qualifying period of ten years.

Importantly, Settlement Family Life permits different periods of leave as a partner, parent, on a private life route, or using leave outside the immigration rules to be combined. That means leave on other routes can be counted towards the ten year route to indefinite leave to remain provided the settlement applicant:

  • Did not enter the UK illegally and
  • Had permission as a partner or parent under Appendix FM for at least one year. People with leave as parents of a child under Appendix FM can also apply to settle once their child has reached eighteen.  

However, under the revised immigration rules, there is a requirement that the settlement applicant must meet the continuous residence requirement for a successful indefinite leave to remain application.

Appendix Private Life

Appendix Private Life introduces new immigration rules for child applicants. The appendix formalises the concession that allows children and young adults to apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years.

When brought into force, Appendix Private Life will replace paragraph 276 ADE(1) of the immigration rules. The key points are:

  • An applicant who entered the UK as a child and who was then granted permission to stay based on private life, as either a child resident for seven years, or a young adult meeting the half-life test (between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five) may be able to qualify for settlement after five years of continuous residence in the UK using the private life route.
  • A child born in the UK and who has lived in the UK continuously for seven years can qualify for immediate settlement. The child may be eligible for British citizenship when they reach the age of ten.
  • A child born in the UK who has been continuously resident in the UK for less than seven years can be added as a dependant to a person in the UK on the private life route in some situations.
  • Applicants will need to meet the continuous residence requirements to qualify for settlement.
  • Where a dependent child under the age of eighteen is applying, suitable care and accommodation arrangements must be in place and they must comply with UK laws.
  • The Appendix Private Life replaces the requirement for a child or young adult to have permission under the private life rules for ten years before being eligible for settlement.
  • Children and young adults will be able to secure permission for an initial period of either thirty or sixty months. At present the immigration rules only give thirty months permission.

Appendix Relationship with a Partner

This appendix to the immigration rules will only initially apply to applicants who are proving a relationship with a partner when making an application under Appendix Settlement Family Life. A partner is defined as someone who is the applicant’s spouse or civil partner or a person with whom they are in a durable relationship that is similar in nature to a marriage or a civil partnership and is of least two years duration. The relationship requirements include:

  • The partners have met and
  • The partners are both aged over eighteen and
  • The partners are not related within the prohibited degrees that would prevent them from getting married or from entering into a civil partnership and
  • Any previous relationships have broken down and
  • The relationship must be genuine and subsisting.

When you are considering making family or child immigration applications it is best to understand your options and to get the application right, first time, to avoid stress and hassle. The immigration solicitors at OTS Solicitors understand that government attempts to simplify the immigration rules don’t always help families and parents when the rules are so complicated in the first place. For easy to understand advice on your options and guidance about what is involved in the immigration and settlement application process give our friendly immigration solicitors a call.

UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors 

For advice on any aspect of immigration law call the immigration team at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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