If your parents wish to visit you in the UK on a visitor visa, they will need to show that they can financially support themselves when they arrive. How long can your parents stay?When parents are visiting their children in the UK, they will need to determine whether they can extend their visitor visa or not. The right way to do so is to make sure they apply for a family visa. This can be done if your parent has some financial means that they can support you with while they are in the United Kingdom.
Visitor visa is issued to parents and grandparents of UK citizens. With this visa, they can stay in UK for a limited time. Parents and grandparents who wish to visit their family in the UK on short term basis need to apply for Visitor visa. They can apply for multiple entry of 6 months duration. Parents and grandparents can stay in the UK as short as 28 days on each visit.
How Long Parents Can Stay On Visitor Visa In Uk
Apply as a parent
You can apply to live in the UK to care for your child.
If you’re eligible to apply as a partner, you must do that instead of applying as a parent.
Your child must either:
- be under 18 on the date you apply
- have been under 18 when you were first granted leave and not live an independent life
Your child is living an independent life if, for example, they’ve left home, got married and had children.
Your child must be living in the UK. One of the following must also be true:
- they’re a British or Irish citizen
- they’ve settled in the UK – for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
- they’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
- if you’re applying in the UK, they must have lived in the UK for 7 years continuously and it would not be reasonable for them to leave
If you do not meet the rules to enter or remain in the UK because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you might still be able to apply to extend your stay or switch to a family visa. Read the guidance for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.
You need to have sole or shared parental responsibility for your child.
If you share parental responsibility, the child’s other parent must not be your partner. They must also either:
- be a British or Irish citizen
- have settled in the UK – for example, they have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence
- be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021
If the child lives with their other parent or carer, you must have access to the child in person, as agreed with the other parent or carer or by a court order.
What you’ll need to prove
You must be able to prove that you’re taking an active role in your child’s upbringing and you plan to continue after you apply.
Send evidence that:
- comes from the government, school, court or a medical professional
- shows you’re living with or caring for your child
- is less than 4 years old
You can use things like:
- a letter from your child’s school confirming you take them to school or go to parent evenings
- a letter to your address from the local authority confirming your child’s school
- a letter from your child’s doctor, dentist, or health visitor confirming that you take them to appointments
- court order paperwork confirming that your child lives with you or that you’re taking an active role in their upbringing
You need permission from the court to use court order paperwork as evidence in your application. Send written proof that the court has given you permission when you apply – for example, a letter from the court.
If you do not have any evidence that meets this criteria, there is other evidence you can provide instead. However, it’s less likely that you’ll be given a visa in this case.
Other evidence you can provide includes:
- a parental agreement drafted by a solicitor and signed by you and the child’s other parent
- a letter from HMRC confirming that you’re claiming Child Tax Credit
- social services paperwork confirming that you spend time with your child, or that you’re applying for access
Things like greetings cards, photographs and text or social media messages are not considered strong evidence of your role in your child’s upbringing and are unlikely to help your application.
English language and financial requirements
You must also prove you:
- have a good knowledge of English
- can financially support yourself without claiming public funds
If your child or any other dependants live with you, you must also prove you can financially support them without claiming public funds.
If you do not meet the English language and financial requirements you can still extend your permission to stay if:
- your child in the UK is a British or Irish citizen or has lived in the UK for 7 years
- it would be unreasonable for them to leave the UK
How long you can stay
You can stay in the UK for 2 years and 9 months on this visa. After this you’ll need to apply to extend your stay.
If you extend your family visa or switch to this visa you can stay in the UK for 2 years and 6 months.
How to apply
You’ll need to prepare information and documents to provide with your application.
How you apply depends on whether you’re in the UK or not.
Outside the UK
In the UK
You must apply online in the UK.
If you cannot afford to pay the fee, you must also apply online to waive the fee. You might not have to pay the fee if you:
- do not have a place to live and you cannot afford one
- have a place to live but cannot afford your essential living costs like food or heating
- have a very low income and paying the fee would harm your child’s wellbeing
Read the guidance for parents before applying.
Get help to apply online
You can get help with completing the online form if you:
- do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
- do not have internet access
You can only use this service if you’re applying in the UK.
You cannot get immigration advice through this service.
Applying with other children
You can add other children to your application as dependants if one of the following applies:
- they are under 18 on the date you apply
- they were under 18 when they were first granted leave on a family visa and do not live an independent life
When you can settle permanently
The earliest you can apply to settle in the UK (called ‘indefinite leave to remain’) is after you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years continuously on a family visa as a parent.
You cannot include time you’ve spent in the UK on any other visa.
The rules are different if you applied before 9 July 2012.