Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) means that there are no longer any time limits on one’s ability to stay in the UK. You are free to work in the UK for any business and in any profession, as well as study. You can also access healthcare, which is generally free for settled persons and citizens alike.
There are many immigration routes which lead to settlement; this article focuses on settlement applications for Points-Based System (PBS) dependent children.
For both options discussed here, the dependent child making the application must have completed the relevant five years qualifying period before being eligible for settlement. It is important to note that, unlike with adults who are required to spend the vast majority of those five years in the UK, dependent children are not subject to limits on absences.
Child Under 18 Years Old
If the child is under 18 years of age, they may use the form ‘SET (O)’ and apply at the same time as their parents. The child will be included on the application form as the parent’s dependent and both parent and child will become settled at the same time.
In an application to settle as a dependent child, both parents must either be granted settlement at the same time as the child or have previously been granted settlement. The only exceptions are if one of the following applies:
- the parent being granted settlement/has already been granted settlement is the sole surviving parent
- the parent being granted settlement/has already been granted settlement has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing
- you are satisfied there are serious and compelling reasons to grant the child settlement with the parent being granted settlement/has already been granted settlement
Child Over 18 Years Old
If the child is aged 18 or over, they can apply for settlement with their parent or in their own rights. The child can apply in their own rights when one parent is not yet able to apply for settlement and the other parent – crucially, the sponsor – is already settled in the UK or is a British citizen.
Therefore, the child who was initially granted permission as a PBS dependent can make a settlement application as an adult provided that the following requirements are met:
- must be aged 18 or over on the date of the application
- was dependent on their parents before they turned 18
- the sponsoring parent must now be settled
- holds valid permission as a dependent of their parent or parents
- are not leading an independent life
- must meet the English language requirement (equivalent of level B1 of the Common European Framework of References for English language)
- must pass the approved ‘Life in the UK’ test