UK Immigration & Nationality Lawyers

Family immigration

Do I need a visa for my child who was born in the UK? This was a question of a Tier 2 migrant who has been living in the UK for the last three years and has a valid visa for another two years. His wife is in the UK as his dependant.

Since neither parent is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain in the UK at the time of the child’s birth, the child is not born a British citizen. But does the child need leave to remain?

Strictly speaking, no. Yet, there are two potential reasons to apply. The first is if the parents want to travel abroad and then come back to the UK with the child – in this case, the child will need a visa to enter the UK and it makes sense to apply for leave to remain before leaving the country rather than apply for entry clearance from abroad.

Another, less obvious, reason to apply for leave to remain is the child’s entitlement to the NHS. Payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge provides for free use of the NHS facilities, but the IHS can only be paid as part of an application for leave to remain or entry clearance. According to the NHS Fee recovery policy, a child born in the UK is entitled to NHS treatment for the first three months after birth provided the child has not been out of the UK. The IHS (immigration health surcharge) has to be paid to ensure entitlement to any NHS treatment after the age of three months, or if the child leaves the UK and returns with a limited leave to enter.

It should be noted that primary care, including local GP services, is available to everyone and there is no minimum duration of stay prior to registration with a GP. However, you may be billed for any specialist advice if IHS has not been paid. There is a way around this, if you buy a medical insurance for the child and do not need to rely on the NHS, otherwise, you may choose to pay privately for any medical treatment for the child.

Even if you choose not to apply for the child’s visa, the child is not in breach of the immigration rules, is not an overstayer or illegal entrant. Independently of whether you have chosen to apply for the child’s visa or not, the child can be registered as a British citizen as soon as one of the parents becomes settled.

If you need help with the child’s immigration status or registration of the child as a British citizen, book a free 10-minute online meeting with a consultant. We will confirm your child’s entitlement and give you an accurate quote for our services. In more complicated cases, will offer you a more in-depth consultation. Please contact us, we are here to help.


2 Comments » for Do I need a visa for my child who was born in the UK?
  1. Jo says:

    Good day

    My husband and I have been living in the UK for 3 years. He has dual citizenship (Italian & South African), I have an EEA visa with SA passport. We have a 5 month old baby who has already received her SA passport and we have applied for her Italian passport but not yet received (10 weeks and waiting). We are travelling to SA in less than 2 weeks. What do we need if the Italian passport does not arrive in time? Will she need a UK visa in her South African passport to re-enter the UK or will all of our documentation (including UK birth certificate and proof of Italian passport submission) suffice?

    • Helena Sheizon says:

      You will need a family permit for your daughter. In theory, the birth certificate and your husband’s Italian passport should suffice, but in practice, you may have difficulties boarding the plane without a family permit.

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