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 was a British citizen or had indefinite leave to remain in the UK when the child was born, the child was 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 with the child, the child will need a visa to come back to the UK. It makes sense to apply for leave to remain in the UK rather than leave the country and apply for entry clearance – applications from abroad usually take longer.
Another, less obvious, reason to apply for leave to remain is to protect the child’s entitlement to the NHS. Payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge gives you access to the NHS services, but the IHS (immigration health surcharge) 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 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 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. But you may be billed for any specialist advice if the IHS has not been paid. For more information on access to medical services in the UK see the government website.
One of the available solutions is buying a medical insurance for the child and using private healthcare instead of the NHS. Otherwise, you may be charged for the NHS treatment for the child after the child is more than 3 months of age.
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.
However, it may be worth mentioning that British citizens need a British passport to enter the UK. So the child will need a British passport before being able to travel. It takes a separate application and may delay your trip by a few weeks.
If you need help with the child’s immigration status or registration of the child as a British citizen, book a free initial assessment of your case. We will confirm your child’s entitlement and give you an accurate quote for our services. In more complicated cases, we will offer you an in-depth consultation. Please contact us, we are here to help you.