Rakesh Prajapati, immigration solicitors, explains the 7 year child policy. Many immigrants with children that have been looking to regularise their UK immigration status may be eligible. A child; who has lived continuously in the UK for 7 years, has established a private life in the UK and could not be expected to leave the UK, may qualify under this route.
There is case law and Home Office guidelines that state should the best interests for the child’s welfare be to remain in the UK with their parents then that must be ranked as a primary consideration.
To qualify under the route, the requirements are:
- the child is under 18 years and in the UK;
- the child has lived continuously in the UK for at least 7 years (discounting any period of imprisonment); and
- it would not be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK.
From Initial Application to British Nationality
A child who has lived in the UK for 7 years continuously can apply for leave to remain on the basis of private life. The Immigration Rules state that a child who lived continuously in the UK for at least 7 years (discounting any period of imprisonment) may qualify for limited leave to remain if it shows that it would not be ‘reasonable’ to expect the child to leave the UK.
Initial Leave to Remain
If your application is approved, you will be granted limited leave to remain for a period not exceeding 30 months. This is subject to conditions the Secretary of State deems appropriate. Leave to remain for 30 months can be granted under the 10 years route to settlement.
Extension to Leave to Remain
If you have been previously granted leave to remain under the 7 years child residence route you can apply for extension. This is achieved by making a renewal application of your leave to remain under the same route.
Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship
Under this category, you can make an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 10 continuous years of residence in the UK. If you were born in the UK and spent your first 10 years of the life (with no absence of more than 90 days in each year), the applicant is entitled to register as a British Citizen under the British Nationality Act 1981. The factor of ‘good character’ will be considered for the nationality.