Children of Single Parents and Sole Responsibility

14 Jan 2019, 12 mins ago

When both parents decide to relocate to the United Kingdom, they are permitted to bring their children along as dependants. This opportunity is available to Tier 1 migrants, skilled workers (Tier 2), some students (Tier 4) and those settled in the UK. 

The child or children must be under the age of 18 and evidence must be included to show they will be adequately accommodated and financially maintained whilst in the United Kingdom. In the cases where EU citizens have dependents who are children, they can accompany them to the United Kingdom as their dependent children until they are 21.

A difficulty arises in the cases where only one of the parents plans to relocate to the United Kingdom. The Immigration Rules require the parent to satisfy one of the limbs of the test below:  

‘There are serious and compelling family or other considerations which make exclusions of the child undesirable and suitable arrangements have been made for the child’s care”


The applicant’s parent [the one coming to the UK] has had and continues to have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing”

Sole Responsibility 

Sole responsibility, according to the relevant Guidance: 

“means that one parent has abdicated or abandoned parental responsibility and the remaining parent is exercising sole control in settling and providing the day-to-day direction for the child’s welfare”

This can be a complex matter and often involves a complex and cultural matrix. 

In situations where the other parent is deceased, the rules for sole responsibility do not apply, however, evidence of the other parent’s death is required. 

Gherson have regularly dealt with this type of application over many years and in some cases where there has been an initial refusal have reversed the decision with an administrative review, judicial review or human rights appeal.

Gherson has a lot of experience in dealing with matters of sole responsibility and would be happy to advise you if you plan to relocate to the UK with your children. 


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2019