What do I need to consider if my child is traveling alone to the UK?

21 Dec 2023, 55 mins ago

Are you embarking on a journey to the United Kingdom with your child? If so, the UK Child Visitor Visa, nestled within the UK Standard Visitor visa route, is designed for overseas nationals under 18 who wish to explore the UK for up to six months. This blog serves as your go-to resource, detailing the ins and outs of this visa and ensuring a seamless travel experience for you and your young explorer.

The UK Child Visitor Visa, a component of the broader UK Standard Visitor Visa pathway, caters to individuals below the age of 18 seeking a visit to the UK lasting up to six months. This visa allows holders to enjoy a stay in the UK for various purposes, including holidays, visits to friends and family, participation in recreational courses, receiving private medical care or undertaking a short course of study.

Not everyone necessitates a Visitor Visa to enter the UK. Therefore, it is imperative to verify whether a Visitor Visa is required before initiating the application process. Holders of the UK Child Visitor Visa can travel with or without an accompanying adult. However, eligibility requirements for the Child Visitor Visa differ slightly depending on whether the child is travelling with an adult or alone.

While it may be feasible to stay beyond six months for medical treatment, for stays exceeding six months, alternative visa options should be considered, which include the UK Student Visa, UK Child (Family) Visa and Child Dependant Visa.

Child Traveling Alone to the UK:

Children traveling solo to the UK, without an adult (i.e. a person over 18), must obtain written consent from their parent or guardian. The applicant’s parent or guardian must also provide:

  • Full contact details.
  • Proof of a suitable place to stay in the UK, including the address where the applicant will be staying, the name, contact details and date of birth of the host in the UK.
  • Details of the relationship between the applicant and the host, along with written consent for the stay.
  • If the host is not a close relative, the parent, guardian or school, they must inform the relevant UK local authority about the visit, if the applicant is under 16, or under 18 with a disability, and they will be staying with a distant relative for more than 28 days.
  • It is essential to note that the same rules apply to children travelling alone for educational exchange visits of more than 28 days, unless they are part of a group or accompanied by an adult.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

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 do not 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 2023