I need my baby
Dear Mr Bassie,
I am currently living in the United Kingdom (UK)and have temporary permission to stay here. I have a child who lives in Jamaica that I would like to join me for the rest of my time here.
Is it possible for my child to get permission to join me? I would like your advice.
It may be possible for your child to join you in the United Kingdom (UK) if you have temporary permission to stay there. This is also known as 'limited leave to remain'.
Normally, children cannot go to live in the UK if one of the parents resides in another country, unless the parent living in the UK has sole parental responsibility for the child or there are serious reasons that necessitate the child residing with that parent.
It should also be noted that the term 'parent' is inclusive of other relationships such as stepfather or stepmother of a child whose father or mother is dead, both parents of an illegitimate child, and an adoptive parent in certain circumstances.
If you wish to make such an application, you must show your child is not leading an independent life; he/she is not married or in a civil partnership; he/she has not formed an independent family unit; and that he/she is under the age of 18.
If you and your child meet the requirements, and you are able to show you have suitable accommodation, then it is possible your child can live with you in the UK.
If you have been given temporary permission to stay in the UK, this may include the condition that you have 'no recourse to public funds'. If so, you will not be able to claim most benefits, tax credits or housing assistance paid by the State. This would usually be a condition if your child is to go to the UK to be with you. However, there are exceptions for some benefits. If you are in any doubt, then you should contact the department or agency that issues the benefit.
Before making travel arrangements for your child, you must obtain permission for he/she to enter the UK. This permission is known as 'entry clearance' and will take the form of a visa or entry clearance certificate. To obtain this permission, an application on behalf of the child should be made through the British diplomatic post in Jamaica.
If your application is successful and your child is granted permission to go to the UK, the duration will be the same as yours.
Usually, the child will not be permitted to stay for more than two years. Also, if later you decide to apply to extend your permission to stay or if you are allowed to settle in the UK permanently, your child will normally be given the same permission.
John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law. He is a Supreme Court-appointed mediator and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.