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I am applying in Skilled Worker Visa for UK. I am an Indian Citizen.

My wife and child (3 months old) will also be coming to UK with me and hence will be required visas also.

This official page states that "Each family member will need to complete a separate application and pay the visa fee." So as far as I understand each dependant need to apply separately using my GWF number which I will get when I lodge my application.

Now my question is this: My child is still waiting for her passport. So she can not apply now. Is it possible for her to apply later in any of the following situations?

  1. Both me and my wife are NOT in UK but have applied for/granted for the visa. In this case my child wants to apply from outside UK while both me and my wife are also outside UK.

  2. I am in UK with Skilled Worker Visa but my wife is NOT in UK but she has applied for/granted for the visa. In this case my child wants to apply from outside UK while I am in UK but my wife is outside UK.

  3. I am in UK with Skilled Worker Visa but my wife is NOT in UK and she has NOT applied for the visa. In this case My wife and my child want to apply from outside UK while I am in UK.

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Summary (Nov 2021): It is possible for your child to apply later in Scenarios 1 and 2. For Scenario 3, it is also possible but normally your child has to submit their application together with or after your wife's application (i.e. not before) due to safeguarding provisions in the Immigration rules. Exceptions apply.


The main documents to consult on dependents of Skilled Workers are Paragraphs SW 26-36 of the Immigration Rules Appendix Skilled Worker (Immigration Rules hereafter) and Immigration Staff Guidance - Dependent family members in work routes (Guidance hereafter).

I am not a lawyer - the answer is based on a layman's interpretation of the rules. If in doubt, seek legal advice.

Scenario 1

Both skilled worker and dependent partner outside UK & applied for/granted visa

Page 8 of the Guidance mentions:

Dependent partners and dependent children are not required to apply at the same time as the lead applicant, they can also apply to join the lead applicant at a later date.

...and thus it is possible for the dependent child (3 months old and thus clearly dependent age-wise) to apply later in this most straightforward scenario.

Scenario 2

Skilled worker in UK (with visa), dependent partner outside UK & applied for/granted (dependent) visa

There are extra rules in the Immigration Rules that intend to act in the best interest and safeguard the welfare of the dependent child. The one that is at risk of conflicting with this scenario is Paragraph SW 30.2, which reads:

SW 30.2 The applicant’s [(dependent child's)] parents must each be either applying at the same time as the applicant or have permission to be in the UK (other than as a Visitor) unless:

(a) the parent applying for or with entry clearance or permission to stay as a Skilled Worker is the sole surviving parent; or

(b) the parent applying for or with entry clearance or permission to stay as a Skilled Worker has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing; or

(c) the parent who does not have permission as a Skilled Worker –

(i) is a British citizen or a person who has a right to enter or stay in the UK without restriction; and

(ii) is or will be ordinarily resident in the UK; or

(d) the decision maker is satisfied that there are serious and compelling reasons to grant the child entry clearance or permission to stay with the parent who is applying for or has entry clearance or permission as a Skilled Worker.

A similar text is also provided in Page 20 of the Guidance. The intent of this paragraph is explained to immigration case workers in the next section of the guidance:

While you should normally be satisfied that a child is either joining both parents, or the work or study migrant is the sole surviving parent, or has and has had sole responsibility...

In this scenario, as both the skilled worker and the dependent partner has obtained permission to be in the UK other than a visitor, this particular rule is satisfied. Together with the text of the Guidance in the previous scenario, it is safe to conclude that it is possible for the dependent child to apply later.

Scenario 3

Skilled worker in UK (with visa), dependent partner outside UK & not applied for visa

There are three cases that can arise from this scenario:

  1. The family proceeds to apply for (and assuming everything else is in order, is granted) a visa for dependent partner only, which leaves the family in Scenario 2.
  2. The family proceeds to apply for a visa for both the dependent partner and dependent child, which is effectively Scenario 1.
  3. The family proceeds to apply for a visa for the dependent child only.

As explained in the previous sections, the first two cases are fine. The third case is more problematic though, as normally it is in contravention with Paragraph SW 30.2 of the Immigration Rules - only one parent has permission to be in the UK.

Having that said, there are a few exceptions as listed in Paragraph SW 30.2(a-c). In addition, the immigration case worker can accept "serious and compelling reasons" under Paragraph SW 30.2(d). Page 20 of the Guidance include the following examples:

The following list is not exhaustive, but are examples of scenarios where it may be judged that there are serious and compelling reasons to grant the child entry clearance or permission to stay with the parent with permission:

  • due to employment or study commitments, one parent is delaying their entry to the UK
  • one parent is travelling to a territory for reasonable purposes which makes it impossible to care for the child e.g. the father/mother is travelling to a country where it would not be safe for the child to join them
  • one parent is travelling to a territory for reasonable purposes on a short-term basis such that it would be unreasonable to expect care/schooling arrangements to be made for the short length of the trip
  • one parent is receiving medical treatment abroad and plans to join the family later

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