We are non-EU nationals living in the UK. Our family's Tier 2 visas are due to expire in a year's time. We are not intending to renew our visas, and are planning to leave the country in April next year. This September, however, we are going to visit our home country for about a month. Our youngest child was born in the UK, and he has not yet had a UK visa. Rather than applying a Tier 2 visa for him, I am thinking of applying a visitor visa for him before we come back to the UK from our home country. Is this possible, and if so, is it possible to apply this visa from the UK?
Babies who are born in the UK but do not have leave to be in the UK get a special status informally known as "tolerated". The status stops when the child leaves the UK or reaches the age of 10 (whichever comes first).
If the child's nationality requires that they have a visitor visa, then Paragraph 28 of the Immigration Rules will apply. It says in part...
An applicant for an entry clearance must be outside the United Kingdom and Islands at the time of the application. An applicant for an entry clearance who is seeking entry as a short-term student must apply to a post designated by the Secretary of State to accept applications for entry clearance for that purpose and from that category of applicant. Subject to paragraph 28A, any other application must be made to the post in the country or territory where the applicant is living which has been designated by the Secretary of State to accept applications for entry clearance for that purpose and from that category of applicant. Where there is no such post the applicant must apply to the appropriate designated post outside the country or territory where he is living.
So for a visitor visa, the child needs to be outside the UK.
Alternatively, you can apply to switch your child into a T2 dependent visa from within the UK if the child has never left the UK.