What is the 7 Years Child Residency Immigration Rule?
It is a well-known fact that the first seven years of a child’s life are crucial to their growth, development and happiness. After all, these seven years reflect a sum of their experiences and memories.
For a child who was born and raised in the United Kingdom for seven years, the UK may be the only home that they know of. So, what is the immigration status of such a child in the UK and where does the 7-year child residency immigration rule fit it?
In the UK, there are two ways to regularise the immigration status of your child. You can either apply for discretionary leave to remain or register your child as a British citizen. However, there are certain conditions for that. For example, you can apply for British citizenship if your child has lived in the UK for at least ten years. On the other hand, a discretionary leave to remain may be granted if a child has lived in the UK for seven years or more.
Discretionary leave to remain in the UK is granted to children who have lived in the United Kingdom for seven years or more. It was included in the Immigration Rules 2012 under the Statement of Changes HC194. This rule echoes the previous policy DP5/96. As per this policy, a child who had lived in the UK for seven years (continuously) could not be deported from the country.
How Can We Help?
It may be difficult to understand and navigate all the legal complexities regarding child immigration and the 7-year residency documents required. Thus, it is advisable to seek the expert assistance of a litigation lawyer to help you get through it smoothly. At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we have a team of qualified, experienced and trusted litigation lawyers dedicated to protecting the legal rights of our clients. We can provide you with quality information, step-by-step guidance and legal assistance to make sure that your request for 7-year child residency immigration is approved.
Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors is a full-service, experienced and internationally recognised legal service provider serving clients for more than 34 years. Simply put, we are a name you can trust and rely on for legal issues. We know that the 7-year long residence gap can be a legally challenging topic to navigate without a sound understanding of the law. In order to help you develop comprehensive know-how, here are some important things that you should know about it:
Discretionary Leave to Remain—Applicable Rules
Your child can benefit from the discretionary leave to remain in the UK if:
- He or she is under 18 years of age.
- He or she is still in the United Kingdom.
- He or she has lived continuously in the UK for seven years.
- It is unreasonable to expect the child to leave the country.
Why 7 Years Residence?
The purpose of including the 7-year rule to the country’s immigration rules was that a child would have adapted or integrated to life in the UK within this time period. Therefore, it may be simply unreasonable and inappropriate to remove them. In some circumstances, removal from the UK may also become detrimental to their well-being.
Under section 55 of the BCIA (Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act) 2009, it is the duty of the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) to carefully consider the best interest of children. After a thorough case review, they shall decide whether or not a child should be granted Discretionary Leave to Remain in the UK.
Stated simply, it is the duty of the SSHD to make sure that they consider a child’s human rights under Article 8 of ECHR before announcing their decision.
Can Parents Also Benefit from the 7 Years Child Residency Immigration Rule?
Many parents often wonder if they can also benefit from the seven years child residency immigration rule along with their children. The simple answer to this question is ‘yes’ they can benefit from it as per guidance published by the Home Office. A period of seven years is considered an appropriate time against which the integration of a child and their family in the UK can be tested.
Also, the Home Office considers that by granting discretionary leave to remain to parents with children who have lived in the UK for less than seven years would enable them a temporary route to settlement.
When is it Unreasonable to Expect the Child to Leave the United Kingdom?
Here are some of the many factors that are considered unreasonable when a child has lived in the UK for seven years and is expected to leave:
- If there is any significant risk to the health of the child. For example, if they are undergoing treatment for a serious illness or a life-threatening disease, that treatment is not available in their country to which they are returning.
- If the child has wider family ties in the United Kingdom.
- Other factors may include:
- Whether the child has visited or lived in the country (that they are being sent to) previously.
- Do they have any friendship or family network there?
- Do they have any cultural ties in that country?
- Do they understand the culture, have the ability to speak, write and read the language spoken there?
Based on the answers to all these questions, the grant to discretionary leave to remain in the United Kingdom will be determined. Moreover, the decision will also depend on the relevant immigration rules, Article 8 of ECHR and case law.
Most importantly, the success rate of the case comes down to how it is represented and fought. In order to increase your chances of a successful application, seek professional assistance from our legal experts. Contact our immigration solicitors today to discuss your case. We will provide you with quality assistance related to the 7-year long residence documents required and representation that can lead to the grant of residency visa.