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British Children’s rights to enter the UK and their Immigration rights

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    A British Child has the right to live and settle in the UK.

    Which law allows a British Child to be removed from the UK?

    The Child Abduction Act 1984 makes it a criminal offence for a parent, the guardian or any person with custody to remove a child from the UK without the consent of another person with parental responsibility. If your child has been taken out of the UK without your consent or you are worried that your child was taken out of the UK by your partner or spouse, you can contact any of the addresses in this blog. Do you think a child should be deprived of their close ties to the UK?​ The Queen sad and despondent over Archie. British children and existing close family members (including spouses, partners, parents and grandparents) who are moving to the UK from the EU, after the UK has left the EU, will be able to do so without the need for a visa until March 29 2022. If you plan to move after March 29, 2022, will need to apply for a visa.

    When should my child get their own passport?

    All children, from new-born babies up, must now have their own individual Passport. Children on their 16th birthday can have a standard ten-year passport. Do note that before their 16th birthday children have a five-year passport. Any child who was already on their parents’ passports before October 5, 1998, can still travel abroad with that passport until either they reach 16, or the passport expires. All applications for passports, including those for babies and children, must be made with two photographs of the applicant taken against a white background. For more information and online application forms, go to the UK Passport Office​. Forms can also be obtained from Post Offices, and you may apply online. The waiting time is longer during busy holiday periods.

    Are child marriages lawful in the UK?

    According to UK law, a child can get married at 16 with the consent of the parents, and from 18 without parental consent. A child marriage without the full and free consent of both people is a forced marriage and can be annulled as invalid. Force includes emotional pressure. If a young person under 18 is forced into a marriage and forced to consummate the marriage, then that is rape. For more information and advice, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Community Liaison Unit (email ​[email protected]​ or phone 020 7008 0230, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and 020 7008 0135 out of office hours.) The website​ is also helpful. UK Immigration law does not accept child marriages; the recognised age for foreign partners is 21, under the spouse visa requirements.

    When do you register your child’s birth for a passport?

    Parents must register their child’s birth within 42 days of birth. People usually go to the Register Office, which will have already been notified by the hospital. Parents receive, free of charge, a short birth certificate and a form to register the baby with the doctor. A longer birth certificate is available for a charge.

    How do you prove child responsibility for immigration?

    It depends if the parents are married or regraded as unmarried couples’ parental responsibilities are treated differently in law, you will need to consider the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to understand parental responsibility defined to unmarried fathers when they sign the birth certificate.

    Gay relationships

    The Civil Partnership Act 2004 now gives gay partners increased legal rights, although the Government has drawn back from conferring the same legal rights to unmarried heterosexual partners. Gay couples who register have a new legal status as “registered civil partners” and acquire a package of rights and responsibilities. Ending the partnership involves going to court, to obtain an order for dissolution. These rights include:
    1. Joint treatment for income-related benefits
    2. Joint state pension benefits
    3. Ability to gain parental responsibility for each other’s children*
    4. Eligibility to claim a survivor pension and eligibility for bereavement benefits
    5. The right to register the death of a partner
    6. Recognition under inheritance rules
    7. Fair arrangements for property division on dissolution.

    Who has parental responsibility in gay relationships under immigration?

    Where children are involved, the civil partnership is in a similar position to a step-parent married to one of the child’s parents. You can obtain parental responsibility for the child by agreement with the other parent with parental responsibility or by court order. You will require the order if you want to sponsor your child in immigration. They will take into account the financial needs of the parties, the length of the marriage or civil partnership, the contributions both parties have made to the marriage or civil partnership (both financially and nonfinancial – particularly important to women who have stayed at home to bring up the children), the parties’ earning capacity and the disability of any child. Unmarried: One partner cannot automatically claim a share of the other partner’s assets (for example, house or car) – only if it can be shown that either it is jointly owned, or that he or she has a stake in the property. Married/ Registered civil partners: After divorce or dissolution, the first call on the foreign parent’s income is for maintenance for children. The courts can decide how to divide the assets, and if and how much levels of maintenance should be. A married spouse or registered civil partner has a legal right to maintenance for themselves. The courts will take various factors into consideration, like the income, earning capacity and financial resources of both partners, the contributions made to the welfare of the family, age and length of the marriage and so on. Maintenance payments may be ordered for a certain period only. Sometimes couples adopt the “clean break” option, whereby courts impose a clean break financially for both partners. Maintenance for children is not affected by the clean break.

    Can showing maintenance for children help with immigration?

    Married/Registered civil partners: The non-resident parent or registered civil partner has an obligation to maintain the children after divorce or dissolution. Unmarried: The non-resident parent has an obligation to maintain the children after separation. The father’s paternity may have to be proved. In both instances, if parents cannot agree with a level of financial support, or if the parent with care receives income support, family credit or Jobseekers Allowance, they can make an application to the Child Support Agency for an assessment. The Child Support Agency is to be replaced with a streamlined body more focused on enforcement, but until the new organisation is set up, the Child Support Agency will continue its work as normal. Their rules apply to both married and unmarried parents and set out the amount of money a nonresidential parent must pay in support of any child. The amount depends on the income of the non-resident parent.

    Can I apply for immigration of my child for contact

    The Children Act 1989 sets out the law relating to all children after divorce, dissolution or separation. As long as both parents have parental responsibility, the law does not distinguish between married and unmarried couples. The Children Act abolished the old rules of custody and access and simplified the law. Parents do not have to go to court to sort out arrangements for their children – the courts much prefer that parents and any other person with parental responsibility (e.g. civil partners) reach an amicable solution between themselves and their children. However, if no agreement is reached, the courts can intervene. Having a court order on “contact” will strengthen your children’s immigration application.
    • The court makes its decision based on the best interests of the children.
    • The Children Act sets out a checklist of things to be considered in reaching a decision over arrangements for a child. The wishes and feelings of the children are a factor, and the court will want to find out what the children want.
    • A residence order made by the court states where the child will live and with whom. These orders can allow shared parenting.
    • A contact order made by the court requires the person the child is living with to allow the child to visit or stay with the person named in the order. The Child Support Agency is to be replaced with a streamlined body more focused on enforcement, but until the new organisation is set up, the Child Support Agency will continue its work as normal. The Child Support Agency runs a helpline (08457 133 133) to deal with any queries. They also publish a number of useful booklets, for example, For parents who live apart.
    Click here to contact us for more information about British Children and their right to live and settle in the UK.
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