The 7 years policy has now been re-introduced by the Home Office following the introduction of Appendix FM policy. From 9 July 2012, the Home Office UKVI introduced this category to apply for stay on the grounds of family life as a parent of a child who lived in the UK continuously for seven years.
Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 requires the UK Border Agency to carry out its existing functions in a way that takes into account the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK. It does not impose any new functions or override existing functions.
By introducing the new provisions within the Immigration Rules, the UK Visas and Immigration office has actually re-instated the old seven years child concession policy. The only difference is that previously it was a concessionary policy and was not part of the Immigration Rules. Also, under the seven years child concession policy, the UKVI used to grant Indefinite leave to remain (ILR), whereas according to the Immigration Rules, the Home Office will now grant initial leave to remain for a period of 30 months and upon completion of ten years residence in the UK under this category a person can apply for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) unless he is eligible to apply for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) earlier on the basis of ten years long continuous and lawful residence.
For your initial application as a parent of a child who has lived in the UK for 7 years continuously
ICS Legal Immigration Lawyers are experts in dealing with applications for permission to stay as a parent of a child who has lived in the UK continuously for seven years. The quality of our service is self-evident from the reviews of our clients about the service provided by our Immigration Lawyers. Complete our visa assessment form by clicking here or call us on 0207 237 3388.
Meeting the requirements of the Immigration Rules HC395
You can qualify for initial leave to remain for 30 months as a parent of a child who has lived in the UK continuously for seven years if you do not have any unspent criminal convictions and you have not caused deception in any applications submitted to the UKVI.
The Immigration Rules require seven years continuous residence of the child and not that of the parent. At the time of the application, the parent must have been enjoying family life, as envisaged under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), with the child who has lived in the UK continuously for seven years.
As per the Appendix FM it is clear that those who are single parents with sole responsibility for the child can succeed in such applications. Alternatively, an applicant who is not a partner of the other parent of the child and where the other parent of the child is a settled person with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or is a British Citizen can succeed in such applications.
If both parents are living with the child and they are partners to each other, the UKVI is more likely to refuse the application under Appendix FM if neither parent is settled in the UK.
How the Human Rights policy is being implemented
The UKVI does not consider Article 8 of the ECHR in the same manner as the courts and therefore in such cases even if the UKVI have refused an application, there may be relatively better chances of success at an appeal stage. in case of Azimi-Moayed and others (decisions affecting children; onward appeals)  UKUT 00197 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal found that:
"(1) The case law of the Upper Tribunal has identified the following principles to assist in the determination of appeals where children are affected by the appealed decisions:
i) As a starting point, it is in the best interests of children to be with both their parents and if both parents are being removed from the United Kingdom then the starting point suggests that so should dependent children who form part of their household unless there are reasons to the contrary.
ii) It is generally in the interests of children to have both stability and continuity of social and educational provision and the benefit of growing up in the cultural norms of the society to which they belong.
iii) Lengthy residence in a country other than the state of origin can lead to the development of social cultural and educational ties that it would be inappropriate to disrupt, in the absence of compelling reason to the contrary. What amounts to the long residence is not clear cut but the past and present policies have identified seven years as a relevant period.
iv) Apart from the terms of published policies and rules, the Tribunal notes that seven years from age four is likely to be more significant to a child that the first seven years of life. Very young children are focussed on their parents rather than their peers and are adaptable.
v) Short periods of residence, particular ones without leave or the reasonable expectation of leave to enter or remain, while claims are promptly considered, are unlikely to give rise to private life deserving of respect in the absence of exceptional factors. In any event, protection of the economic well-being of society amply justifies removal in such cases."
An application is made to the Home Office, UKVI using an application form FLR. The parent, as well as the child who has lived in the UK continuously for seven years, will be granted leave to remain (permission to stay) for 30 months. 28 days before the expiry of 30 months leave, a person can make an application for extension of stay under the same category.
Any time spent with leave to remain as a parent of a child with seven years continuous residence will be counted towards ten years lawful continuous residence for the purposes of making an application for Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) on the basis of ten years long residence. It will also be possible to switch from this category to certain other categories from inside the UK e.g. Spouse visa, Unmarried Partner Visa, Civil Partner Visa, Same Sex Partner visa, etc.
Duration of stay granted as a parent of a child who has lived in the UK for 7 years
Appendix FM of the immigration rules set out the period granted for those who have been granted under the 7 years policy. Limited leave to remain on the grounds of the parent of a child who has lived in the UK continuously for seven years may be granted for a period not exceeding 30 months if the application for leave to remain on these grounds is successful. Such leave (stay) shall be given subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State deems appropriate.
Get expert help on this application
If you believe your case can benefit from this policy, then please speak to ICS Legal on 0207 237 3388 or e-mail us with your case details to firstname.lastname@example.org.