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I submitted a visit visa request for my whole family in January 2018, to be able to attend my cousin’s wedding in London in March. While my wife and I were issued visas, the visas for my children were rejected due to missing birth certificates.

In the absence of birth certificates, the ECO could not establish parentage of the children and therefore could not be satisfied that their welfare would be taken care of while in UK.

I understand that the submission of the birth certificate was a mistake on my part, assuming that the father’s name on the passport would be enough to establish parentage. I am therefore planning to resubmit the UK visa application along with the birth certificate which states my wife’s and my names as parents.

I am also submitting my bank statement along with this application, which shows a balance that I believe is more than sufficient to take care of my children’s welfare and care needs during our 21-day stay in the UK. Moreover, I am also submitting a letter of invitation from my maternal uncle where he is welcoming us to stay at his 5-bedroom residence along with a copy of his Land Registry.

What other documents should I submit to address reception, care and welfare issue?

Do I need to write a cover letter and attach the refusal letter?

  • You might want to read the copious other questions regarding UK visa refusals with particular attention to such things as "fund parking". – Spehro Pefhany Feb 7 '18 at 15:57
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    If the only reason given for the refusal was a lack of a birth certificate, then you could resubmit the same application with one. That should suffice. Is it possible to attach the refusal letter with identifying information censored? – greatone Feb 7 '18 at 16:46
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    @greatone not necessarily safe. Due to time restrictions, ECOs are known to sometimes stop investigating when they have found a reason to refuse. Fixing only the flagged issue could result in rejection for another that is discovered later (although the fact that the parents got their visas makes me imagine there is unlikely to be further problems) – CMaster Feb 7 '18 at 17:57
  • +1 @CMaster spot on... and a refusal on second incomplete application would leave little or no time for a successful one. – Giorgio Feb 7 '18 at 23:54
  • Would it be better if I book a cancellable hotel and provide booking details instead of mentioning my Uncles home address in the application and attaching his Land registry doc? The house is 5-bedroom, in a decent locality and registered under my Uncles name. It will definitely be better for my children as opposed to a hotel room, but would the ECO be convinced? – DanM Feb 8 '18 at 10:20
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The UKVI has statutory mandate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. Subsequent to the Chief Inspector’s expression of disappointment in the UKVI performance where children are concerned, the UKVI is on this with a passion.

Applicants who are under the age of 18 must show that they have adequate travel, reception and care arrangements for their stay in the UK; and that their parent or guardian is travelling with them or agrees to their travels.

You do have to establish the relationship between parent(s) and child(ren), usually through birth certificates, although the UKVI is authorised to request additional proof, even DNA evidence.

As you did in your own successful application, include the documentation to satisfy the visitor rules on maintenance, accommodation, intentions and affordability of the visit.

Even when travelling as a family, detailed questions can be asked, particularly when accommodation will be in a private, non-commercial residence, someone's home. Applicants may have include the host's identifying details (name, address, telephone number), evidence of whether they own or lease, have sufficient/appropriate space, are permitted to have visitors, and that the children’s accommodations are in line with the Housing Act 1985.

While not explicitly spelled out in the rules, consider annotating your itinerary with childcare details throughout the visit, your transportation arrangements from and to the UK airport, the plan for any necessary medical attention, and information on previous holidays where the family has travelled together.

And, should you have children who will remain behind, it's a good idea to provide the same details (with whom they will stay, relationship, contact information, general and emergency arrangements).

You do not need to attach the refusal; it's in the system. Revisit the UK Supporting Documents Guide to make sure that nothing is missing, particularly Section 1 and Section 2 listing what must accompany each and every application.

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