I am a Britsh Citizen, but I was born in South Africa (I received British citizenship because my father is from England). My kids (aged 10 & 12) were born in South Africa too. We want to spend Christmas with our English family this year but I can’t work out how to get UK visitors visas for my kids. Almost everything in the online visa application form is irrelevent (ie; since they’re kids, they’re not employed and don’t need to prove their income since we - their parents - will be paying for the trip). I have spent hours on the official website but still can’t work out which route to take...

  • 1
    For irrelevant questions, write "not applicable" or "none" or the like. For income, say "none" or "not applicable," or enter "0" if a number is required.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 20:12
  • 8
    Also, it's not particularly likely, but if your father was in South Africa in "crown service" then you are actually a British citizen otherwise than by descent despite having been born abroad, in which case your children are British citizens.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 20:19

2 Answers 2


I have just tried this online system, and while some of the questions are a teeny bit off beam for a child, if you answer them in a simple way without trying to read to much into it, you eventually get pointed towards questions and answers that make sense. I did not go further than what I will demonstrate below - BUT I think the online application will work out OK.

This is where you apply: Online Short Stay Visitors Visa for the UK

Just keep going through - remember that you are answering for the child not yourself, and that you are paying for everything.

Personal information
Given names mickey 
Family name mouse 
Residential address 1 bundaberg way
South Africa

How many days, weeks, months or years have you lived at this address? 5 Years 
What is the ownership status of your home? I live with my family Change
Living at your home address
What is your gender, as shown in your passport or travel document? Male 
What is your relationship status? Single 
Change Your gender and relationship status

Country of nationality South Africa 
Date of birth 21 August 2002 
Place of birth capetown 
Country of birth South Africa 
ChangeYour nationality, date and country of birth

Passport details
Passport number or travel document reference number a31987654 
Place of issue capetown 
Issue date 1 April 2015 
Expiry date 31 March 2020 
ChangeYour passport

Personal information
Do you have a national identity card? No 
ChangeNational identity card

What is your employment status? A student 
ChangeYour employment status

Income and expenditure
Do you have another income or any savings? I do not have any other income or savings
ChangeYour income and savings
How much money are you planning to spend on your visit to the UK? 2000.00 GBP Change

About the cost of your visit
What is the total amount of money you spend each month? 500.00 GBP Change
About your financial situation
Will anyone be paying towards the cost of your visit? Yes Change
Paying for your visit
Who is paying towards the cost of your visit? 
Someone I know (for example, family or friend) 
Name Daddy mouse 
Address 1 bundaberg way
South Africa
How much money will they be paying towards your visit? 2000.00 GBP 
Why are they helping to pay for your visit? they are my father Change
Help towards the cost of your visit
Add more help towards the cost of your visit Add
Travel information
Date you will arrive in the UK 15 December 2018 
Date you will leave the UK 15 January 2019 
Calculated duration of visit 1 month ChangeYour visit to the UK
English language
We may have to talk to you about your application. Which language would you prefer to use? English 
ChangeSpoken language preference
Travel information
What is the main reason for your visit to the UK? Tourism, including visiting family and friends Change
Main reason for your visit
What is the main reason for your holiday visit to the UK? Visiting family Change
Main reason for your holiday visit
Give details of the main purpose of your visit and anything else you plan to do on your trip. See tourist and short stays for more information.
visit family Change

Your activities
Dependant details
Does anyone rely on you for financial support?
Include both those travelling with you and those who are not. No 
Change People financially dependent on you

Parent details
What is this person's relationship to you? Father 
Given names daddy Family name mouse
Date of birth 18 December 1982 
Country of nationality British Citizen 
Have they always had the same nationality? Yes Change

Give details about your first parent
What is this person's relationship to you? 
Mother Given names minnie Family name mouse 
Date of birth 15 June 1982 
Country of nationality South Africa 
Have they always had the same nationality? Yes Change
Give details about another parent

Child traveller
How many adults do you want to list on your visa? 1 
ChangeAdults travelling with you

Kids whose grandparents are/were uk British citizens can get a uk passport. Then no visa needed

  • 7
    This needs to be supported by at least a reference (and preferably a quote). The parent here is a British Citizen "by descent", which suggests that his children probably are not. Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 6:45
  • At this time this statement is largely not consistent with the current Home Office Policy. This page can provide some illumination: gov.uk/apply-citizenship-british-parent The simple thought most people can have as a takeaway - is that if one of your parents is a British Citizen "Other than by descent" you are likely to have the right to apply for a British Passport and have citizenship by descent. If at all possible, one should make application before the age of 18...
    – kiltannen
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 21:02
  • 2
    This is not true, commonwealth citizens who have a British grandparent can get a UK Ancestry visa, which can lead to becoming a permanent resident and a citizen. But you need to live in the UK for 5 years on this visa before you can get leave to remain then get citizenship so it's not really acceptable for the OP. You also need to be 17 or older. gov.uk/ancestry-visa
    – BritishSam
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 10:40
  • @BritishSam Thx for sharing this - I did not understand this. I had thought things had changed - I appreciate the correction!
    – kiltannen
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 9:26
  • @kiltannen I was saying the original answer was not true, you are correct, most of the time cannot get citizenship from your parent if they got it through decent. My comment is a way you can get citizenship but it's not as easy as just applying for a passport, also there are conditions for the visa :)
    – BritishSam
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 9:41

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