Dependant visa in the UK

Dependant visa in the UK

Studying in the UK often comes with a mixed feeling of excitement and anxiety. The nervousness often triggers us to be alone in a far land. But what if you got the best degree and didn’t have to stay away from your family? It sounds much relieving, isn’t it? As an international student, you have the opportunity to bring your close ones to the UK. There are some rules on a dependent visa in the UK. We will know them elaborately in the next. Prior to we should know what a dependent visa means in the UK.

What is a dependant visa?

A dependent visa allows a spouse, child, or other qualifying individuals to join or accompany their family member who has been granted a UK visa as a student or work purpose in the UK. So this visa category enables the dependents of a person who has already stayed with a valid visa in the UK. As a dependent, a person can work and study in the UK like other citizens. This type of visa usually applies to families and children.

Eligibility criteria to bring dependants for international students

Bringing dependants to the UK is a privilege for international students. It does not make them feel lonely while studying abroad. But does it allow every student to bring dependents to the UK? Let’s know the conditions applicable to it. So your partner and children must be able to come to the UK and stay longer if you are one of the following-

  • You are a full-time student taking a post-graduate level course( RQF Level 7 or above), and your course lasts nine months or longer.
  • You have received an award from the government, and your course lasts longer than six months.
  • A doctorate extension scheme student.
  • You apply for immigration permission at the same time as your dependant.

Rules for a dependant-

  • Already has student dependants immigration permission.
  • Your child has been born since you were last granted permission.

Relationship with a dependant

As an international student, while studying abroad, you must have the following relationship for bringing dependant in the UK.

  • Your husband, wife, or civil partner. ( age 18 or over)
  • An unmarried partner of yours with whom you are living as a partnership similar to marriage for two years. ( age 18 or over)
  • Your child if he is under 18, including during your stay if they were born in the UK.

Besides, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship. For example-

  • Civil partnership or a marriage certificate for your partner.
  • For your child, you may need to provide a birth certificate.

Rules when the child is about 18

When your child is 16 or 17 on the date you apply, you need to provide evidence that they are not leading an independent life. It means you must provide evidence that they are not married or in a civil partnership. Besides, you may need to prove-

  • Where they live and explain why they are not living with you.
  • Provide evidence of any rent or upkeep they provide you each month.
  • Evidence of supporting them financially when they are not living with you.

However, if your child is living with you, you need to provide two of the following documents to confirm their address. Such as-

  • A bank statement
  • Driving license
  • Credit card bills
  • NHS registration document
  • An official letter from their university or college.

Will the dependants can work and study in the UK?

If an applicant is over 16, he will be able to work full-time in the UK. For student route dependants, there are no restrictions on the study and work However, if you want to study in the UK with a dependent visa, you may need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before starting your program if it requires an ATAS clearance. Things a student’s spouse or child cannot do in the UK are-

  • No work as a doctor or dentist in training.
  • Cannot work as a sportsperson or a sports coach.
  • Dependents have no access to public funds.
  • They cannot claim social benefits from the state, such as housing or unemployment benefits.

When should a dependant apply?

A dependant must apply for a visa at the same time when you apply in the UK as an international student or once you have already been granted as a student in the UK. Besides, applying time mainly depends on where your dependents are applying. Besides, as an international student, if you are making an application to extend or switch your visa in the UK, your dependants must apply before your current visa expires. Moreover, your dependants can apply at the same time as your application making or wait until your new leave has been granted.

However, if your dependant has immigration permission in one of the following categories, then they will be unable to make an application from the UK. So the categories are-

  • Standard visitor
  • Short-term student
  • Parent of a child student
  • Seasonal worker
  • Domestic worker from a private household.
  • Leave outside the immigration rule.

So if your spouse or child have immigration permission in one of these categories, to make a dependant visa application, they will need to leave the UK and apply from their national country.

Applying outside of the UK as a dependent

As an international student’s dependents, the time when you can apply depends on where you are applying. If you are applying outside of the UK, things will be different from applying inside of the UK. So when you are applying outside of the UK, things will be like this-

  • When to apply- An applicant can apply either at the same time a student makes an application or after the application has been granted.
  • Cost to apply- Each applicant must pay £363 for the standard service application fee. Applicants also need to pay £470 per year as a health care surcharge.
  • Where to apply- Similar to a student visa, dependants should apply for the visa from their country of nationality or residence.
  • Financial requirements for the dependants- When you want to take your family to the UK, they should have sufficient funds to cover the living cost. An applicant needs to have £680 each month as a living cost. If the visa is granted for nine months, £6120 is the total amount per person needs to pay.

Documents need for the dependent visa in the UK

  • Passport
  • TB test report
  • Evidence of the relationship to the applicant.
  • Main applicant’s visa decision if applying separately.

Applying inside of the UK on extending or switching visas

A dependant can apply or switch the visa category at the same time you as a student apply for visa switching or extension. Besides, they can apply at any time before their current visa has expired.

On which visas can a dependent not apply to switch or extend a visa?

There are some visas on which a student cannot apply for the visa switching or extension. Such as

  • a visit visa
  • a short-term student visa
  • a parent of a child student visa
  • a seasonal worker visa
  • a domestic worker in a private household visa.
  • Visa fees- As a dependant, each person may need to pay- 1. £490 for the visa. 2. The healthcare surcharge fee. Besides, the applicants must provide their biometric information through fingerprints and photos.
  • How to apply- Your partner and child must apply online for the dependant visa. They must apply either as a partner or as a child. At the time of application, they need your application number. This number is called a Global Web Form or a Unique Application Number. If you want to know about the application, you can find it in emails or letters sent by the Home Office.

When an applicant makes an application for the dependant visa, they need to make an appointment at a UKVCAS service point for providing biometric information like fingerprint and photograph. An applicant must not travel outside of the UK ( Ireland, the Channel Island or the Isle of Men) until they get a decision on their visa.

Children that born in the UK

If your child is born in the UK, you need not make a dependent visa application in the UK. But if the child leaves the UK, they will need immigration permission to re-enter. Besides, a child will get free NHS service until they are three months old. After that, charges will be applicable for the NHS services until a dependent visa has been obtained. When applying for a children’s visa as your family in the UK, both parents must be present.

So all this information is about a dependent visa in the UK. Hopefully, this will help you know everything about the dependant’s visas in the UK. To learn more, you can visit AIMS Education, a student consultancy firm that helps students to study in the UK, USA, and Canada. The expert counsellors of AIMS Education are dedicated to providing you with every help.


Q: What is a dependent visa?

Ans: It is a type of visa that allows the spouse or child to travel abroad where you are studying as a student.

Q: Can I bring my dependant to the UK?

Ans: Yes, you can bring the dependent to the UK. As your dependent, your spouse or child can accompany you to the UK.

Q: Do dependants need IELTS for the UK?

Ans: No IELTS is not required for the spouse or child of an applicant to apply for a dependant visa in the UK. The main applicant must get English proficiency. But it is not mandatory for a spouse.

Q: Is it easy to get a job on a dependent visa in the UK?

Ans: Yes, getting a job on a dependent visa is very easy. Even, dependent visa holders have flexible work opportunities in the UK.

Q: Which country is best for a dependent visa?

Ans: The UK is one of the best countries for dependent visas with a bunch of opportunities. A dependent can study and work in the UK.

2 thoughts on “Dependant visa in the UK”

  1. Dear Sir Madam

    Can I take the dependents while I am in the UK under the postgraduate student visa

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