Dependants on a student visa

You may be allowed to bring your dependants to the UK as part of your Student visa application.

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Following a change in the Immigration Rules, if you start your course on or after 1 January 2024, you can only bring dependants if:

  • You are studying a PhD course or other doctorate course
  • You are studying a full-time postgraduate research degree that is 9 months or longer
  • You are fully sponsored by a government (UK or overseas) to study full-time on a course that is 6 months or longer

  • Spouse or civil partner
  • An unmarried partner of a minimum 2 years
  • Your child if they are under 18 years old

If you wish to bring your children, both parents need to be coming to the UK (your spouse or partner needs to join on the dependant visa).

An exception to this might apply if the other parent has died, or you have ‘sole parental responsibility’ and sole custody for the child confirmed by the Court.

  • Valid passport for each dependant
  • Evidence of sufficient funds
  • Evidence of relationship to student (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.)
  • If an unmarried partner, then you will need to show evidence of living together for at least 2 years
  • TB test certificate if applicable
  • Valid UK immigration permission (BRP) if applying from inside the UK
  • Official translations if any documents are not in English

Further information on supporting documents for dependants can be found on the GOV.uk.

You must have a certain amount of money available for each of your dependants. The amount will depend on where you will be studying.

  • £845 per month dependant (for up to 9 months) if you study in London
  • £680 per month dependant (for up to 9 months) if you study outside of London

The dependants can apply for their visas at the same time as you, which means that you (as the student) will have to prove you have money to pay for your tuition fees and living expenses, and additional money to support each of your dependants. Your spouse/partner can use their own funds to meet the financial requirements if necessary.

All required funds must be in the bank account for at least 28 consecutive days, and the bank statement cannot be older than 31 days on the day of the visa application.

When submitting the dependant visa application, an application fee applies.

Each person will have to pay

  • £490 for the visa (outside the UK) or £490 (inside the UK)
  • IHS fee (Immigration Health Surcharge)

Each dependant will need to have their biometric information taken. That will include their fingerprints and a photo.

There might be an option to pay extra for Priority or Super Priority visa service.

It is important to be aware that if your partner or child joins you in the UK on a different visa category, they might not be able to switch to the Dependant visa from inside the UK.

Your partner or child cannot switch in the UK if they have one of the following visas

  • a visitor visa
  • a short-term study visa
  • a Parent or Child Student visa
  • a seasonal worker visa
  • a domestic worker in a private household visa

You can have family members as dependants on your Graduate Route visa, however, they must have already been granted leave as your Student Dependant at the time you apply for the Graduate Route, and you must apply together from inside the UK.

They cannot switch to be your dependant after you have been granted the Graduate Visa.

 

Dependants who are over 16 years of age can work full-time. There are no restrictions on the type of work they choose to do, with a few exceptions:

  • they cannot work as a professional sportsperson
  • they cannot work professionally as a doctor or dentist in training

 A dependant can stay in the UK only with the primary Student visa holder and for as long as their visa is valid.

The UK does not automatically grant British citizenship to children born in the UK. The baby needs to have a parent with British citizenship or Settled Status in the UK in order to be born as a British citizen.

It is not necessary to apply for a Dependant Visa for a child born in the UK and your child can stay with you legally in the UK without the Dependant Visa. However, you must apply for such a visa for your child, if you wish to travel in and out of the UK with them.

It will be necessary to provide a UK birth certificate for every child born in the UK, showing the names of both parents when applying for the dependant visa for your child.

Your child will be entitled to free access to the NHS until they are 3 months old. After that time, charges might apply unless the dependant visa has been granted for your child and the IHS payment has been made.

To learn more about the Dependant Visa please check the UKCISA webpage.