Bring your family to the UK while you study using a Student visa

Updated on 21 August 2023

You are able to apply to allow dependants, who are family or partners, to stay in the UK with the main Student visa holder during their studies

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Proposed changes from January 2024

The UK government have announced changes regarding which students can bring dependants with them to the UK. They say these changes will affect students starting study from January 2024 onwards.

Full details are not yet available however we will update our pages once we have further information from the Home Office.

If your course starts on or after January 1 2024:

UKVI have confirmed where a student's course starts on or after January 1 2024, they can only bring dependants to live with them in the UK where they are:

  • Studying a full time course which is a PhD, other doctoral qualification, or a research-based higher degree (check CAS / UoG Admissions) OR
  • Financially sponsored by the UK or an Overseas Government (and will study a full-time course over 6 months in length)

If your course starts before January 1 2024:

If you are applying for a Student Visa or if you currently are on a Student visa and your course start date was before January 1 2024, you may be eligible bring your dependants to the UK on your student visa. 

Who is a dependant?

You can not bring other family members (parent, brother, sister or other relative). Dependants can only be:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner, or
  • your unmarried partner
  • your child under 18 years old - including if they were born in the UK during your stay

If your child is 16 or 17

If your child is 16 or 17 on the date you apply you’ll need to prove they are not living an independent life, for example they’re not married or in a civil partnership.

You’ll need to prove:

  • where they live - if they do not live with you, you’ll need to explain why
  • any rent or upkeep they pay you each month
  • that you support them financially if they do not live with you

If your child lives with you, you’ll need to provide 2 of the following documents confirming their address:

  • a bank statement
  • credit card bills
  • driving licence
  • NHS registration document
  • an official letter from their university or college
  • Civil partners
Civil partners

Civil Partner information states:

  • your unmarried or same-sex partner. You need to have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for a period of at least two years and provide evidence of this.

In all cases, you must both be over 18 years when you receive your extension or when your dependant arrives in the UK.

If your dependants are already in the UK

You can include the details of your dependants when completing the online student visa extension application . Dependants should be given the same time of leave as the main applicant. All family members will be required to attend a visa centre to enrol their biometrics.

If your dependants are currently outside the UK at time of application

They need to:

  • apply for entry clearance as PBS Student dependants from the British authorities in which they are legally residing before they travel to the UK
  • apply online under Dependants applying outside the UK. Each dependant must complete a separate online application form
  • book appointments during the application process to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (where relevant)
  • pay online for the visa fee and Immigration Health Surcharge as part of the application process, where possible.
  • know your course details and CAS number in order to complete the online application form

If they do not submit their visa application at the same time as you, they should make sure that they include in their application a copy of your Student visa and passport. Their application form should state clearly that they are accompanying the main applicant who will be in the UK as a student.

Evidence of maintenance

If you are applying for dependants you or your dependants will need to show an additional £680 per month per dependant up to a maximum of nine months (depending on the length of leave you applied for). For example:

  •  If applying for four months leave, dependants will be required to show maintenance/living costs of eight months leave.
  • If applying for six months leave, dependants will be required to show maintenance/living costs of nine months leave.

Funds must be held for 28 days in your bank account or your dependants bank account (dated within one month of application).

For an explanation of the application process, choose the country they are living in from the list on the UKVI website and look at the information displayed there and PBS dependant guidance..

Immigration healthcare surcharge

Each dependant will be required to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of the visa application process. The charge will be calculated at £470 per year plus £235 for the extra 4 months.

Babies born in the UK

If your baby is born in the UK, you do not need to apply for immigration permission for the baby unless your baby needs to re-enter the UK after travel. If you are in the UK as a Student visa, you can apply inside the UK for your baby if you meet the following requirements:

  • you are sponsored by your government to study on a programme longer than six months
  • you are studying on a programme at postgraduate level for twelve months or more

Switching to Dependant visa in the UK

It is possible to switch to a dependant visa from other types of immigration permission within the UK. This means, for example, you can apply as a dependant after having been in the UK with Student visa leave, without having to leave the UK to apply for entry clearance. Those here on valid Dependant visas can now apply to switch to a student visa if they are accepted on a course of study with no more than 28 days between the visa expiry date and course start date.


International Advice Service

+44 (0)1382 385676