Bring your family to the UK while you study using a Student visa
Updated on 1 June 2022
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
The UK Government’s immigration policy places some restrictions and conditions on dependants. If you want to bring your family to the UK for the first time, you need to be:
- studying at postgraduate level for nine months or more.
- fully sponsored by your government for a programme of study longer than six months.
- a Doctorate Extension Scheme student.
You or your dependants can apply outside the UK, either at the same time as you or separately.
Who is a dependant?
You can not bring other family members (parent, brother, sister or other relative). Dependants can only be:
- your husband, wife your civil partner
- 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.
- child(ren) under 18 at the time of application. Both parents must be coming to the UK except in exceptional circumstances. If only one parent is applying to come to the UK, please speak to an International Student Adviser at the University because there are very limited exceptions to this requirement.
- child(ren) aged over 18 if permission to be in the UK already granted or as the child of a Tier 1, 2, 4 or 5 person
If your child(ren) is over 16 years when they apply, they will need to provide particular documents. Documents required are described in UKVI PBS (Dependant) Policy guidance.
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 dependant (partner) is applying later than you
- If your dependant (child) is applying later than you
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 (formally Tier 4) (General) Student, 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 and 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 (formally Tier 4) 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