The Student Visa Dependent category is one of the most popular UK visa categories. However, it can be confusing to know which type of student you are and how many dependents you will be allowed to bring along with you.
There are different types of students, such as a PhD or Masters student who may not have any restrictions on bringing their family members with them to the UK for study. But there are also undergraduate and postgraduate students who must follow strict rules about whether they can bring their spouse/partner or children over while studying in the UK.
This guide provides an overview of all the visa options available for those planning on coming over to study in England under Tier 4 (General) Student Visas from outside Europe.
Who is a Dependent?
The term 'dependent' on the visa application belongs to either your partner or your children. The other family members cannot be considered as the dependents for the student dependent visa.
- Your partner can be your husband, wife, civil partner, married partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner.
- Children under the age of 18 years, provided they were born in the UK during the stay.
Who is eligible to bring a Dependent to the UK?
Not every student is allowed to bring student dependents along with them to the UK. It depends on the type, of course, you are studying (or going to), and how long you will stay in the UK. You can only bring dependants with you if you are:
- Studying a 9-month course or more, sponsored by a University, or an RFQ level 7, the master's degree or above.
- A government-sponsored student who has a course of duration six months or above.
- Applying for the DES or Doctorate Extension Scheme.
Suppose you are a student or recently received permission as a student or through the Student route. In that case, you are eligible to bring family members under the following conditions:
- Your immigration permission is current, or it expired not more than three months before the new visa application, and
- Your course is six months long, and
- Your family members have dependent immigration permission, or it expired not more than three months before the new visa application, and
- The family members apply for the dependent visa at the same time as your new student visa application.
UK Student Visa Dependent Requirements
The dependents can apply for the student dependent visa online, whether within or outside the UK.
- If you are outside the UK, each dependent should fill separate applications online at the UK Government website 6 months before the start date of your course
- If you are within the UK, each dependent must apply for the visa renewal before the current one expires.
If you intend to extend your visa or switch to another visa, your dependants must either apply at the same time as you, or wait until your new leave has been granted.
Relationship between the dependant and the primary applicant
A dependent partner or child must be the primary applicant’s husband, wife or civil partner, unmarried partner or child under 18 years of age.
You have to prove that your relationship is legitimate when you apply. A typical example for proof of relationship can include a marriage or civil partnership certificate for your partner or a birth certificate for your child.
If you have a dependent child who is either 16 or 17 years old, you may have to prove where they live, why they aren’t currently living you (if applicable), the expenses you incur for the child, like monthly rent expenses, school fees, and other documents that show that you support your child financially. If your child lives with you, then you may need to provide the following:
- a bank statement and credit card bills
- driving licence
- NHS registration document
- an official letter from their university or college
Proof of funds
The cost of living expenses (for up to 9 months) that may be needed by your dependents:
- £845 a month for courses in London
- £680 a month for courses outside London
If you are applying as a family, you have to show sufficient evidence for financial ability to support all the members of your family.
Any additional student loan or student sponsorship documents you have may be also required.
Dependents who want to work
Dependents above 16 years of age can work in the UK as you complete your studies.
Note: Dependents will not have access to social benefits like public healthcare or any unemployment benefits.
What are the ways to Apply for a UK Student Dependent Visa?
There are three types of application forms that are available for different conditions.
- If you are applying at the same time as a dependant
- If your partner will be giving the application later
- If a dependant child is born in the UK
An essential point to note here is that your dependants must hold valid PBS visas (point-based system) such as student visa and dependents visa if you apply for immigration within the UK.
If the dependants hold any other visa other than these two, they should contact the International Student Advisory Team.
All the documents, which are not in English, must be translated. That, too, by a certified Translator or a translation company. There are specific requirements that the translations must meet:
- The translations must include the companies credentials from which you are getting your documents translated
- The confirmation that shows the original document is being accurately translated
- The full name, along with the contact details of the translation company
- The date of the translation and
- The original signature of the translation companies official or the translator
If not in English, documents that need translation are the certificates such as qualification certificate, birth certificate, marriage certificate, bank statements, and letters.
What are the Documents Required for a Dependent Visa?
For the Student Dependent Visa application, there are a few forms and certificates that the main applicant needs to submit. These documents must meet specified requirements, and if they are not in English, they must be translated by a certified translator.
Here are all the documents that you need to submit while applying for a UK student dependent visa:
- You need to fill the Student PBS dependent form.
- You should have a current passport or travel document, including your former if it contains your current UK Visa.
- Your current BRP card, which is the biometric residence permit, is required for entry clearance.
- If you are applying while you are in the UK, you will also need a dependent police registration certificate.
- If you are applying outside the UK or coming to the UK for more than six months, you may need a Tuberculosis Certificate. There are only a few countries in which TB screening is not essential for the UK's application. If your country is not on this list, you may not need the tuberculosis certificate for entry clearance.
- The front and back copy of the UK student visa or BRP, if the dependent and the student dependent are applying separately.
- University letter confirming that the student applying for the UK student visa is enrolled.
- If the dependent is the child born in the UK, you need a birth certificate showing a relationship between the student visa holder and the child.
- The children born in the UK, who do not have any travel documents for a passport, should submit their birth certificate. You should apply for the new baby's passport/document as soon as possible.
- If your dependent is your spouse, then a marriage certificate is needed as evidence of your marriage for a spouse visa.
- Suppose it is your partner to whom you are not married. In that case, the evidence you can use are the emails, phone logs, family photos, letters, etc., as proof of continuing a relationship is required for immigration permission.
- The unmarried and same-sex partners will need to provide evidence that their relationship is similar to a marriage. They have to prove that they have been living together for at least two years.
- The evidence that the dependant can pay 6120 euros per dependant, and 680 euros per month, for up to 9 months, needs to be given for immigration permission.
- The children aged 16 or above need to prove that they have not formed an independent family or lead an independent life. The documents can be a letter from their educational institution that confirms their address, NHS registration document, or bank account statements.
How to apply for a UK Student Dependent Visa?
If you are immigrating to the UK as an international student with a student visa, your family members can accompany you as dependants.
The United Kingdom immigration application centre's immigration authorities follow a strict procedure to invite and accept immigrants as dependents.
Every main applicant must follow the given steps to apply for the dependant visa:
Step 1: Fill an online form
As mentioned above, to apply for a student dependent visa. You need to submit an online application for the UK student dependent visa on the official visa application centre website. You need to follow the instructions that are in the form and enter accurate information.
Step 2: Book an appointment
After reaching the document stage, it is recommended that you should book an appointment to see an immigration solicitor. After this stage, it is not possible to make corrections or changes in the form. Also, do not pay or finish the application before the recommendation of immigration lawyers.
Step 3: Receive an email
An email with a link is sent to you to complete the form if you haven't finished it already. You should ensure that you have access to your email and link. Ensure that you bring all the required documents, original and copy with you for the visa application centre.
Step 4: Visa appointment
Go to the visa application centre along with all the necessary documents. If your application is not complete to stage 3, and if you do not have all the required documents with you during the appointment, you will not meet the officer.
You must then book another appointment for which you will have to bring the documents to the visa application centre on another day.
Step 5: Make an appointment at a service point
After applying, you need to book an appointment to visit your biometrics service point, including fingerprints and your photographs, including the supporting documents.
After the application is processed, all your documents, including your passport, will be retained. It would help if you did NOT leave the UK before any decision is made on your application. Otherwise, your application will be considered as withdrawn by the UK visas and Immigration authorities.
Step 6: Receive the visa
After all your dependent formalities, like the biometrics and the supporting documents, are provided to the Service Point, the correspondence received should be from UK Visas and Immigration for your student dependents visa application decision. Their BRP will arrive separately.
You need to contact the International Student Advisory Team if the visa application is refused and supply them with a copy of the refusal notice.
Step 7: Immigrating to the UK
If you are applying for a student dependent visa, you will get a 30 days entry clearance permit issued on your passport that allows you to immigrate to the UK.
Upon reaching the country, you can get your actual visa as a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) with a period of 10 days from the Post Office.
What is the Fee Structure to Apply for a Dependent Visa?
After you are done filling the application form and enclosing the required certificates and documents, you will have to complete the application fee's payment procedure.
- The UK student visa application fee per dependent when you are applying outside of the UK is £348.
The application fee per dependant varies according to the application type if you apply from within the UK.
- If you apply for the standard application type within eight weeks, the application fee per person is £475.
- If you apply for the priority application within the five working days of the appointment, the application fee is £975.
- If you choose to fill the super-priority application, the decision time for which is the next working day immediately after the appointment, then the cost per dependent is £1,275.
Along with the application fee, the PBS migrant's dependants will need to pay the immigration health surcharge, which covers the entire duration of your stay in the UK. From now on, you can use the National Health Service in the UK and will not be required to pay for any private medical insurance.
However, certain services are not included in the NHS, like prescriptions, eye tests, dental treatments, and more.
If the PBS Dependant visa holders make an application outside the UK, any entry clearance for indefinite leave beyond six months will also have to pay the HIS charge.
Dependants of students already existing in the UK, making applications for leave are subject to charge even when indefinite leave is under six months.
- Any period of fewer than six months will be charged at £150.
- You will have to pay a sum of £300 for each student dependant and applicant per year of the visa granted, including the final extra period. The period between 6 to 12 months is set at a full-year rate.
Other Important FAQs
Can I bring along my dependents on a UK short term study visa?
Though you can add a dependent application to the student visa application, each applicant will have to pay separate fees. Moreover, members will not switch to a dependent visa while they are in the UK on a standard visitor visa or a short term study visa.
What is an ATAS certificate?
You will need an ATAS certificate while immigrating to the UK as a student. This certificate shows details of the Higher Education Institution you have applied for clearance. You will need to apply for separate ATAS clearance certificates if you have more than one offer from different institutions.
Can dependants study in the United Kingdom?
Yes. But only if you are a PBS migrant with a dependent visa. You can work or study part-time or full-time in the UK if your partner has a UK study visa.
Will I be able to bring my parents to the UK on a student visa?
Yes, you can bring your family members, including parents, to the UK if you are on a UK student visa. Seeing your parents and family members can offer you relief from the stress while studying.
Can international students marry in the UK on a student visa?
Yes. International students on a valid UK student visa can get married in the United Kingdom. They can also apply for a spouse visa after marriage or registering civil partnership if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Any applicant who wishes to apply for the UK student dependent visa must abide by all the immigration rules, conditions, fees, and the application procedure mentioned above. All the appropriate documents for the dependent visa must be submitted for evidential proof along with the payments made.
The old Tier 4 Study Visa has now been replaced by the UK study visa post-Brexit, and the point-based system is in place. If you aspire to move to the UK through the PBS Dependent Visa, get in touch with Kansas Overseas experts today to initiate the process!