Dependant Visas

(Student) Dependant Visas

This information is for dependants of Student Visa applicants / holders.

Changes to the (Student) Dependant Visa rules: eligibility

The UK government have announced changes regarding which students will be eligible to bring dependants with them to the UK.  They say that the changes will only affect students where their course starts on or after 1st January 2024.

UKVI have also confirmed:

  • These changes will not affect dependants of international students on Student visas where the student is already in the UK on their course of study.
  • Those starting a taught postgraduate course in the Autumn 2023 will still be able to have dependants join them after 1st January 2024 (where the other requirements regarding who is eligible to bring dependants in the immigration rules are met).  
  • Dependants that are already in the UK can extend their permission (if the main applicant (Student visa holder) is granted further leave to remain under the Student visa route.

We will continue to update our webpages to further reflect the changes once additional information and guidance has been announced and published by the Home Office.  Please also keep checking the links below for updates.

Useful links:

UKVI - News Story (23 May 2023). 

UKVI - Student visa information (section "Your partner and children").

UKVI - Appendix Student (section "Dependants of a Student").

UKCISA - Student News (25 May 2023)

UKCISA - Student News (18 July 2023).

 

Eligibility - course start date on or after 1st January 2024

We will update our webpages with further relevant information about the recent changes as and when this becomes available.

UKVI say "dependants" are:

  • 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 course starts on or after 1st January 2024:

UKVI have confirmed where a student's course starts on or after 1st January 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)

Eligibility requirements:

Appendix Student has been updated with the following:

Student course requirement for a dependent partner or dependent child of a Student

ST 31.1. Unless they are a child who meets the requirements in ST 31.2., the applicant must be the partner or child of a person who is:

(a) a Student who has received an award from a Government and has, or is applying for, permission to study on a full-time course of 6 months or longer; or

(b) a full-time Student who has, or is applying for, permission to study a postgraduate level course of 9 months or longer at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance and, if the course start date is on or after 1 January 2024, the provider has confirmed the course is a PhD or other doctoral qualification, or a research-based higher degree; or

(c) DELETED

(d) a Student who has, or had within the last 3 months before the date of application, permission to study on a full-time course of 6 months or longer, and is now applying for permission to study a full-time course of 6 months or longer where either:

(i) the partner or child already has, or had within the last 3 months before the date of application, permission as a dependent partner or dependent child of the Student; or

(ii) the child was born since the last grant of permission to the Student, where the Student and partner or child are applying at the same time.

What course would qualify to meet point ST 31.1(b)?: 

Check your CAS for your course details.  UKVI say the types of courses UKVI refer to could be a PhD, other doctoral qualification, or a research-based higher degree.  University of Glasgow is a higher education provider with a track record of compliance - see your CAS for the course detials stated there. 

Contact Admissions at UoG to clarify whether your course will be a PhD, other doctoral qualification or a research based higher degree.

Useful links:

UKVI - News Story (23 May 2023). 

UKVI - Student visa information (section "Your partner and children").

UKVI - Appendix Student (section "Dependants of a Student").

UKCISA - Student News (25 May 2023)

UKCISA - Student News (18 July 2023).

Eligibility - course start date before 1st January 2024

At time of writing, if you are applying for a Student Visa, or hold a valid Student visa, and your course start date was (or is) before 1st January 2024, you may be eligible to have your "dependants" live with you in the UK in accordance with the current UKVI rules.

UKVI say "dependants" are:

  • 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

Only Student visa applicants or Student visa holders who meet the following criteria can apply for Dependant visas for their spouse or children: 

  • Government sponsored students who are on a course which is longer than 6 months, OR
  • Postgraduate students who are on a course of 9 months or longer at a publicly-funded Higher Education Institution (the University of Glasgow meets this criteria), or a recognised body. ‌

Eligibility requirements for partners and children:

It is important to read the section "Dependants of a Student" in Appendix Student so you are aware of all the eligiblity requirements to be met.  We offer an overview on these webpages.

Child Dependant applications overview

Updates applicable from 05-10-23:

If a parent of a dependant child applicant has British citizenship, or has permission to enter or stay in the UK without restriction, and they live or intend to live in the UK, there is no longer a requirement for that parent to be applying at the same time as the dependant child applicant or to already have permission.

The Immigration Rules are being amended so that the requirement to not be leading an independent life applies to the child no matter what their age is. Additionally, the definition of “Must not be leading an independent life” is being amended. This change in definition would mean that a dependant child applicant could be in full-time employment and they would not have to be wholly or mainly dependent upon their parent for financial or emotional support. 

Certain specific requirements relating to someone seeking immigration permission as a dependant child of a Student, which are currently housed in Appendix Student, are soon being moved to a new location in the Rules: Appendix Children.  We will update these webpages with links to Appendix Children once UKVI have made Appendix Children available. 

Please see the Immigration Rules for full details on the UKVI's requirements for Child (Student) Dependant Visa applicants. 

UKVI's Appendix Student states the following requirements when applying for a Dependant Visa for a child:

ST 34.1. The applicant must be the child of a parent who has, or is at the same time being granted permission as:

(a) a Student; or

(b) the partner of a Student.

ST 34.2. The applicant’s parents must each be either applying at the same time as the applicant or have permission to be in the UK (other than as a visitor) unless:

(a) the parent with permission as a Student or as the partner of a Student is the sole surviving parent; or

(b) the parent with permission as a Student or as the partner of a Student has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing; or

(c) the decision maker is satisfied that there are serious and compelling reasons to grant the child entry clearance or permission to stay with the parent who has permission as a Student or as the partner of a Student.

Babies born in the UK overview:

A baby born in the UK who is not a British citizen can lawfully stay in the UK under the UKVI rules.  Please see the information about babies born in the UK to Student Visa holders on the UKCISA webpages .

If a baby born in the UK has not left the UK (and where they meet the UKVI's eligiblity requirements to apply for a (Student) Dependant Visa) they can apply for the (Student) Dependant Visa in the UK.

If a baby born in the UK travels outside the UK however, they would need to apply for / receive UK immigration leave or a UK visa to re-enter the UK on.  They may apply for a Dependant Visa outside the UK and return to the UK after receiving this.

Where they apply for a UK visa before travelling to the UK or are granted immigration leave when they re-enter the UK, they would be staying in the UK under the conditions for that immigration leave or visa type. 

They can only apply for a (Student) Dependant Visa in the UK where they meet the eligiblity requirements to do so, including holding a visa or leave type that allows them to "switch" in the UK to a (Student) Dependant Visa. 

When your baby makes a (Student) Dependant Visa application, you will need to their UK birth certificate stating both their parent's names with their other Dependant Visa application documents. 

See the UKCISA webpages "Children born whilst student in the UK" and Appendix Student for more information on when and where a Student Visa holder's baby born in the UK can apply for a Dependant Visa.

How to apply

Each Dependant isa applicant will need to complete a visa application form and submit this.  As part of making the Dependant Visa application, they will pay money for the visa application fee and for the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge.  This is in addition to the money required for maintenance.  

The following sections discuss how to apply for a Dependant Visa from either inside or outside the UK, and give the links to the correct Dependant Visa application forms to use (depending on where you are applying from).

The Student Visa holder or applicant is referred to by UKVI as the "main applicant" - a Dependant Visa applicant would be granted the same length of visa as the main applicant.

Visa application fees and IHS:

  • Visa application fees: £363 (outside UK), £490 (in-UK) for a "Standard" visa application (there are additional fees charged if your Dependant chooses a faster visa processing option)
  • Immigration Health Surcharge: In most cases you will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). Check how much to expect to pay here. The amount you pay for IHS will depend on the length of visa you will be granted.  IHS is charged at £470 for each period of visa applied for that is 6-12 months long and £235 for any period of less than 6 months.

Maintanance:

Maintenance required for each dependant is in addition to the money a student is required to have for maintenance for the Student Visa.  A dependent partner or dependent child of a Student must show that they have enough money to cover their living costs for the period of visa applied for. 

The number of months of immigration permission granted to a Student depends on the type, and length, of the course. The Student and Child guidance explains the length of immigration permission a Student will receive.

The Student and Child guidance outlines when to start the calculation from when working out how much money you need to show for maintenance based on the length of visa you are applying for.

Each Dependant Visa applicant needs to show £680 for each month of the length of visa they are applying for, up to a maximum of 9 months (£6120).

See paragraphs ST33.1 - ST37.5 of Appendix Student in the Immigration Rules for the amount of maintanance each Dependant Visa applicant (partner or child applicant) needs to show.

UKVI say if a Dependant visa applicant is applying inside the UK, and has been living in the UK on a valid visa for 12 or more months on the date they apply for a Dependant Visa, they are not required to show evidence that they meet the maintenance requirement.  See paragraph ST37.1 of Appendix Student.

Applying outside the UK

When your dependant can apply:

Your dependant should apply for their PBS Dependant visa in the country of which they are a national or where they legally live, using the Dependant Partner or Dependant Child online visa application form for use outside the UK:

They can apply:

  • at the same time as you apply for your Student Visa, or
  • at a later date if they cannot apply at the same time as you - this must be after you have received your Student Visa, completed registration and enrolment (including Visa Registration) at UoG and have started your course here.  You must still be a current student (and not completed your course) at the time they apply.

Visa application fees / IHS:

The visa application fees are £363 (from 04/10/23 these will increase to £490) - see the application fees information on the UKVI's webpages.

In most cases you will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). Check how much to expect to pay here. The amount you pay for IHS will depend on the length of visa you will be granted - where the student's CAS says the overall course is longer than 12 months you can expect UKVI to grant a visa that expires 4 months after the course end date on the CAS. IHS is charged at £470 for each period of visa applied for that is 6-12 months long and £235 for any period of less than 6 months. 

Please note: UKVI say the IHS will rise to £776 for each period of (Student) Dependant Visa applied for that is 6-12 months (£388 for any period up to 6 months), however they have not yet confirmed a date for this.  These webpages will be updated once the date IHS prices will increase has been confirmed.

The website for the visa application centre they will apply through will have important information on how they will apply from that specific country and region. 

Overview of the Dependant Visa application process outside the UK:

  • Prepare all required documents such as passport, evidence of relationship with the Student visa applicant, meeting the Dependant visa maintainance requirement, the Student visa applicant's visa application reference etc.
  • Where a student is applying at the same time as their dependants they also need to meet the Student Visa requirements and provide any documents necessary for their Student visa application.
  • Complete and submit the online Dependant visa application form for each Dependant visa applicant.
  • Give biometric details at a visa application centre.
  • Submit application documents (online or in the post)- please check how to submit documents on the webpages for the visa application centre they will apply through.

Once the Dependant Visa application has been processed:

They will receive a decision letter or e-mail giving the outcome of their visa application and details of any visa granted, such as the work or study conditions of thier visa.  They will need to keep this safe and bring it with them to the UK.

The decision letter will confirm whether they will receive a 30 or 90 day visa sticker in their passport (and will collect a BRP with their full visa details after arriving in the UK) or an online, digital visa status.  Once they have received their visa they can use this to travel to the UK.

 

Applying inside the UK

When your dependants can apply:

  • At the same time as you apply for your Student Visa, or
  • At a later date - this must be on or before their current visa expires.  You must still be a current student (and not completed your course) at the time they apply.

Please note: Your partner or child cannot apply in the UK to "switch" into a Dependant Visa if they have one of the following:

  • 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

Where they do not meet the eligibility requirements to make a (Student) Dependant Visa in the UK, they will need to make the visa application from outside the UK instead.

Applying at the same time as you: The Student Visa application form has an option to add your partner or child who is applying at the same time as you.  Dependants do not need to complete a seperate application form when you apply at the same time.

Applying at a different time to you (after you have applied for your Student Visa): Each Dependant Visa applicant will need to complete an online Dependant visa application form for use in the UK. You must still be a current student (and not completed your course) at the time they apply:

Visa application fees / IHS:

The visa application fees are £363 (from 04/10/23 these will increase to £490) - see the application fees information on the UKVI's webpages.

In most cases you will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). Check how much to expect to pay here. The amount you pay for IHS will depend on the length of visa you will be granted - where the student's CAS says the overall course is longer than 12 months you can expect UKVI to grant a visa that expires 4 months after the course end date on the CAS. IHS is charged at £470 for each period of visa applied for that is 6-12 months long and £235 for any period of less than 6 months.

Please note: UKVI say the IHS will rise to £776 for each period of (Student) Dependant Visa applied for that is 6-12 months (£388 for any period up to 6 months), however they have not yet confirmed a date for this.  These webpages will be updated once the date IHS prices will increase has been confirmed. 

Overview of the Dependant visa application process in the UK:

  • Prepare all required documents such as passport, current UK visa, evidence of maintenance / official financial sponsorship, evidence of relationship with the Student Visa applicant (e.g. if switching to a Dependant Visa), evidence of living at the same UK address as the Student etc.  
  • Where a student is applying at the same time as their dependants they also need to meet the Student Visa requirements and provide any documents necessary for their Student Visa application.
  • Complete and submit a Dependant Visa application form for each Dependant Visa applicant
  • Upload documents
  • Either use the IDV app (before filling out the visa application) or attend a UKVCAS centre to give Biometrics after submitting the online visa application form. Where a student is applying for their Student Visa at the same time as their dependants, you will all go to the same Biometrics appointment together.

If you leave the Common Travel Area* after making a Dependant Visa application and before receiving a decision e-mail, UKVI say they will withdraw your visa application. 

*The CTA comprises UK (including Jersey, Guernsey & Isle of Man) and Ireland. You should stay in the UK until you receive a visa decision and your (Student) Dependant Visa.

Your dependant will receive a visa decision via e-mail which will confirm the outcome of the visa application and whether they have been granted a BRP (this will be sent to the UK address they live at and entered on the visa application form) or an online, digital visa status. 

Documents

 

Evidence of relationship:

You’ll need to provide evidence of your relationship to the Student visa applicant, e.g.:

  • a marriage or civil partnership certificate for your partner
  • a birth certificate for your child

Dependant children over 16 or 17 years old:

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

Evidence of meeting maintenance requirements:

When applying at the same time as the Student Visa applicant, you need to prepare evidence of meeting the maintenance requirements for the Student Visa applicant, and the additional money required for maintenance for each Dependant Visa applicant.

When applying in the UK, Dependant Visa applicants do not need to provide evidence of meeting the maintenance requirements if they’ve been living in the UK with the Student Visa applicant on a valid visa for at least 12 months.  

Consent letter from an official financial sponsor: This is applicable for (Student) Dependant Visa applicants who:

- completed a course in the UK within the 12 months before the date of their (Student) Dependant Visa application, and

- received a scholarship or official financial sponsorship for that course (from a Government or international scholarship agency), and

- the money was for both course fees and living costs ("fully funded" or "wholly sponsored"). 

Where this applies you would need to provide a letter confirming the official financial sponsor's consent to you applying for a (Student) Dependant Visa and staying in the UK for longer. 

Where the applicant is switching to a (Student) Dependant Visa from a Student Visa, and the details of the sponsorship / scholarship received are stated on the CAS they used to apply for their current Student Visa, written consent is not required.

Differentiation Arrangements and financial evidence - If the Student Visa applicant and each Dependant Visa applicant are applying at the same time, and if you all meet the UKVI's Differentiation Arrangements eligibility requirements, you will not be asked to provide financial documents as evidence of maintenance at the time you apply. 

However, UKVI can ask you for this evidence at any time until they have made a decision on your visa application, so you should prepare this before applying and submit if UKVI contact you and request you to do so.   

BRPs and electronic visa status

When a Dependant visa application is successful, UKVI will issue the visa after making a decision on the visa application. When granted, your dependant's visa will share the same expiry date as your Student visa. Where the Dependant visa is granted for longer than 6 months they would expect to receive either a BRP or digital visa status.  

Digital visa status:

If their decision letter confirms they have been granted a digital visa status please follow the link provided in the decision letter to view this and follow the instructions for how to generate a share code.  

BRPs: Applying outside the UK:

They can choose when completing the Dependant visa application form whether to collect the BRP from the University or a Post Office.  Their decision letter will confirm if a BRP will be issued and where they have arranged to collect this from.

BRPs: Applying inside the UK

The BRP for each applicant will be sent to the address in the UK entered on their visa application form, via courier.  If they change their UK address, passport or any personal details after submitting the online visa application form, they must notify the UK as soon as possible by completing and submitting a Change of Circumstances form for each Dependant visa applicant.