If you need to get visas for your family to visit or stay with you in the UK while you're studying, this information will help you with how to apply.
You can bring your husband, wife, unmarried partner and children (under 18) to the UK with you are in one of the following two situations:
- If you are studying a full time postgraduate course of nine months or more
- If you are a government-sponsored student and studying a course at any level of six months or more.
From January 2024 new rules are expected to remove the right for certain Student dependants to apply to come to the UK to join the student unless the student is studying for a postgraduate Research Degree.
Further information can be found on the UKCISA website.
Students on part time courses cannot bring dependants.
If you are bringing children to the UK there is an expectation that both parents will be in the UK - this must be on a long term (e.g. work or study) visa and not simply as a visitor. If only one parent is coming to the UK then the visa will be refused.
The only exceptions to the requirement that both parents must be coming to the UK are:
- When the other parent is dead
- If you have had sole responsibility for the child's upbringing
- If there are other serious or compelling considerations that mean the child should be with you in the UK and you have made suitable arrangements for the child's care.
If you are relying on any of these exceptions, it is important your child includes evidence of this with their application. This could include, for example, death certificates or divorce certificates.
You cannot bring other family members such as parents or siblings to the UK with you as your dependants, although they can come for short visits on visitor visas.
Documents dependants must provide
Your family will be making either an entry clearance (applying for your visa at a UK embassy/consulate abroad) or visa extension (extending your dependant visa from within the UK) application with following documents:
Each person will need to pay:
- £475 for the visa
- the healthcare surcharge - check how much they'll have to pay.
You should submit any passports that you have ever used to enter the UK.
You must be able to show enough money for each dependant to cover their living costs in the UK. This is set at £7,605 per dependant.
Where the course is shorter, a dependant needs to have £845 for every month of the student's leave - that means they would need funds for the length of time remaining on the course AND the period of leave that will be granted after it (e.g. +4 months for a course lasting more than 12 months in total.)
This money must be held in a bank account in their name or your name and must have been maintained in the account for a minimum 28 days. The bank statement must be dated within the last month.
It is extremely important that you do not drop below this total amount even for one day or your visa will be refused. If you are not sure, it is essential that you check with the International Student Advice team before making your visa application.
The official Policy Guidance provides more details of what must be included for a financial document to be acceptable.
If the student is sponsored by a government, an international company or a scholarship agency and their sponsorship cover their dependants, this must be clearly stated on the student's sponsor letter.
Check to make sure that the sponsorship provides living expenses of at least £845 per month for each dependant. If the sponsorship does not cover this amount, each dependant will have to show £7,605 in their bank account for the last 28 days.
Proof of address
If the dependent child is over the age of 16, they need to show two extra documents dated in the last month to confirm the dependant's residential address.
Proof of relationship
This is only a requirement for dependants applying for entry clearance from outside the UK.
These dependants must show proof of relationship to the student such as marriage certificates and/or birth certificates. However, it is expected that you will be living together while you are in the UK.
If dependants are applying from outside the UK at a different time from you, they should also provide:
- Proof of student's visa status: copies of the student's visa and passport details pages
- Proof of student's enrollment: a Student Status letter from City confirming that the student is currently enrolled at the University.
Dependant visas for children born in the UK during your studies
Birth in the UK does not automatically make a baby a British citizen.
If you have a baby born in the UK who does not yet have immigration permission, the baby is in the UK lawfully without any immigration permission. However, the baby will need immigration permission to re-enter the UK after any travel abroad.
Application process for babies born in the UK
Babies can apply for immigration permission as your dependant from either inside the UK or as entry clearance from your country of residence if you are government-sponsored on a course of more than 6 months or you are on a postgraduate course of at least 12 months.
If you want them to make an application from inside the UK, they can also do it using the online form (see above).
If you are applying at the same time, you will be listed on the form as the 'lead applicant' and your family will be listed on the form as a 'dependant'. If you are not applying at the same time as your family, they will be listed on the form as the 'lead applicant'.
Babies can apply for entry clearance as your dependant if either of the following circumstances apply:
- The baby is born during your most recent period of student visa or pre-student permission granted for a course of more than 6 months duration
- The baby is born within 3 months of the expiry of your most recent student visa or pre-student permission.
- UK Government website
- UKCISA guidance on applications for dependants
- Information for PBS dependant applying alone