Bringing your family and dependants
Government announcements regarding changes for dependants
On 17 July 2023 the Government introduced changes to the Student visa route which mean that students starting courses on or after 1 January 2024 can only have dependants in the UK if they are studying PhD, other doctoral qualification, or research-based higher degree courses. Those who are financially sponsored by the UK or an Overseas Government will be able to bring dependants.
Please see UKCISA for further details.
Not all Student visa students can bring family to the UK as dependants. Not all family members are classified as dependants.
For eligibility, please read the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) guidelines on family members, or the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) guidelines on dependants.
Dependants must have at least £680 per month for the duration of the student's visa in the UK, for a maximum of 9 months.
- Students must show funding until their course end date.
- Dependants must show funding until the student’s course end date, plus an additional 4 months. This is always capped at 9 months, so the maximum you will show is £6120 for each dependant.
- If the length of the Dependant visa is likely to be less than 9 months, funding calculation will depend of the applicant's current immigration status and location. Please contact us for more information.
- If a student already has their visa and the dependant/s are applying later, the dependant/s should show funding for themselves (in their own account or the student's), but also that student still holds funding for their own maintenance (in their own account) as well, so will need to show funding for both the student and the dependant/s as a family unit UKCISA state - 'Since the Rules were updated on 5 October 2020, they have stated that: "The funds must be in addition to the funds required for the Student to meet the financial requirement, and the funds required to meet the financial requirement for any dependent who is applying at the same time, or is already in the UK as a dependent of the Student." It used to clearly say that this was only a requirement when your dependants were applying at the same time as you. We are querying this with the Home Office. However, the gov.uk webpage says: "If your partner or child is applying at a different time to you (they’re applying separately) they only need to prove they have money to support themselves." As webpages can change without warning, it is a good idea, if you are relying on this, to check before you make your application that this sentence is still there and save a screenshot of it on the day you apply.'
- If you are sponsored by your government or an official international scholarship agency, if your letter also shows the names of your dependant/s then you can use your letter for their funding evidence if the money is enough for your family unit or if they state that they cover your all living costs for all family members and your tution fees.
Before you apply
- the 'Student: dependants' section of the Student and Child Student caseworker guidance
- UKCISA guidance
- Suggested document checklist for dependants (PDF, 116kB)
Applying outside the UK
If dependants are outside the UK, they must apply for entry clearance in their home country before they travel to the UK.
It is simpler to apply at the same time as the main applicant. The application form should make clear that the dependant(s) are accompanying the main applicant who will be studying in the UK.
If applications are not submitted at the same time as the main applicant, it is advisable to include a copy of the main applicant's student visa when the dependant(s) applies for entry clearance. The application form should make clear that the dependant(s) are accompanying the main applicant who will be studying in the UK.
How to apply
Applying inside the UK
Dependants must apply online. It is simpler if you and your dependants apply to extend your visas at the same time.
How to apply
If you are a student/main applicant making an application at the same time as your dependants, you should fill in the online Student visa application and you can add your dependants to that online application form. If your dependants are not applying at the same time as you, they will need to make a separate application to you online. If a dependant partner is applying on their own, they can apply using the link found on the PBS Dependant - Partner page. If a dependant partner and a dependant child are both applying, they can apply using the link found on the PBS Dependant - Partner page; fill out the application for the dependant partner first and then add the dependant child/children to the application. If a dependant child is applying on their own, they can apply using the link found on the PBS Dependant - Child page.