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Student Visa Dependent Visas

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    Are you able to being family members to the UK?

    Note: As of January 2024, international students will not be able to bring dependents with them to the UK unless they are enrolled in a postgraduate course designated as a research programme or a government-sponsored student. Eligible programmes include PhDs and other doctoral qualifications or masters programmes with a research component, including a requirement to produce original work. This restriction will apply for all international students starting courses from 1 January 2024. 

    You could qualify to bring dependents to the UK under the student dependent visa scheme as long as the following criteria applies:

    Taking a full-time course of at least 9 months at a postgraduate level

    A full-time government-sponsored student studying for 6 months or more

    A Doctorate Extension Scheme student

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    What family members qualify for the dependant visa?

    Family members may be eligible for the UK student dependent visa application if they are one of the following:

    • Husband, wife, or civil partner
    • Unmarried partner
    • Children below 18 years

    Dependant children are only able to apply for the student dependent visa if:

    • One parent is residing in the UK, and the other is making an entry clearance application to the country
    • Both parents are concurrently applying for entry clearance
    • The parents are already living in the UK

    Under 18s with only one parent may also apply for the dependent visa if one of the following is true:

    • This is a genuine reason why they can only apply as one parent dependants.
    •  If you have sole responsibility for their upbringing
    • They only have one surviving parent

    Over 18 dependant children may apply for a dependency permission extension if you’re extending your student visa, but they must do so before your student visa expires.

    As part of the application you are required to submit evidence that your relationship is genuine and that you will live together during your time in the UK.

    Applying for the dependant visa

    The visa application is done online and supporting documents can be submitted at the same time. The processing and application fee also needs to be paid at this point.

    Your dependent will also need to provide their biometrics at a face-to-face appointment at a visa application centre. Once they have given fingerprints and photograph taken, the application form will be processed.

    Once approved, they will be given correspondence from the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) service and will be able to collect a biometric residence permit.

    The dependent visa can be applied for when the student visa application is made or after it has been granted.

    How long can you stay in the UK with the visa?

    The length of stay in the UK will be the same as the main applicant’s student visa – this is usually an initial three year period.

    Can the visa lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain?

    They are able to apply for ILR status if they are in the UK for five years or more – although they will not be granted ILR unless the main student applicant is also granted ILR.

    Documents needed for Student Visa Dependent Visas

    A large amount of supporting documents is needed to as part of the application process and for the UKVI to assess suitability for the UK visa.

    It is likely the following paperwork will need to be submitted:

    • A Tuberculosis (TB) certificate if applying from any of the countries listed on the UK government website and your stay in the UK will be for more than 6 months
    • A letter proving your family member’s enrolment in a UK university if you are not applying at the same time
    • An up-to-date Police Registration Certificate (PRC) – if needed when applying within the UK
    •  A valid passport or travel document to prove your travel history, nationality, and identity
    • A valid Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card if required
    • In addition, if applying as a dependent partner, they must demonstrate that they have a genuine and subsisting relationship with the main applicant. Therefore, will need to submit the following:
    • Marriage or civil partnership certificate
    • Evidence of their relationship with the sponsor if not married, which must be for at least 2 years – this can include:
      • Utility bills, council tax, or bank statements
      • Tenancy agreements or residential mortgage statements
      • Official correspondence or documents to the same address to show co-habitating
      • Proof that you’ll live together (if they’re applying from within the UK). That can include joint or separate bank statements with the same address, council tax bills, or utility bills.
      • Proof of your relationship continuity if you have been living apart and applying for the dependant visa separately – this can include emails, chat/phone logs, and plane tickets or other evidence of travel

    Dependent children must also provide paperwork to show a relationship including:

    • Provide evidence of their relationship with the student/Tier 4: Birth certificate, government-issued household registration certificate, or special guardianship order
    • Evidence that a baby is born in the UK and is making their first application for the student dependent visa – this is usually a birth certificate
    • Provide evidence that they aren’t leading an independent life or have formed an independent family unit – this can include a NHS registration document, bank statements, and the student’s learning institutional letter confirming their address

    UK Student Dependent Visa timescales

    How long it will take for your application to be processed depends on if you are applying from within the UK or from overseas.

    When applying from outside of the UK, it can take around 12 weeks from attending your biometric appointment to be granted permission to travel to the UK.

    If you wish to speed up this processing, there is an option to pay an additional fee for a priority service, that enables a decision to be made within five working days.

    When applying from the UK, it can take around 8 weeks to hear a decision on the visa application. However, there is also the option to pay for priority or super-priority processing that reduces this time significantly.

    Cost of a Student Dependent Visa

    The cost of the student dependent visa does depend on where it is being applied from.

    When applying from outside the UK, the cost is £363 per applicant. There may also be an additional £55 if you visit a ‘user pay Visa Application Centre (VAC).’

    If applying from inside the UK, the processing fee is as £490.

    Financial criteria for the visa

    When applying for the visa you are required to demonstrate you meet the financial requirements. You will need to provide evidence that you have enough funds to support yourself during the first month in the UK.

    You’ll need  £285 and £315 for the dependant partner and child, respectively. This amount must be available in the bank account for at least 28 days within 31 days of your visa application. Also, you’ll need £200 for any extra child. This financial requirement does not apply to British and Indefinite Leave to Remain status children.

    Healthcare Surcharge costs

    Holders of the student dependent visa are required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge to cover potential access to the NHS during their time in the UK. This fee needs to be paid at the time of application.

    The Immigration Health Surcharge is currently:

    • £470 per year for a student or Tier (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa
    • £470 per year for visa and immigration applicants who are under the age of 18 at time of application
    • £624 per year for all other visa and immigration applications

    If you have questions or need more information on eligibility, contact us. Contact Us

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      How can your London immigration lawyers help me?

      We understand the monumental importance of having access to the education you want and being able to keep families together. For this reason, we do everything we possibly can to ensure that you receive your desired outcome.

      Our team of expert immigration lawyers are hugely experienced in advising international students looking to study in the UK. We will guide you through every stage of the visa application process, removing the stress from proceedings.

      The services we provide include:

      • A thorough document check to ensure that all necessary paperwork is in place
      • Liaising with your sponsor throughout the process
      • Confirming that your chosen institution is able to act as your sponsor
      • Arranging and obtaining your CAS from your chosen institution
      • Producing a Letter of Representation that will emphasise the strengths of your application
      • Completing your application form to the highest possible standard

      Our immigration lawyers help with student visa application. Get in touch for immediate support. Contact Us

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Yes, a spouse can work on a student dependent visa in the UK. If your dependant is above 16 years, they can work full time in the UK.

                  You can convert your dependant visa to a student visa in the UK by applying for a student visa. However, you must have been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months and demonstrate you can financially support yourself during your stay in the UK.

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