UK Student Dependent Visa: New Rules, Requirements, Guide

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UK Student Dependent Visa

The category of UK Student Dependent Visa is widely sought after by individuals planning to study in the UK. However, understanding the specific criteria and procedures for bringing dependents can be quite perplexing. This comprehensive article will help you get a clearer idea regarding the requirements and application process for obtaining a UK Student Dependent Visa.


New Rules for Dependent Visa in UK: Latest News

The UK government has introduced new rules for UK student-dependent visas, affecting international students. Starting from January 2024, students pursuing a master’s program in the UK will no longer be able to bring their dependents, unless they are enrolled in postgraduate research courses. These rules aim to reduce net migration and prevent student visas from being misused as a backdoor route to work in the UK. Additionally, students will not be allowed to switch from a student visa to a Skilled Worker visa until they have completed their studies. The government intends to maintain the integrity of the visa system while protecting public services.

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What Does it Mean to Be/Have a Dependent?

The designation ‘dependent’ about a visa application pertains to a person’s spouse or offspring. Relatives outside of these categories are not recognized as dependents in the context of a student-dependent visa. A husband, wife, civil partner, married/unmarried partner, or same-sex partner all qualify for a dependent. Additionally, dependents can include children who are below 18 and were birthed in the UK during the applicant’s residence.

UK Student Visa Dependents

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Who Can Bring Dependents to the UK?

To be able to bring dependents is a privilege that is limited to certain students. The eligibility criteria for dependents hinge upon the course being pursued and the duration of the student’s stay. Students can be accompanied by their dependents if they fulfill the following conditions:

  1. Enrolled in a course lasting 9 months or longer, university funded/backed, or holding an RFQ level 7 postgraduate degree or higher.
  2. If your course starts after the 01st of January 2024 then you are required to be admitted to an RQF Level 8 course. Only a higher research-level degree will allow you to bring dependents.
  3. Sponsored by the government and undertaking a course that spans at least six months.
  4. Applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES).
  5. Students who have recently obtained approval as a student or via the student route are also eligible to bring their family members. However, certain requirements must be met, including valid immigration permission, a minimum course duration of six months, and simultaneous submission of dependent visa applications.

Know About UK Visa Requirements for Indians

What are the Requirements for a UK Student Dependent Visa?

Individuals applying for a student-dependent visa can complete the process online, regardless of their location. Here are some important details;

  1. If applying from outside the UK, each dependent must submit a separate online application on the UK Government website.
  2. This form needs to be submitted at least six months before the course start date.
  3. For dependents already in the UK, they should either renew their visa before it expires or apply alongside the main applicant’s visa extension or switch.
  4. Following the guidelines on the official website and submitting the required supporting documents is essential for a successful application.
  5. Seek professional guidance if necessary.

Check UK Visa Application Process, Fees and Requirements

Relation With the Dependents 

To qualify as dependents, partners or children, one must fit into specific categories such as;

  1. Including husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner, or children under 18. 
  2. Proof of relationship is necessary, such as marriage or civil partnership certificates for partners, and birth certificates for children. 
  3. Additional evidence may be required for dependent children aged 16 or 17, such as documents confirming living arrangements and financial support.
  4. It is important to provide accurate and complete documentation to meet the requirements for the dependent visa application.

Confirmation of Financial Resources

  1. Dependents are obligated to present documentation demonstrating their ability to cover living expenses for nine months. 
  2. The specified amounts are £845 monthly for courses taken in London and £680 monthly for courses outside London. 
  3. In the case of family applications, satisfactory financial proof supporting all family members is necessary. This entails the submission of bank statements, sponsorship papers, and any supplementary student loan information.

Individuals in Dependent Status Looking for Job Prospects

Dependent individuals aged 16 and over possess the ability to engage in employment within the UK while the primary applicant finalizes their studies. Nevertheless, they shall not be eligible to avail of social advantages, including public healthcare or unemployment benefits.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Apply for a UK Student-Dependent Visa

There are three types of application forms available for different conditions:

  1. Simultaneous Application: Both the primary applicant and the dependent can apply together.
  2. Separate Application by the Partner: The partner can submit an individual application, ensuring it is done before the expiration of the primary applicant’s visa.
  3. Application for a Dependent Child Born in the UK: If a child is born within the UK, a specific application form is required.

It is essential to emphasize that if dependents are applying for immigration within the UK, they must possess valid PBS visas (Point-Based System), such as a student visa and dependent visa. For any other types of visas, it is advised to contact the International Student Advisory Team.

Check Statement of Purpose for UK Student Visa

Documents Required for a Dependent Visa Application

The required documents include:

  • Submission of the Student PBS Dependent Form is required.
  • A valid passport or travel document, including any previous passports with the current UK visa, must be provided.
  • When applying from within the UK, the Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card for entry clearance should be included.
  • If applicable, the dependent police registration certificate must be provided.
  • Separate copies of the UK student visa or BRP are required for both the dependent and main applicant if applying individually.
  • The main student applicant’s university letter confirming enrollment is necessary.
  • Proof of the relationship between the student visa holder and any child born in the UK through the birth certificate is mandatory.
  • For spousal dependents, a marriage certificate must be provided.
  • Unmarried or same-sex partners should submit evidence of their relationship, such as emails, phone logs, and family photos.
  • Documentation demonstrating financial capability to support dependents, including bank statements, sponsorship documents, and proof of funds, is required.
  • Additional documents may be necessary for children above 16, such as letters from educational institutions, NHS registration documents, or banking records.

Check UK Student Visa Rejection Reasons

Fee Structure to Apply for a Dependent Visa

The cost of a UK student-dependent visa application varies based on the location of the application:

  1. Applying from Outside the UK: Each dependent is required to pay a fee of £348.
  2. From Within the UK (Standard Application): The fee per person is £475 for applications submitted within eight weeks.
  3. Or from Within the UK (Priority Application): The fee per dependent is £975 for applications submitted within five working days.
  4. From Within the UK (Super-Priority Application): The fee per dependent is £1,275 for the next working day decision.

In addition, dependents must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to access the National Health Service (NHS) during their stay, excluding certain services.

S.No.UK Student-dependent Visa Application ConditionsUK Student-dependent Visa Application Fees
1.When applying from outside the UK£348
2.When applying from within the UK (Standard Application)£475
3.When applying from within the UK (Priority Application)£975
4.When applying from within the UK (Super-priority Application)£1,275

Know What is a Student Visa and How to Apply?

How Long Can a Dependent Stay in the UK?

The dependent of a student visa holder in the UK can stay as long as the student visa holder’s visa is valid. The dependent’s visa will end on the same date as the student visa holder’s visa. It is also essential for the student to have/showcase sufficient funds for the initial 9 months. 


What are the requirements for a student-dependent visa in the UK?

Enrolled in a course lasting 9 months or longer, university funded/backed or holding an RFQ level 8 postgraduate degree or higher. Sponsored by the government and undertaking a course that spans at least six months. Applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES).

How long does it take to get a student visa for dependents in the UK?

Normally up to 8 weeks, in case you want to get it done faster there are premium services available. 

What documents are required for a Student dependent visa?

Student PBS Dependent Form, valid passport or travel document including passports with UK visa, Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card, and separate copies of the UK student visa or BRP is required for both the dependent and main applicant if applying individually etc. 

Does a child born in the UK gets British citizenship?

A child born in the UK to non-British parents may not automatically qualify for British citizenship. The child can be registered as a British citizen if at least one parent has ‘settled status’ in the UK, such as Indefinite Leave to Remain or EEA Permanent Residence.

Is the UK government going to block the entry of students’ dependents from January 2024?

Starting from January 2024, the UK government will cease international students from bringing their dependents on a UK Student Dependent Visa, except for those enrolled in postgraduate research courses. This decision is likely to affect Indian and Nigerian students and may reduce the annual intake for many universities in London.

What is the processing time for a UK student-dependent visa?

The processing time for a UK student-dependent visa depends on where you apply from and the type of service you choose. If applying from outside the UK, it can take up to 12 weeks. With the priority service, you may get a decision within 5 working days, and with the super priority service, it may take just 24 hours. If applying from within the UK, the standard processing time is 8 weeks, and with the priority or super-priority service, you can get a quicker decision.

Can we work as a dependent in the UK?

Yes, dependents are allowed to work in the UK till the time their visa is valid and the primary applicant is pursuing studies in the country.

Hopefully, now you know about the UK student dependent visa, documents required, fees, validity, etc. Candidates who want to apply for a Visa for their study abroad journey can drop us a comment in the section below, or they can also connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu, and they will get a guide on their dream journey!

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