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Dependant visas

Bringing your family members

If you are coming to study in the UK under the Student route you may wish to bring family with you. Certain students are permitted to bring family members to the UK as dependants. You will only be able to have dependants in the UK if: 

  • you are undertaking a PhD or other doctoral qualification, or a research-based higher degree; or 
  • you are studying a course of more than 6 months, and you are in receipt of a full government scholarship (fees and living costs). 

A dependant is either:

  • Your husband, wife or civil partner
  • Your unmarried or same sex partner (to be unmarried or same sex partners, you must have been living together in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years and must provide evidence of this)
  • Your child or children (children must be under 18 years old, or if they are 18 years old or older they must already be in the UK with immigration permission as a dependent child. Your child / children must normally travel with both parents. If not, the main applicant must provide evidence that they have sole parental responsibility for the child / children).

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website provides further information on dependants, which will assist you in finding out if your family can come and join you within the UK.

Additional information

Your dependants will need to show that they have access to a certain amount of money.

Each dependant must show £680 per month for the entire duration of the student's stay up to a maximum of 9 months.

The money must be held in the correct format for a minimum period of 28 days and must not drop below the required amount. 

Both applicant's parents must either be lawfully present in the UK, or being granted entry clearance or leave to remain at the same time as the applicant. Alternatively, one parent may be lawfully present in the UK and the other is being granted entry clearance or leave to remain (i.e. not a visitor visa) at the same time as the applicant, unless:

  • The applicant's parent is the applicant's sole surviving parent, or
  • The applicant's parent has and has had sole responsibility for the applicant's upbringing, or 
  • There are serious or compelling family or other considerations which would make it desirable not to refuse the application and suitable arrangements have been made in the UK for the applicant's care.

Further information can be found in the immigration rules on family members (paragraph 319H(f)).

Your dependants must have immigration permission before they can come to the UK. They can either apply at the same time as you, or if this is not possible, they can submit an application after you have received your visa. This is your decision and should be based on your personal circumstances.

Your dependants will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), it is a payment of £470 per year for each dependant application and is paid for the duration of your total visa length.

More details about can be found in the Immigration Health Surcharge section.

Family members with current entry clearance can switch to a Student Route Dependant visa or extend their existing dependant visa from within the UK. Babies born in the UK can also apply for clearance within the UK.

If the main Student Visa applicant's circumstances change, this will affect your permission to stay within the UK.

Please contact the Visa Support Team if you are concerned about your immigration status, by emailing

The following is a list of documents you may be required to produce for your visa application:

  • Current passport
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Birth Certificate
  • Evidence of sole custody (if required)
  • You will need to provide your personal bank or building society statements, which need to cover a 28 day period immediately before the application
  • If you are a sponsored student, a valid sponsor letter which meets the requirements set out by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and may also be intended to cover the costs of you and any other family members
  • If your sponsor letter only covers part of your living costs, documentation must be provided to show the remaining maintenance
  • If one of the dependants is over the age of 16, you should submit 2 items from the list below confirming your residential address:
    • Bank statements
    • Credit card bills
    • Driving license
    • NHS registration document
    • Letter from your current school, college or University confirming your address. This must be listed on official headed paper and bearing the official stamp of that organisation. It must have been issued by an authorised official of that organisation

The documents submitted should be from two separate sources and dated no more than a month prior to the date of application.

If you are considering applying for the Graduate Route once you have completed your course, your dependants will need to be in the UK as your Student Route dependants in order to be eligible to apply with you on the Graduate Route.