If you have a Tier 4 visa and wish to bring your family to live in the UK with you while you complete your course, they will need to apply for a Tier 4 dependant visa. You (as the student with a Tier 4 visa) will be considered as the ‘main applicant' by the Home Office. Your family will be dependants on your visa. This means that their visas are linked to your visa. You will have the same visa expiry dates, and if something happens to your permission (visa) in the UK, your dependants' visas will also be affected.We advise you to read the UKCISA Dependants webpages to get more information.
You can also read the Home Office's PBS Dependant Policy Guidance.
This page will provide you with general information to help you better understand the dependant visa requirements for your family applying for their visas to join you in the UK.
If you have a Tier 4 visa, you must be able to meet one of the following requirements for your family to be able to apply for a Tier 4 dependant visa:
- You are a government sponsored student on a course that is longer than 6 months, or
- You are studying a postgraduate level course that is 12 months or longer, or
- You are applying for or have a visa in the Doctorate Extension Scheme, or
- You are applying for a Tier 4 extension and your family already have Tier 4 dependant visas and are also extending their visas
- This means your husband or wife, civil partner, unmarried partner, or same-sex partner
- You and your partner both must be at least 18 years old
- You must intend to live together while in the UK
- Your child must be younger than 18 years old
- They must not form an independent family unit (i.e. your child must live with you, is not married, etc.)
- Children 16 years and older are required to provide documents to prove they have not formed an independent family unit
- Both parents of the child must be coming or are currently in the UK. There are a few exceptions, however you must be able to provide evidence. The exceptions are:
- One parent is dead
- You have sole responsibility for the child's upbringing
- Or other serious or compelling reasons
Each dependant is required to show £6,120 if studying at UEA. (£680 for a maximum of 9 months)
If you (the main applicant) meets the reduced living costs requirement, then your dependants will also meet it and will need to show £1,360. (£680 for a maximum of 2 months)
Evidence of Funds
- Each dependant applying will need to show evidence of funds for their living costs.
- Money can be shown in a bank statement with the required funds for 28 days, and the last transaction is not more than 1 month old.
- If you are financially sponsored and it covers your family, you will need a letter from your sponsor stating this.
- The money can be in your name (the main applicant) or the dependant's name. If the dependant is a child, the money can be in either parent's name.
- Money in a dependant's bank account cannot be used by the main application (the student) applying for a Tier 4 visa to meet the financial requirement. This must be in their name.
For more information about the Tier 4 financial requirements including reduced living costs and ‘Low Risk', please visit our Tier 4 Visa Requirements page. Also read the PBS Dependants Police Guidance.
If you are applying with the Tier 4 student visa application, you will apply at the same time and you application will be included with the main applicant's visa application.
Applying Separately from the Tier 4 Visa Application
Whether you are applying in the UK or outside of the UK, you will need to apply online. You can find more information and the online forms on the GOV.UK website.When applying from outside the UK to find the correct form you will need to select visa type as:
Reason for visit: Study
Visa type: PBS Tier 4 Student
Visa Sub Type: Tier 4 (General) Dependant Partner (or Child)
Switching to a Dependant Visa
If you currently have a Tier 4 visa and you want to switch your visa to a dependant of a Tier 4 visa, you can apply within the UK. However, if you have a dependant visa, you are not allowed to switch to a Tier 4 visa in the UK and you will be required to return home to apply from there.
If you have had a baby born in the UK, they do not need to apply for a visa to be able to stay in the UK. However, if you are going to travel with your baby outside of the UK, they will need a Tier 4 dependant visa to be able to return to the UK. Your baby can apply either in the UK or outside of the UK, as long as they are able to meet all the Tier 4 dependant requirements.UKCISA – Babies born in the UK
If you are planning to bring your family to the UK or if you have any questions about Tier 4 dependant visas and you would like some advice, please book an appointment to see an International Advisor in the Student Support Centre.