Can I Bring My Spouse & Dependent Child under Student Visa in UK?

This guidance relates to UK Student Dependent Spouse and Child Visa Requirements in 2021. Accordingly, covers the details of validity, suitability, and eligibility – especially, course, relationship, financial – requirements for student spouse, unmarried or same-sex partner, and child dependant visa UK. The dependent partner and/or dependent child can apply at the same time as the student. However, dependant partners and dependent children are not required to apply at the same time as the student. Therefore, they can also apply for entry clearance to join the Student in the UK, or for permission to stay as a dependant, at a later date. If a dependant partner and/or dependent child is applying as the dependant of a student who has already been granted permission within the UK, all dependants are granted in line with the end date of the student’s permission.

Please note, the new student visa has replaced the Tier 4 (General) Student as of October 5, 2020. Moreover, from January 1, 2021, changes in the immigration rules mean that EEA and Swiss (excluding Irish) nationals require a visa to join or accompany a person on a student route in the UK.

1. Overview 2. Validity 3. Suitability 4. Eligibility 5. Supporting Documents 6. Processing Time 7. Sucess Rate

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1. Overview

Student Spouse and Child Dependent Visa UK

Following people are eligible for permission as a dependant of a person who has been granted permission as a student, or who will be applying at the same time:

  • spouses
  • civil partners
  • unmarried or same-sex partners
  • dependent children of either a student or their partner under the age of 18

Requirements

In terms of Appendix Student, a foreign person needs to meet the validity, suitability, and eligibility requirements to get student spouse and child dependent visa in the UK.

  • Validity Requirements for Student Dependent Visa UK: The Paragraphs ST 28.1. to ST 28.4 of Appendix Student outline the minimum criteria which an applicant needs to fulfill for the further considerations. For instance, the applicant has used the correct form and supplied their identity documents. Applications which do not meet validity requirements are rejected as invalid.
  • Suitability Requirements for Student Dependent Visa UK: The Paragraphs ST 29.1. to ST 29.2 of Appendix Student relates to the suitability of the applicant to be granted any form of permission, not specifically whether they qualify as a student dependant. Applicants must not fall for refusal on general grounds or be in breach of immigration laws. Applications which do not meet these requirements are refused.
  • Eligibility Requirements for Student Dependent Visa UK: In terms of Appendix Student, the specific eligibility criteria for student dependent visa relate to:
    • student course requirement
    • relationship requirement for a dependant partner/dependent child
    • financial requirement for a dependant partner/dependent child
    • care requirement for a dependent child
    • age requirement for a dependent child

Can Spouse Work on Student Dependent Visa in UK?

In terms of Paragraph ST 39.3 (b)(ii) of Appendix Student, a dependent spouse of a student studying below degree level course cannot work in the UK. A dependent spouse of a student studying degree level course can work (including self-employment and voluntary work) in the UK. However, a student dependent cannot work or take employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach) in the UK.

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Student Dependent Spouse and Child Visa UK

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    2. Validity

    Student Spouse and Child Dependent Visa UK

    Before considering suitability and eligibility requirements, the Immigration Officer/Home Office check the validity of the application under the paragraphs ST 28.1. to ST 28.4 of Appendix Student, which relate to:

    1. Application Form
    2. Application Fees and Immigration Health Charge
    3. Biometrics and Identity Documents
    4. Government or International Scholarship Agency Awards
    5. Switching

    2.1 Application Form

    A person applying for entry clearance or permission to stay, as a student dependent, needs to apply on the specified form on the gov.uk website as follows:

    • EEA National with a Chipped Passport: Dependant partner or dependent child can apply by using the UK Immigration: ID Check App or the forms listed below for dependant applicants outside or inside the UK as relevant
    • Applicants outside the UK: Dependant partner visa Dependant child visa
    • Applicants inside the UK: If the dependant is applying at the same time as the student applicant, they can be included in the form Student where the form allows dependants to be added. Otherwise: Dependant partner or Dependant child

    2.2 Application Fees and Immigration Health Charge

    The student dependent spouse and child visa applicants need to pay the relevant application fees and any Immigration Health Charge (aka Immigration Health Surcharge or IHS) for each year of their stay – usually @ £624 per year. The student dependent visa cost 2021 from outside the UK is £348. The Home Office fees 2021 for student dependent visa extension and switching application from inside the UK is £475. Once the visa is granted then student dependents need to pay £19.20 for biometrics information (fingerprints and a photo) in the UK.

    2.3 Biometrics and Identity Documents

    At the time of application, Student Dependent Visa applicants need to provide their biometrics. These biometrics details are verified against a valid passport or other travel document of the applicants

    2.4 Government or International Scholarship Agency Awards

    If in the last 12 months before the date of student partner or child dependent visa application, the applicant has completed a course of studies in the UK for which they have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a government or international scholarship agency covering both fees and living costs for study in the UK, then they need to provide written consent in relation to their application from that Government or agency.

    2.5 Switching

    An applicant who is in the UK cannot apply to switch into the student route as a dependent if they have, or were last granted, permission as a Visitor, Short-Term Student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic Worker in a Private Household, or outside the Immigration Rules. However, there may be other reasons that someone in those circumstances may be allowed to switch into the student route as a dependant, and the Home Office may consider this on a case by case basis.

    ST 28.5. An application which does not meet the validity requirements for a partner or child on the Student route is invalid and may be rejected and not considered.

    Immigration Rules Appendix Student

    3. Suitability

    Student Spouse and Child Dependent Visa UK

    For entry clearance or permission to stay as a student spouse or child dependent in the UK an applicant needs to meet the suitability requirements under Paragraphs ST 29.1 and ST 29.2 of Appendix Student. Therefore, in terms of paragraph ST 29.1 the student dependent visa applicant must not fall for refusal under Part 9: grounds for refusal. Moreover, as per paragraph ST 29.2 an applicant applying for permission to stay must not be:

    • in breach of immigration laws, except that where paragraph 39E applies, that period of overstaying will be disregarded; or
    • on immigration bail

    4. Eligibility

    Student Spouse and Child Dependent Visa UK

    In terms of Appendix Student, eligibility requirements for UK Student Spouse and Child Dependent Visa relates to:

    1. Entry Requirement
    2. Tuberculosis Certificate
    3. Student Course
    4. Relationship
    5. Care Requirement for a Dependent Child
    6. Age Requirement for a Dependent Child
    7. Financial (Living Cost)

    4.1 Entry Clearance

    A person seeking to come to the UK as a student dependent need to apply for and obtain entry clearance under Appendix Student before they arrive in the UK.

    4.2 Tuberculosis Certificates

    UK student dependent spouse or child visa applicant needs to provide a valid TB certificate with their application if they have been residing within a country listed in Appendix T of the Immigration Rules for more than 6 months immediately preceding the application. If an applicant fails to provide a valid TB test certificate, then the application is refused under paragraph ST 3.2 of Appendix Student.

    4.3 Student Course

    The following Students are allowed to have dependants with them in the UK:

    • Students who have financial sponsorship from a government or international sponsorship agency to study a course lasting 6 months or longer
    • Students studying above degree level at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance on a course lasting 9 months or longer
    • A student who has permission, or had permission within the last 3 months to study on a full-time course of 6 months or longer, and who are now applying for permission to study a full-time course of 6 months or longer where either:
      • the partner or child applying has been the student’s dependant in that period
      • the child applying was born since the last grant of permission to the student and they are applying at the same time as the student or the dependant partner
    • Students with permission on the Doctorate Extension Scheme
    • Students whose child was born in a timeframe set out at Appendix Student ST 31.2 (see below) are allowed to have that child as a dependant with them in the UK
    Course Less than 6 months

    Students who are studying in the UK for less than 6 months cannot bring dependants to the UK.

    Child Students

    Child Students cannot bring dependants with them to the UK

    4.4 Relationship

    Dependants of a Student need to prove the relationship with the student is genuine and subsisting relationship. Accordingly, an applicant can use the birth certificates and marriage certificates as proof of relationship but may use other documents as well. However, if a dependant partner or child has previously been granted permission as a dependant of the student, then they do not need to provide this evidence again.

    Proof of relationship for dependant partners

    If the Student and the dependant partner are married or in a civil partnership, then an applicant for UK student spouse or partner dependent visa may provide:

    • a valid document providing record of the marriage or civil partnership such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate
    • a valid overseas registration document for a same-sex relationship which is entitled to be treated as a civil partnership under the Civil Partnership Act of 2004
    Unmarried Partners

    If the student and the person applying as a dependant partner are not married or in a civil partnership, then they can demonstrate a genuine and subsisting relationship by providing evidence they have lived together for 2 years such as:

    • bank statements, council tax, or utility bills
    • residential mortgage statements or tenancy agreements
    • official correspondence or documents that link the student and their partner and show they are living at the same address

    This is not an exhaustive list. A UK dependant spouse or partner visa applicant can use other documents to demonstrate that their relationship is genuine and subsisting with the student.

    Proof of relationship for dependent children

    Dependent children of a student need to submit evidence that they are related to the student or the student’s dependant partner as claimed. This can be evidenced by the child’s birth certificate that shows the name of the child and parent. However other documentation can also be used to evidence the parental relationship with the child.

    Official documents issued by overseas governments may not always be in the same format as a UK birth certificate. Therefore, the Home Office may accept these if the document has been issued by a government or a court, clearly demonstrates a relationship, and is either in English or is accompanied by a verified translation. Accordingly, acceptable evidence of a parental relationship for a UK student dependent child visa can include:

    • full birth certificates
    • a court order such as a special guardianship order
    • a government issued household registration certificate such as family form

    This doesn’t represent an exhaustive list as other forms of documentation can be used to demonstrate that the dependent child is a child of the student or the dependant partner of a student.

    Please note, the Home Office may not accept an affidavit as these are only evidence that someone has made a sworn statement regarding a claimed relationship, and not evidence of that relationship by themselves.

    4.5 Care Requirement for Dependant Children

    The applicant applying as a dependant child of a student need to satisfy that they will be living with the student and any dependant partner of that Student in a suitable care arrangement that meets relevant UK legislation, unless they are aged 16 or over. Please note, the Home Office will also consider such application under Section 55 duty to regard the wellbeing of children aged under 18.

    4.6 Dependent Children Aged 16 and Over

    A person applying as a dependent child over 18 on the date of application may be granted permission if:

    • they are making an application for permission as a dependant of a student who is permitted to have dependants in the UK having last held permission as a dependant of that Student or the Student’s dependant partner
    • they are not living an independent life
    Child Must Not Be Living an Independent Life

    A dependent child aged 16 or over must not be living an independent life as defined in the Immigration Rules.

    “Must not be leading an independent life” or “is not leading an independent life” means that the person:

    (a) does not have a partner; and

    (b) is living with their parent (except where they are at boarding school, college or university as part of their full-time education); and

    (c) is not in full-time employment (unless aged 18 or over); and

    (d) is wholly or mainly dependent upon their parent for financial support (unless aged 18 or over); and

    (e) is wholly or mainly dependent upon their parent for emotional support.

    Where under these rules a relative other than a parent may act as the sponsor or carer of the person, references in this definition to “parent” shall be read as applying to that other relative.

    Immigration Rules

    Evidence

    If a dependent child is 16 years old or older, on the date of decision, then the applicant need to satisfy that they are not living an independent life. The following evidence can be used to demonstrate that the dependent child is living with the student or their dependant partner and relies on them for financial or emotional support:

    • bank statement (which may show funds that their parent is providing to support them)
    • credit card bills
    • driving license
    • NHS registration document
    • an official letter from their current school, college or university that confirms their address

    If a dependent child pays rent or board, they can evidence the amount that they pay each month.

    If a dependent child is not living with the student due to attending school, college, or university, then need to satisfy that they are not living an independent life. If the dependent child is living at a separate address, then need to satisfy that this is due to study elsewhere. Evidence of this can include:

    • official confirmation of their studies from their school, college, or university
    • evidence that they are being financially supported by their parents up to the point they are applying (for example, evidence covering a 3 month period prior to the application)

    4.7 Financial Requirement for Student Dependent Visa UK

    A dependant of a student must show that they have enough money to cover their living costs whilst the student is studying in the UK. However, applicants under Dependant of a Student will meet the financial requirement if they have been in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of application.

    Calculating Funds Needed for a Dependant of a Student

    The level of funds needed will depend on the following circumstances:

    • the length of the student applicant’s permission
    • where in the UK the Student applicant will be studying?
    • whether the student is on or applying for the doctorate extension scheme

    Dependants of Student applicants will need to evidence finance for the period they would be granted permission, if their application were to be successful, up to a maximum of 9 months. The start date of this period will be calculated from the date:

    • the applicant is intending to travel to the UK or one month before the student applicant’s course start date, whichever is later, if they are applying for entry clearance
    • after their current period of permission expires, if they are already in the UK as the dependant of a student (including Tier 4) and are applying for further permission to stay
    • of their application, if the applicant has leave under another PBS category and is now applying for leave as the dependant of a student (including Tier 4)

    If the applicant is applying as the dependant of a student who is on the doctorate extension scheme, they will need to demonstrate finance for a period of 2 months. When calculating the level of funds, dependants will need to demonstrate funds of:

    • £845 per month if the student is studying in the Greater London area
    • £680 per month if the student is studying outside of the Greater London area

    Evidence

    Unless a dependant is making an application at the same time as a student and Appendix Student ST 22.1 applies, they need to submit evidence that they meet the financial requirement.

    Dependants of a student can rely on the following as evidence of funds available to them to meet the financial requirement:

    • bank account or building society statements that meet the requirements of Appendix Finance FIN 5.1 and FIN 8.1
    • a sponsorship letter from an official financial sponsor of the student that states the sponsorship will also cover living costs for the student’s dependants and which names those dependants
    UK Student Dependant Visa Requirements

    5. Supporting Documents

    Student Spouse and Child Dependent Visa UK

    To meet the UK student spouse or child dependent visa requirements an applicant needs to furnish the following supporting documents with the application:

    1. Print out of the UK Student Visa Online Application Form
    2. a current passport (or other valid travel identification) that shows applicant’s identity and nationality with a blank page on both sides for affixation of the visa vignette
    3. certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh
    4. proof of meeting the financial requirements (money for maintenance in the UK and paying the course fees) such as bank statements, or a sponsorship letter from an official financial sponsor of the student
    5. written consent for application from financial sponsor if the applicant received sponsorship for course fees and living costs in the last 12 months
    6. Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
    7. tuberculosis test results, if applicable
    8. proof of relationship such a marriage or birth certificate – or any other documents proving genuine and subsisting relationship with the student
    9. proof of adequate living arrangement for children under 16 years of age – if applicable

    Please note, this is not an exhaustive list as the required supporting documents for UK student spouse or child dependant visa application depends on the circumstances of the applicant.

    6. Processing Time

    Student Spouse and Child Dependent Visa UK

    The service standard for UK Student Spouse or Child Dependent Visa Processing Time after Biometrics in 2021 is to decide 90%, 98% and 100% of the applications within 15, 30 and 60 working days, respectively. Accordingly, the UK student spouse or child dependent visa processing time is usually within 3 weeks or 15 working days for 90-95% of the applicants. Moreover, applicants can fast track UK student spouse or child dependent visa processing time within five working days (or 24-hours) by purchasing the £220 priority visa service (or £956 super priority visa).

    The service standard for UK student dependent visa extension processing time after biometrics is 8 weeks for renewal applications. Moreover, applicants can fast track UK student visa processing time for extension (renewal) applications within 5 working days or 24 hours by purchasing the £500 or £800 priority or super-priority service, respectively.

    Please note, purchasing the priority or super-priority service for fast-tracking UK student partner or child dependent visa processing time does not influence the decision. In fact, these premium services are only for fast tracking UK student spouse or child dependent visa processing time of straightforward applications.

    7. Success Rate

    Student Spouse and Child Dependent Visa UK

    According to the latest immigration statistics, from 2020 Q4 to 2021 Q2, 14,931 UK Student Spouse and Child Dependent Visa applications resolved, and 13,525 visas granted. Moreover, 1,394 applications rejected, 12 applications withdrawn, and no application lapsed. Therefore, the UK student partner or child dependent visa success and rejection rate are 90.58% and 9.33%, respectively.

    UK Student Dependent Visa Success and Rejection Rate 2021

    Year/ QuarterDecisionsIssuedRefusedWithdrawnLapsedSuccess RateRejection Rate
    2020Q4806753512093.42%6.33%
    2021Q17,6866,9407433090.29%9.67%
    2021Q26,4395,832
    600
    7090.57%9.31%
    Total14,93113,5251,39412090.58%9.33%