Dependants and Student Visas inside the UK

This page outlines what to do if you are applying for a visa inside the UK as a PBS dependant or on behalf of a dependant of yours.

On

Eligibility

Where you are applying for a PBS Dependant Visa from outside the UK, please visit the page below:

Where you are the partner or child of a student migrant, you are eligible to apply for a PBS Dependant Visa inside the UK if the student migrant is:

  • A Doctorate Extension Scheme student
  • Government-sponsored, and their course is full-time and longer than six months
  • Doing a course of 9 months or longer at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance, or a full-time postgraduate course at level 7 on the Ofqual register
  • Holding a study visa (or has held a visa within 3 months of the date of application) for a full-time course of 6 months or longer, and is applying for a further student visa to study a course of 6 months or longer. 
  • In the case above, the dependant must also meet certain requirements. Please contact International Student Support for advice if you are relying on this arrangement: International Student Support 

How to apply

Step 1: Online application

Dependants must complete the online application:

Where you have booked an appointment on the Visa Extension Scheme, you will be informed where to stop and save your application so an advisor can check the form and make any necessary amendments.

Step 2: Immigration Health Surcharge

During the application, dependants will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Step 3: Supporting documents

The following supporting documents must be submitted in support of the application:

  • Current passport for the dependant
  • Current BRP (if you have one)
  • Police registration certificate for the dependant (if applicable)
  • Documents to show that children aged 16 or over are not leading an independent life
  • Evidence of sole responsibility or serious and compelling circumstances and appropriate care (if applicable)
  • Document(s) to show that partners are living at the same address as the student, (e.g bank statements, council tax bills, utility bills). If the dependant partner and the student migrant are not married or in a civil partnership, this evidence needs to cover a 2-year period.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to meet criteria* – (if the student migrant is receiving official financial sponsorship, your name must appear on their sponsor letter for the funds to be considered as being available to you)
  • Evidence of the dependant’s relationship to the student migrant (original marriage/birth certificates) – ONLY if the dependant's current visa is not as a dependant of the student migrant they are applying to join
  • Evidence the dependant has consent from their previous financial sponsor to extend their visa in the UK- ONLY if the dependant has been fully sponsored (receiving both fees and living costs) from a government or international scholarship agency in the 12 months before the visa application is being submitted.
  • A copy of the student migrant’s passport and visa
  • A letter of consent signed by all parent(s) that have responsibility for any dependant child submitting an application. It must confirm:
    • The relationship between parent(s) and child;
    • Whether one or both parents have responsibility for the child;
    • That both or all parents responsible for the child consent to the child making this visa application; and
    • The address where the child will be living, whether it is the same address that the parent(s) live at and that both or all parents responsible for the child consent to the child's living arrangements in the UK.

* Evidence of funds, differentiation arrangement & living in the UK for 12 months or more

Differentiation

Where the dependant is applying at the same time as the student migrant, if both the dependant and the student migrant are nationals of a country listed in paragraph 22.1 of the immigration rules, you will not need to submit evidence of funds with your visa application. 

You will need to ensure you have held funds that meet the requirements in case UKVI ask for the documents later in the visa process.

Living in the UK for 12 months or more

If the dependant has already lived in the UK with a visa for 12 months or more by the date they submit the visa application, and they submit the application inside the UK, they will automatically meet the funds requirement and do not need to submit evidence of funds with the visa application.

If the student they are dependant on meets this requirement, the dependant does not automatically meet this requirement as well, they will need to have lived in the UK with a visa for at least 12 months in their own right.

Where a dependant has had absences from the UK in the 12 months before the date they submit your visa application, UKVI's guidance on the financial requirement suggests that they will still meet the requirement if they have only had holidays and short absences. 

UKVI list being absent from the UK for at least 3 months as an example of where they would not meet this requirement.

If they have had one or more absence(s) from the UK in the 12 months before the visa application is submitted, and the total time they were outside the UK was more than 3 months, we would advise that they do not automatically meet the financial requirement.

If they do not automatically meet the financial requirement, and they are not from a differential evidence country, they must provide evidence to show they have adequate funds.

Some dependants may have already lived in the UK for 12 months without a visa, for example a child born in the UK who is applying for their first visa. In this case, the dependant will need to submit evidence of funds with the visa application.

Step 4: Obtain BRP

Dependants will need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken to obtain their BRP.


Child applications

Age requirement

Dependant children must be under the age of 18 on the date of the visa application unless their most recent visa is as a dependant child of the Student or the Student's partner.

Responsibility for the child

Children can only apply to join a student migrant where:

  • Both parents are present in the UK (with a valid visa); or
  • Both parents are applying at the same time as the dependant; or
  • One parent is present in the UK and the other is applying at the same time as the dependant

Where the student migrant is a single parent, children can only apply if:

  • The other parent is dead; or
  • You have had sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing; or
  • There are serious and compelling family or other considerations and suitable arrangements have been made for the child’s care

You are not considered to be “lawfully present” if you have a Visitor Visa.

Where you are required to submit evidence of sole responsibility or serious and compelling circumstances and appropriate care, you should obtain legal advice from an immigration specialist beforehand. 

You must provide evidence of this with your child’s application (e.g. divorce or death certificates).

The caseworker must also be satisfied that any children aged under 16 will be living with the student migrant and their dependant partner in a care arrangement in line with UK legislation, unless they can show a valid reason why they do not live with that parent but they have also not been leading an independent life.

UKVI Guidance on Serious and Compelling Considerations (PDF, 197kb)

Children born in the UK

Where you have a child born in the UK that is not a British citizen, the child can remain in the UK lawfully without applying for, or obtaining a visa.

However, once they are more than 3 months old, they are not entitled to free NHS healthcare unless it is emergency treatment. You may therefore, choose to submit a visa application for your child within 3 months of their birth in order to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for them, or purchase appropriate medical insurance.

If the child leaves the UK before they get a visa, they will need to apply for, and obtain a visa from overseas in order to be able to travel back to the UK.


See also:

Applying for a Tier 4 Visa Inside the UK

Contact International Student Support