Dependants and Student Visas overseas

This page outlines what to do if you are applying for a visa outside the UK as a dependant of a student migrant.



Where you are already in the UK and you are applying for a visa as a PBS Dependant, or on behalf of a dependant of yours, please visit the page below:

Partners and children of a Student migrant can apply for a PBS Dependant visa outside the UK where the Student migrant is:

  • A Doctorate Extension Scheme student; or
  • Government-sponsored and their course is full-time and longer than six months; or
  • Doing a full-time postgraduate course (at level 7 on the Ofqual Register of 9 months or longer at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance: Ofqual Register
  • Or holding a Study visa (or 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. The dependent must also meet certain requirements in this case. Please contact International Student Support for advice if you are relying on this arrangement:
  • Contact International Student Support

How to apply from overseas

Step 1: Online application

Dependants must complete the online application:

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:

  • Photographs of each dependant
  • Current passport for the dependant
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to meet criteria*
  • Certificate of Student Status for the Student migrant
  • TB Certificate (if applicable) for each dependant
  • Documents to show that children aged 16 or over are not leading an independent life
  • Signed letter from the Student migrant inviting their family to live with them as a dependant
  • Evidence of dependants relationship to the Student migrant (original marriage/birth certificates - if the applicant has not been granted a dependant visa using this document before)
  • Document(s) to show that partners have lived at the same address as the Student (e.g bank statements, utility bills), if the dependent partner and the Student migrant are not married or in a civil partnership, this evidence needs to cover a 2 year period.
  • Evidence of sole responsibility or serious and compelling circumstances and appropriate care (if applicable)
  • 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 dependent 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 


This applies where:

  • The dependant is applying at the same time as the Student migrant; and
  • The dependant and Student migrant submit the visa application either in the country in which they both live or their country of nationality; and
  • Both the Dependant and the Student migrant are nationals of a country listed in paragraph 22.1 of the immigration rules

Where this applies, 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.

Step 4: Obtain BRP

Dependants will need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre to obtain their BRP.

Your BRP must be obtained within ten days of arriving in the UK.

Child Applications

Dependant children must be under the age of 18 on the date of the visa application.

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 where:

  • 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).

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

 See Also:

Applying for a Student Visa outside the UK

UKVI immigration rules: students and dependants

Contact International Student Support

Request a Certificate of Student Status