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.


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 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
  • Holding a Study visa (or held a visa within 3 months of the date of applciation) 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 dependant must also meet certain requirements in this case. Please contact International Student Support for advice if you are relying on this arrangement.

How to Apply

Step 1: Online Application

Dependants must complete the online application.

Apply Online as a Partner

Apply Online as a Child (If you already have a UK visa)

Apply Online as a Child Born in the UK (Making a first UK visa 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
  • a copy of the Student migrant’s passport and visa
  • 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)
  • documents to show that partners are living at the same address as the Student migrant for 2 years (e.g bank statements, council tax bills, utility bills) - ONLY if the depedant partner and the Student migrant are not married or in a civil partnership.
  • 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 applciation is being submitted.

Step 4: Obtain BRP

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

Child Applications

Children can only apply to join a Tier 4 migrant where:

  • both parents are present in the UK; 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)

See Also

Applying for a Tier 4 Visa Inside the UK

Contact International Student Support