Dependants and Tier 4 Visas Overseas

This page outlines what to do if you are applying for a visa outside the UK as a dependant of a Tier 4 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 Tier 4 migrant can apply for a PBS Dependant visa outside the UK where the Tier 4 migrant is:

  • a doctoral Extension Scheme student
  • government-sponsored and your course is full time and longer than six months
  • doing a full-time postgraduate course of 9 months or longer and you are sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register

How to Apply From Overseas

Step 1: Online Application

Dependants must complete the online application.

 Where your dependants are applying from North Korea, they cannot apply online and must apply via the application form below.

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
  • a copy of the Tier 4 migrant's passport and visa
  • TB Certificate (if applicable) for each dependant
  • Certificate of Student Status for each dependant
  • documents to show that children aged 16 or over are not leading an independent life
  • signed letter from the Tier 4 migrant inviting their family to live with them as a dependant
  • evidence of dependants relationship to the Tier 4 migrant (original marriage/birth certificates)
  • evidence of sole responsibility or serious and compelling circumstances and appropriate care (if applicable)

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

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 Tier 4 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 or Short Term Study 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

Contact International Student Support

Request a Certificate of Student Status