If you are coming to study in the UK as a Tier 4 student you may wish to bring your family with you. Certain students are permitted to bring family members to the UK as their dependants.
You can bring dependants to the UK if:
Undergraduate students who are not government-sponsored cannot bring dependants.
You can bring the following to the UK as your dependants:
Child dependants must be either:
Other family members, such as your parents or siblings, cannot come to the UK as your dependants.
In order for your family to apply for a dependant visa, you must already have a Tier 4 visa, or apply at the same time as them.
Unmarried partners will need to prove that they have been living in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years. You can show this through, for example, tenancy agreements, joint bank statements, utility bills showing that you have been living at the same address.
If you would like your child to come to the UK as your dependant, you should note that the Immigration Rules state that both of the child’s parents must be present in the UK, unless:
If you are making a visa application to amend or change your current visa in the UK, your dependants must apply at the same time as you.
Please note that we offer a visa application checking service - if you decide to attend this, please ensure you have chosen an appointment that is for an applicant with dependants.
To find out more about this service, please contact the Immigration team:
Find out about premium service centres:
Plase note that if your dependant has immigration permission to be in the UK as a visitor or short-term student they will need to return home to apply for their Tier 4 dependant visa.
What documents do I need for a Tier 4 visa dependant application? Use our checklist:
Even if born in the UK, your baby does not have automatic rights to British citizenship. To be classed as a British national he or she must have a parent with British citizenship or settled status in the UK.
Your baby won’t need a visa while he or she remains in Scotland. However, once they’ve left the UK they will need a visa to re-enter.
If you are applying inside the UK, the form you need to use will depend on whether you are applying as the same time as your baby or not. The application form will ask if you want to add a dependant child (your baby) to the application:
If you are applying from your home country, you will need to use the Visa4UK portal online form. You should choose the following options:
Please note that, if you intend to travel outside of Scotland with your child before they have a visa, you might be charged for any NHS treatment your child receives.
Any dependants who are over 16 years old will be able to work full time in the UK. There are no restrictions on the type of work they can do except:
There are no restrictions on study for Tier 4 dependants. You should note that if you are studying on a programme that requires ATAS clearance you will need to obtain an ATAS certificate before you can commence your programme.
Dependants have no access to public funds, which means that they cannot claim social benefits from the state, such as unemployment benefit or housing benefit.
Certain nationalities who have a visa for more than six months must register with the Police.
If you are not an EEA or Swiss national but you are a family member of an EEA or Swiss national, then you may wish to consider obtaining an EEA Family Permit to allow you to come to the UK.
Your family members can visit you for a short period of time while you’re in the UK. They would need to apply for a General Visitor visa online.
Find out more about life in the UK for your dependants, including about healthcare and schools, on the International Student Advisory Service website.