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 your spouse or civil/unmarried partner, and your children with you to the UK as your dependants.
If you are bringing your children, both parents must intend to live in the UK.
Child dependants must be either:
You cannot bring other family members, such as parents or siblings. Other family members may visit you for up to six months using a standard visitor visa.
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.
They will need:
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.
Find detailed information about making a dependant application in our guide.
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 visit:
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.
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.
Find out more about life in the UK for your dependants, including about healthcare and schools, on the International Student Advisory Service website.