Staff Visas

Bringing your family

Family members can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your ‘dependants’.   

Before you apply

What family members can come as my dependants?

Dependants are defined as any of the following:

  • Husband, wife or civil partners
  • Unmarried partner (you must show you have been in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years before the date of application and have documentary evidence to prove this)
  • Children under 18 (a child aged 16 or over must not be leading an independent life)

Please note there is no strict requirement for unmarried partners to have lived together, but there is an expectation that a couple will have lived together, unless there’s good reasons why not.

Adult children and other relatives

Children who are 18 years old or older on the date of application, and who have not previously been granted permission as a dependent of the main (Skilled Worker) applicant, cannot be granted permission as a dependent child. Other relatives, for example, parents or grandparents, cannot apply.

Requirements to be met

Relationship requirements and applying for your child:

Relationship requirements

Applying for your child

Criminal record check

Criminal record checks required for a main applicant will also apply to a spouse or partner. If the Skilled Worker visa holder did not require a criminal record certificate, then neither will their dependants. 

Maintenance requirements

A Skilled Worker visa holder must show you have personal savings to support yourself and any dependants in the UK.

It is very important that you can show the relevant funds, and submit the correct financial documents.

English language requirements

There is currently no English language requirement for dependants of a Skilled Worker visa holder. 

TB test requirement

If you are submitting your application from outside the UK, a TB test may be required.

Suitability requirements

Where can my dependants apply from?

They can apply at the same time or submit an application to join you at a later date.  A dependant visa will be given the same end date as the main applicant's Skilled Worker visa.

A child will be granted permission which ends on the same date as whichever of their parents’ permission ends first, unless both parents have (or are being granted) settlement or British Citizenship, in which case the child will be granted permission for three years.

The application process depends on whether you are applying from outside or inside the UK.

Application forms for applying inside and outside the UK

Guidance documents

Children born in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK on the Skilled Worker visa route, they do not automatically become British citizens (unless one of the parents has indefinite leave to remain or is a British citizen).

You can apply online for their dependant visa. You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child.

You’ll need to provide a full UK birth certificate for each child, showing the names of both parents.

Can my dependants work and study in the UK?

Any dependants who are aged 16 years or over will have permission to work in the UK.  There are no restrictions on the type of work they can do except:

  • No work as a professional sportsperson or coach

There are no restrictions on study for dependants although if studying on a programme that requires ATAS clearance then they will need to obtain an ATAS certificate before they can commence their programme.