Dependant visa (inside the UK)
This information relates to making a dependant partner/spouse/child visa application inside the UK (permission to stay). If you're outside of the UK please see our page on dependant visa applications outside of the UK.
Note: students joining courses after 1 January 2024 can only bring dependants if they are government sponsored, or studying PhD/other doctoral qual/research-based higher degree.
Dependants already in the UK can continue to extend.
You can choose to apply for your partner or child’s visa at the same time as you extend or switch your own visa.
If you cannot apply at the same time, your partner or child can apply to extend or switch their visas at a later date, but this must be before their current visa expires.
Your partner or child cannot apply to switch in the UK if they have one of the following visas:
- a visit visa
- a short-term student visa
- a Parent of a Child Student visa
- a seasonal worker visa
- a domestic worker in a private household visa
You will need to be either:
- a postgraduate student studying a research based degree or PhD of 9 months or longer.
- a new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts longer than 6 months
A dependant partner or child is one of the following:
- your husband, wife or civil partner
- your unmarried partner
- your child under 18 years old - including if they were born in the UK during your stay
You’ll need to provide evidence of your relationship when you apply, for example:
- a marriage or civil partnership certificate for your dependant partner
- a birth certificate for your dependant child
You will also need to provide evidence that your relationship with your dependant partner is genuine and subsisting. You will need to provide proof that you are residing at the same UK residential address, examples of acceptable evidence of this can be a;
- tenancy agreement
- bank statement or bank letter
- council tax bill
- utility bill
For dependant children, both parents must each be either applying at the same time as the applicant or have permission to be in the UK (other than as a visitor), unless the parent with permission as a student or as the partner of a student is the sole surviving parent, or the parent with permission as a student or as the partner of a student has sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing, or there are serious and compelling reasons to grant the child permission to stay with the parent who has permission as a student or as the partner of a student.
If your child is 16 or 17 on the date you apply you’ll need to prove they are not living an independent life, for example they’re not married or in a civil partnership.
You’ll need to prove:
- where they live - if they do not live with you, you’ll need to explain why
- any rent or upkeep they pay you each month
- that you support them financially if they do not live with you
If your child lives with you, you’ll need to provide 2 of the following documents confirming their address:
- a bank statement
- credit card bills
- driving licence
- NHS registration document
- an official letter from their university or college
Your dependant(s) will be exempt from meeting the financial requirements if they have been living in the UK for 12 months or more with permission at the time of the visa application. There must not be a break between the 12 months spent in the UK and the date of the application, for example, they cannot rely on 12 months prior residence. Holidays and short absences from the UK do not break the 12 month period. However, if they haven’t been based in the UK for a significant part of the 12 months, for example for at least 3 months, they will not meet the exemption and would need to provide financial documentation with their dependant visa application.
If you and your partner or child are from a country listed under the ‘differential evidence requirement’ and you’re applying at the same time, they do not need to prove they have money to support themselves. However, they might be asked to provide this evidence before they get a decision on their application. If they do need to provide it, they’ll be contacted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) after they’ve submitted their application.
Otherwise they must each have a certain amount of money available to them. This is in addition to the money you must have to support yourself.
They will need to show financial evidence for £680.00 a month up to a maximum of 9 months per applicant.
If you’re applying at the same time as your partner or child (you’re applying together as a family), you’ll need to prove you have both money to pay for your course and to support yourself and additional money for each of them.
If your partner or child is applying at a different time to you (they’re applying separately) they only need to prove they have money to support themselves.
You (or your partner or child) must have this money for at least 28 consecutive days. The end date of the 28 day period must be within 31 days of the date they apply for their visa.
If you have financial sponsorship, you’ll need to provide evidence of this from your sponsorship company. If this does not cover your partner or child, you’ll need to prove you have money to support them instead.
Each person will need to pay:
£490.00 for the visa application fee, plus £19.20 to have their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.
You will have to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) in order to be able to access National Health Service (NHS) services in the UK. From 6 February 2024, Immigration Health Surcharge is charged at £776.00 per year (£388.00 per half year) – check how much they’ll have to pay.
How to apply
Your partner must apply as a partner
Your child must apply as a child
They may need your Unique Application Number (UAN) from your visa application. You’ll find it on your UKVI application form and document checklist.
As part of their application, they may need to make an appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point to provide their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). Depending on if they can reuse their old biometric data, they may be able to enrol their biometrics remotely through the IDV app. They will receive an email to confirm if this is possible.
They may also need to submit their supporting documents. They can either:
- upload them onto the online service
- have them scanned at their UKVCAS appointment
Alternatively, they may be able to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan their identity document – they would create a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account. See information on how to use this app.
They must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until they get a decision. Their application will be withdrawn if they do.
Getting a faster decision
They may be able to pay for a Priority Service application which costs £990.00. This should enable them to receive a decision on their application within 5 days.
They may also be able to choose to pay for a Super Priority Service application which costs £1490.00. This should enable them to receive a decision on their application by the next working day.
If they enrol their biometrics through UKVCAS, they will also need to pay an extra £19.20 for biometric enrolment. In this case, a decision cannot be made on their application until they have successfully enrolled their biometrics.