Bringing Your Family to The UK on a Student Visa

Studying abroad in the UK is surely an exciting experience. But sooner or later you’re going to miss your family members and everything you’ve left back home. Studying can be stressful from time to time and seeing your parents and other family members might offer you some much-needed relief.

Fortunately, you can bring your family members in the UK on your Tier 4 student visa. Here’s everything you need to know about how you can get to see your family members in the UK while studying there.

Who is eligible?

There are some legal requirements that you need to satisfy to be allowed to bring someone in the UK on your student visa.

You’re eligible to invite family members to join you in the UK for a certain period of time on your Tier 4 student visa if the following conditions are met:

  • You’re studying at the postgraduate level.
  • Your degree course is full-time and takes at least 9 months to be completed.
  • You’re attending a study program 6 months or longer, which is funded by the UK government or a foreign government.
  • You’re a PhD graduate holding visa under the Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Note that if your studying for an Advanced Diploma you’re not eligible to apply to bring a family member on a Tier 4 visa.

Only a few relatives you can bring in the UK under the Tier 4 Dependant visa. The definition of a dependant is determined through existing laws in the UK.

These family members are eligible to apply for Tier 4 Dependant visa in the UK

  • Your spouse, wife or a civil partner
  • Your relationship partner
  • Your children aged under 18 including those who were born in the UK while you’re were residing there.

If you want to extend your Tier 4 visa to further stay in the UK, your children aged over 18 are also eligible to apply for an extension as your dependants. For details concerning this issue, it is recommended that you reach the International Office at your university in the UK or the Home Office.

Of course, if your wife, spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend is applying for a Tier 4 Dependant visa in the UK strong evidence must be provided. If you’re married this can be done by submitting marriage certificates and other related documents if required. On the other hand, partners who don’t have a regulated civil status have to intend to live together during the whole time they spend in the UK.

In general, if children want to apply for a Tier 4 Dependant visa both of his parents must be living in the UK or are going to do so in the near future. There are surely exemptions to this rule. If for whatever reasons both parents don’t live in the UK, the one who does is required from immigration authorities to provide strong and reliable reasons as per why is important for him/her to have his/her children close. If for example, parents are divorced the one living in the UK must prove he/she is responsible for the child.

How to apply for Tier 4 Dependant Visa?

Your family members cannot apply for a Tier 4 Dependant visa until you have been granted your student visa in the UK. Similarly, if you’re in the process of extending your stay in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, your dependants have to wait until you receive a response about your application.

Your dependants can apply for a Tier 4 Dependant visa online. There is an application for each dependant.

To apply for a Tier 4 Dependant visa your dependants must present the following documents:

  • Their Passport.
  • A Tuberculosis certificate.
  • Proof of your relationship (for instance if they’re your husband or your wife they have to submit the marriage certificate).
  • Proof you have been granted a student visa beforehand.

At first, they will be issued a temporary residence permit in the UK for 30 days. Once they enter the UK they must have to make an appointment at the closest UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) for collecting their biometric information to authenticate their identity.

Biometric information contains some of your personal data including name, date, place of birth, immigration status, your accessibility on public funds like health services and also your fingerprints and a facial image.

In case you want to extend your visa or switch to another type of UK visas, you and your dependants are required to apply at the same time. If for whatever reason this is not possible, your dependants must wait for your application to be processed so they apply for their dependant visa.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Tier 4 Dependant Visa in the UK?

Every dependant applying for a Tier 4 dependant visa must pay:

  • ₤475 for the visa (₤348 for dependants who apply outside the UK).
  • An additional yearly healthcare charge (around ₤300).
  • Around 20 to get a biometric residence permit.

In normal conditions, your dependants have to wait for up to 8 weeks to receive a decision about their visa application. However, you can pay 500 for a priority service or 800 for a super-priority service. If you go for the former you Tier 4 dependant visa application will be processed within 5 working days while if you pick the super-priority service it will take at maximum two days to receive a decision.

Financial Resources

If you want to bring your family members in the UK on your student visa they must prove to have proper financial resources to afford the cost of living in the UK otherwise their visa will be rejected. Your personal funds cannot be provided as evidence they possess required funds to go to the UK. The amount of money they have to own varies according to how long is your course, at which part of the UK your studying in and whether you’re currently studying in the or have already completed a degree course.

How much money your dependants must have to be issued a Tier 4 Dependant visa?

Your dependant must have at least ₤680 each month to a maximum of 9 months. If you do the math it turns they need at least ₤6,120 for their visa to be granted. Nevertheless, it is recommended for them to collect more funds because chances to get the visa would then be higher

A bank statement which testifies the money belongs to the person in question is sufficient proof of financial resources. Make sure those funds have been deposited at least 28 days before getting the document.

An important note: If you’re studying in the UK on a scholarship or a similar grant, it is possible for you to provide financial coverage for your dependants as long as this is allowed from your sponsor. In that situation, immigration authorities in the UK will require you a document from your scholarship provider which confirms the amount of money they do offer you to cover your dependants. If that amount is not sufficient you need to provide additional funds.