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How to Apply for UK Skilled Worker Dependent Visa

While some Skilled Worker visa (previously the Tier 2 visa) holders come to the UK alone, many have a partner and/or children who require a Skilled worker dependent visa. In this article, we take a close look at the details of the Skilled Worker Dependent visa, who is eligible, how to apply, and the conditions attached to this visa.

What is a UK Skilled Worker dependent visa and who can apply?

The UK Skilled worker dependent visa (previously the Tier 2 dependent visa) is for dependent family members of Skilled Worker Visa UK holders who wish to come to the UK. Dependent family members include a Skilled Worker visa holders:

  • husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner
  • children under the age of 18 – this includes children who were born in the UK during the Skilled Workers visa holder’s stay
  • children over the age of 18 if currently in the UK dependent on the Skilled Worker visa holder

A dependent child or partner can apply for a Skilled Worker dependent visa at any time before the Skilled Worker visa expires or when extending or switching their own visa.

Who is classed as a dependent partner?

In order to apply for a UK Skilled Worker dependent visa, you will need to prove that you and your partner:

  • are in a civil partnership or marriage (this must be legally recognised in the UK), or
  • if you are unmarried, have been living together in a relationship for a period of at least 2 years.

Who is classed as a dependent child?

Where a child of the Skilled Worker visa holder is under the age of 16, they will be classed as a dependent child. Where a child of a Skilled Worker visa holder is 16 years or over, their application for a dependent visa must include proof that they:

  • live with the Skilled Worker visa holder (the exception to this being if they go to boarding school, college, or university on a full-time basis)
  • are not married or in a civil partnership
  • do not have any children
  • will continue to be financially supported by the Skilled Worker visa holder

Children can apply for a Skilled Worker dependent visa assuming that:

  • Both parents are applying for entry clearance at the same time, or
  • Both parents are already in the UK, and the child is applying to join them, or
  • One parent is already in the UK, and the other parent is applying for entry clearance to join them along with the child.

Skilled worker dependent visa UK requirements

According to the skilled worker dependent visa work eligibility UK guidance, applicants must meet the below requirements:

  • meet the relationship requirements (as outlined above)
  • intend to live with their UK sponsor while their visa is valid
  • the Skilled Worker visa holder must have some leave to stay remaining on their visa
  • have suitable accommodation in the UK
  • have sufficient money to support themselves while in the UK without accessing public funds, as follows:
  • £285 - for a partner
  • £315 - for one child
  • £200 - for each additional child

As an example of the support funds required, where a partner and two children will be joining the Skilled Worker visa holder, the Home Office will ask to see evidence of £285 + £315 + £200 = £800. This is in addition to the £1,270 Skilled Worker visa applicants must show to support themselves. You may not need to show evidence of support funds if, however, all applicants have been living in the UK for 1 year or more. Alternatively, the sponsor visa holder’s employer may offer to cover these support costs during their first month in the UK - this must be confirmed on the main visa holder’s Certificate of Sponsorship.

How to apply for a Skilled Worker dependent visa UK?

Applications for a Skilled Worker dependent visa can be made from outside or inside the UK.

Apply from outside the UK

If applying for a Skilled Worker dependent visa from outside the UK, you will need to:

  • Complete the online application form for a partner1 or a child2. Each family member will need to submit a separate application and include the Skilled Worker visa holder’s Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN). This will ensure that all applications are linked together.
  • Pay any application fees (including the application fee, biometric fee, and immigration healthcare surcharge)
  • Book a biometric appointment at a local visa application centre
  • Attend the biometric appointment (to have fingerprints scanned and a photo taken)
  • Wait for a decision

Apply from inside the UK

If applying for a Skilled Worker dependent visa from inside the UK, you will need to:

  • Apply online to extend or switch to a Skilled Worker visa as a dependent partner3 or as a dependent child4. Each application should include the main visa holder’s Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN). This will ensure that all applications are linked together.
  • Pay any application fees (including the application fee, biometric fee, and immigration healthcare surcharge)
  • Book a biometric appointment at a local UKVCAS centre (if asked to do so)
  • Attend the biometric appointment (to have fingerprints scanned and a photo taken)
  • Wait for a decision

If the application is approved, the dependents will receive leave dated to the end of the main visa holder’s visa. This means that if you need to extend your visas, you will do this at the same time. The one main difference that you may have if you come to the UK separately is if you are looking to settle. If the Skilled Worker visa holder has been here longer, they will have the option to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain before their dependents. This usually isn’t an issue, as, after 5 years of stay in the UK, the dependents will also be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Documents required for Skilled Worker Dependent visa application UK

Some of the documents you may need to include in a Skilled Worker dependent visa application include:

  • The applicant’s passport or another form of ID
  • Evidence of the relationship between the applicant and the main visa holder (e.g. birth certificate or marriage certificate)
  • Evidence that the main visa holder has a valid Skilled Worker visa at the time of application
  • Where a child is 16 or over, evidence that they are dependent on the main visa holder, including:
    • a bank statement
    • credit card bills
    • driving licence
    • NHS registration document
    • an official letter from their university or college
  • Evidence of sufficient support funds (e.g. bank statement)

Skilled worker dependent visa cost

Skilled Worker dependent visa costs have 3 elements - skilled worker dependent visa application fee, biometric fee, and immigration healthcare surcharge (to cover the cost of using the National Health Service in the UK). The breakdown of Skill Worker dependent visa fees is:

Applying from outside the UK

Applying from inside the UK

Job on Shortage Occupation List

Application fee ( duration of up to 3 years)

£625 per person

£719 per person

£479

Application fee (duration of more than 3 years)

£1,235 per person

£1,423 per person

£943

Biometric fee

£19.20 per person

Immigration healthcare surcharge

£624 per person per year (£470 for children).

How long does it take to process a Skilled Worker dependent visa?

Applications made outside the UK are normally processed within 3 weeks, while those made in the UK typically take up to 8 weeks.

If time is of the essence, you may be able to use the priority service for an additional fee of £500 for a decision within 5 working days, or the super-priority service for an additional fee of £800 for a decision within 1 working day.

What a Skilled Worker dependent can do and cannot do?

Where a Skilled Worker's dependent visa is granted, they will be permitted to live in the UK while the main visa holder remains here. Skilled Worker dependent visa holders can also study and access the National Health Service while in the UK. They cannot, however, access public funds (e.g. benefits).

Skilled Worker dependents are able to work while in the UK. There are few restrictions meaning that dependents can typically work for any employer and in any type of role.

Does a Skilled Worker dependent visa lead to ILR?

Skilled Worker dependent visa holders are normally eligible to apply for ILR after being in the UK for 5 years. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria for ILR, you will be able to make an application to settle in the UK. Once approved, you will no longer be under immigration control in the UK and can even apply to become a British citizen after 12 months.

For more information, please visit our article: ILR for dependent visa

How can Reiss Edwards help?

As specialists in business and family immigration, our immigration lawyers can handle all aspects of the Skilled Worker dependent visa application process. Our team of business immigration specialists can:

  • Handle the process of applying for a Skilled Worker dependent visa on behalf of your family members
  • Deal with the Home Office throughout the application process, including answering any questions they raise
  • Review your Skilled Worker dependent visa applications and documentation prior to submission
  • Handle refusal of Skilled Worker dependent visa applications

With our expert immigration assistance, you will have the best possible chance of securing a positive decision on your Skilled Worker dependent visa in the shortest possible time.

Speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk.

References:

1 GOV.UK: PBS dependent visa partner application outside UK

2 GOV.UK: PBS dependent visa child application outside UK

3 GOV.UK: PBS dependent visa partner application inside UK

4 GOV.UK: PBS dependent visa child application inside UK

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