PBS Dependant Visa Application Guidance
As a UK points based system (PBS) visa holder, you can bring your spouse/partner and children with you to the UK. They will need to submit a PBS Dependant Visa application to gain the necessary permission to enter and remain in the UK with you. In this article, we will explain the purpose of a UK PBS Dependant Visa, who can apply, the eligibility requirements, how to apply, and how dependants can gain ILR.
What is a PBS dependant visa and who can apply?
A UK PBS dependant visa allows spouse, unmarried partners, and children of points-based visa holders to come to the UK with their partner or parent. Adult dependant visa and child dependant visa holders have the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as the main applicant holds their PBS Visa and remains here. However, PBS Dependent Visa holders are not able to access public funds or benefits.
According to the Home Office’s PBS dependant guidance, the main visa holder must have a qualifying visa to bring their dependant family members to the UK on a PBS Dependant Visa. Qualifying visas include the following:
- Skilled Worker Visa
- Health and Care Worker Visa
- Senior or Specialist Worker Visa (Global Business Mobility)
- Minister of Religion Visa (T2)
- International Sportsperson Visa
- High Potential Individual Visa (HPI)
- Graduate Trainee Visa (Global Business Mobility)
- UK Expansion Worker Visa (Global Business Mobility)
- Secondment Worker Visa (Global Business Mobility)
- Service Supplier Visa (Global Business Mobility)
- Graduate Visa
- Innovator Visa
- Start-up Visa
- Global Talent Visa
- Entrepreneur Visa (Tier 1)
- Investor Visa (Tier 1)
- UK Ancestry Visa
- Temporary Work – Charity Worker Visa
- Temporary Work - Creative Worker Visa
- Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange Visa
- Temporary Work – International Agreement Visa
- Temporary Work - Religious Worker Visa
- British National (Overseas) Visa
- Turkish Businessperson Visa
- Turkish Worker Visa
Those who can apply for a UK PBS Dependant Visa include your:
- husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner
- children (under the age of 18) born outside the UK
- children (under the age of 18) born in the UK during your stay
- children over 18 – those over 18 must be in the UK already and be considered a dependant (i.e., not living an independent life)
If your partner or child is not eligible for a PBS Dependant Visa, other visa types that you may be able to consider to bring them to the UK include:
- The Family Visa (such as spouse visa once the main visa holder has gained ILR)
- The Skilled Worker Visa (for those who will be working in the UK in a skilled occupation)
- Temporary Worker Visa
- Student Visa
- EU Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme
Leave to remain as a PBS Dependant
PBS dependant leave to remain gives permission to stay in the UK for the duration of the Visa for those already in the UK. PBS dependant leave to enter gives permission to pass into the UK at the border to those applying from outside the UK. The PBS dependent guidance states that those given leave to enter or remain in the UK as a PBS dependant can:
- Work full-time or part-time for any employer (no sponsorship is required)
- Study full-time or part-time at a UK school, college, or university
- Leave and re-enter the UK freely
- Further extend their Visa
- Apply for ILR after 5 years of continuous residence in the UK (in some cases, it may be possible to apply for ILR in less time).
Immigration points based system dependants cannot, however:
- Access public funds and benefits
- Work as a professional sportsperson, doctor, or dentist
PBS Dependant Visa requirements
To apply for a points based system dependant visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a qualifying dependant of a PBS Visa holder in the UK
- Have sufficient maintenance funds
Qualifying dependant requirement
Partners of a PBS Visa holder are eligible for a PBS Dependant Visa as long as you can prove:
- both partners are aged 18 years or over
- you are both in a civil partnership or marriage (this must be legally recognised in the UK)
- you have both been living together in a relationship for a period of 2 years or more
For your child to be classed as a dependant, you will need to prove your child is:
- living with you (the only exception to this is if they are in full-time education at a boarding school, college, or university in the UK)
- unmarried (and not in a civil partnership) and have no children
- financially reliant on you
Maintenance funds requirements
The Home Office will only grant an immigration PBS Dependant Visa if they are satisfied the applicant has access to sufficient funds to cover the length of their stay in the UK. The specific maintenance funds requirements vary depending on the type of visa held by the main visa holder; hence it is important to check the requirements that apply in your situation. For example, to gain a PBS Dependant Visa to join a family member on a Skilled Worker Visa, the applicant will need to show they have:
- £285 as a dependant partner
- £315 for one child
- £200 for each additional child
This is in addition to the £1,270 in maintenance funds required by the main Visa holder.
How to apply for PBS Dependant Visa
To apply for a PBS Dependant Visa, applicants need to (this assumes they are outside the UK):
- Apply online – the form you will need to complete on their behalf will depend on whether they are your partner1 or child2. The online application should include the Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN) of the main PBS Visa application to ensure that all applications are processed together.
- Prove identity for a biometric residence permit – this can be done by booking an appointment at a Visa application centre and having their fingerprints and photograph taken. Alternatively, it may be possible to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ mobile phone app to do this.
- Submit any payment required
- Upload any documents required to support the application
- Wait for a decision
PBS dependant applications can be processed in as little as 3 weeks after the identification process is complete and all documents have been provided. Alternatively, if you require a faster decision, you can receive a decision within 5 working days (‘priority service’) for a fee of £500 or by the end of the next working day (‘super-priority service’) for a fee of £800.
PBS Dependant Visa extension
PBS Dependant Visas are normally granted for the same duration as the main applicant’s PBS Visa. A dependant visa holder can apply to extend their visa either at the same time as the main PBS Visa holder or any time before their visa expires. To extend their visa, they must still meet the same qualifying conditions when they first applied, and the PBS Visa holder must still be in the UK. PBS Dependant Visa extensions are submitted online, and the fees payable depend on the type of permission held by the main PBS Visa holder.
PBS Dependant Visa to ILR
PBS Dependant Visa holders may be able to gain ILR after living in the UK continuously for the required amount of time. This will depend on the type of visa held by the main applicant. For example, UK Skilled Worker Dependent Visa holders can apply for ILR after 5 years.
To gain ILR as a PBS dependant, the main visa holder will normally hold ILR or be applying for ILR at the same time. Applicants must also meet the English language requirements and pass the life in the UK test.
PBS Dependant Visa refused
PBS Dependant Visas may be refused in certain circumstances, including if:
- both individuals are not in a genuine or qualifying relationship
- the child is not considered to be a dependant
- the child will not have both parents in the UK (and exceptional circumstances do not apply)
- there are insufficient maintenance funds
- the application is incomplete
- the applicant is not of good character
Depending on the reasons for the refusal, it may be possible to:
- apply for an administrative review if a mistake was made by the Home Office
- apply for a judicial review to challenge the legal basis for the refusal
- submit a fresh application
- apply for a different type of Visa
If your dependant family member has received a refusal, let us handle the matter for you. We will review the reasons for the refusal and determine the best way forward to achieve a positive decision in the quickest possible time.
2 GOV.UK: Application form for PBS dependant child