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Dependant Visa UK

A Dependant visa allows overseas immediate family members of UK visa holders to come to the UK.

Contact our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or complete our enquiry form to discuss your Dependant visa application.

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A Dependant visa enables overseas immediate family members of UK visa holders to come to the UK. Many different visa types allow holders to bring dependant family members to the UK, including work, study, business, and ancestry visas. The immigration rules refer to a PBS Dependant visa and Dependant visa. Both visas broadly have the same purpose; to allow dependant family members to join the main visa holder in the UK. PBS Dependant visas simply refer to the ability of those on points-based visas (e.g., work visas such as the Skilled Worker visa) to bring family members to the UK.

Who can apply for a dependant visa?

You can apply for a Dependant visa UK if you are a dependant of a person on a UK work, study, business visa, or ancestry visa. A ‘dependant’ refers to a partner/spouse or child of the main visa holder.

Partners must either be married or in a civil partnership with the main visa holder, or they must have been living together for 2 or more years.

To apply for a child dependant visa, children must be under 18 years, or if 16 years or older, they must be dependant on the main visa holder. Being dependant means that they:

  • are not living an independent life (i.e., not married, in a civil partnership, or have children)
  • live with the main visa holder (unless they attend boarding school or university)
  • are financially supported by the main visa holder

In addition to Dependant visas for children and partners, under the Adult Dependant Relative visa scheme, it is possible to bring elderly members to the UK if the UK resident has indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or UK citizenship.

UK Dependant visa requirements

Because dependant visas are available under several immigration categories, the specific requirements for a dependant visa in the UK to be met will depend on the type of visa held by the sponsor (i.e., the main visa holder). Applicants may need to meet the following requirements (please note this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Meet the relationship requirements as a dependant family member (as explained above)
  • Meet the financial requirements
  • Be able to prove their identity and relationship to the visa holder
  • Intend to live together

Dependant visa financial requirements

Whether any financial requirements apply will depend on the type of visa held by the main visa holder. For example, when applying for a Skilled Worker Dependant visa UK, it must be shown that the main visa holder or the applicant has the following:

  • £285 for a partner
  • £315 for one child and £200 for each additional child

In most cases, if the main visa holder and dependant have been in the UK for 12 months or more, there is no financial requirement.

UK dependant visa documents checklist

Dependant visa applicants will be asked to provide a number of documents to support their application. The exact list of documents you will need to provide will depend on the type of visa held by the main applicant and your relationship with them. Some of the documents or information you may need to provide include (please note this list of documents is not exhaustive):

  • The Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN) for the main visa holder (to link the applications together).
  • Proof of identity – e.g., passport.
  • Proof of relationship to the main visa holder – e.g., birth certificate, marriage certificate, certificate of civil partnership.
  • Proof of dependence – e.g., evidence of attendance at a boarding school or university and correspondence showing the applicant has the same address as the main visa holder.
  • Bank statement – showing the funds required to meet the financial requirement have been held for at least the last 28 days.

It is important to ensure you provide all of the documents required by UKVI, as failure to do so may result in your application being delayed or refused. If you are unsure if you have all of the necessary documents to support your UK Dependant visa application, speak to one of our immigration solicitors, who will check this for you before submission.

How to apply for a UK Dependant visa

The process you will need to follow when applying for a Dependant visa UK will depend on the type of visa held by the main visa holder. The main steps you will need to follow to apply for a Dependent visa UK are as follows:

  1. Complete and submit the online application form – remember to provide the unique reference number of the main applicant’s application. It is important to use the correct application form – e.g., the form used for PBS dependant children1 differs from that used for PBS dependant partners2.
  2. Pay the application fee and immigration healthcare surcharge.
  3. Upload all of the documents required by UKVI to support your application.
  4. Book and attend a biometric appointment with your nearest UKVCAS or Visa Application Centre (if outside the UK) to have your fingerprints scanned and a photo taken.

In most cases, you can expect to receive a decision on your UK Dependant visa within 8 weeks.

Dependant visa validity and conditions

Dependant visas are typically granted for the same duration as permission given to the main visa holder. For example, if the main visa holder has a 2-year visa, the Dependant visa will also be granted for 2 years.

Dependant visa holders enjoy a great deal of flexibility and are able to live, work, study, and travel freely. Importantly, dependants do not require sponsorship to work in the UK and can change jobs and employers without seeking permission from the Home Office.

Dependant visa holders cannot, however, apply for public funds such as benefits while in the UK.

Dependant visa to settlement (ILR)

Dependant visa holders can also apply to settle in the UK when the main visa holder is granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR) – this is normally after 5 continuous years of residence in the UK. To qualify for ILR, partners must still be in a genuine relationship with their partner and intend to continue their relationship after they apply. They must also have sufficient income to support themselves in the UK. Children must still be living (or intend to live) with their parents or parents (unless boarding or at university), supported and accommodated adequately without using public funds, and not be married, in a civil partnership, or living an independent life.

ILR comes with considerable benefits, including the ability to stay permanently in the UK without needing to apply for further visas. It is also possible to apply for British citizenship after 1 year once you hold ILR.

If you require assistance with your Dependant visa application, speak to one of our helpful immigration solicitors by calling us on 020 3744 2797.

References

1 GOV.UK: PBS dependant child

2 GOV.UK: PBS dependant partner

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