Dependant Visa

A dependant is a child, spouse or family member of the main applicant. The dependant visa route is designed for valid UK visa holders or EEA nationals who have spouses or children under the age of 18 in the UK.


To qualify as a dependant you must be one of the following: -

  1. Spouse
  2. Unmarried partner
  3. Civil partner
  4. Child - under 18

It is important to note that for dependants of EEA nationals, the child dependency age is capped 21 years old. It is important to note also that as a dependant, you do not have recourse to public funds. What this means is that you cannot claim benefits or subsidies from the government.

Dependant visa application

A dependant visa application can be made either inside the UK (in-country) or outside the country (out-country). It is important to note however, that the applicant (depend) must not be on a visit visa either in the UK or any country they are applying from. In-country applications means that they are already in the UK on some form of leave, they will be allowed to switch.

Applying as a spouse or partner

To apply as a spouse/partner under the dependant visa route you must be a spouse, unmarried partner or civil partner of a person with a valid leave to remain in the UK. It is important to note that if you are applying as an unmarried partner, you must have lived with your partner for at least 2 years.

If you are not sure of your requirements, it may be important to speak to one of our immigration solicitors to run through the best possible route and approach.

Applying as a Child dependant

The immigration rules also allow child dependants of point based system migrants to be granted leave to remain as child dependants. In order to be granted leave as a child dependant, the following rules must be met: -

  1. The child is under the age of 18 - if the sponsor is a non-EEA migrant and under 21 years old if the applicant is from the EU.
  2. All members of the family is applying for leave to remain at the same time.
  3. Both parent are in the UK and the child dependant is applying to join them.
  4. One of the parent is in the UK and the other parent is applying with the child dependant to join the UK family member.


The following comprise of exceptional circumstances where a child dependant application can still be made with only one parent in the UK.

  1. The parent is the sole surviving parent of the child(ren)
  2. The parent has sole responsibility for the child(ren)
  3. There are serious and compelling family considerations which must be taken into account.

Feel free to contact our family immigration advisers should you need help in making a dependant application.

Dependant Visa Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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