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)

The history of your husband’s immigration matter is complicated. This does not mean that it cannot be resolved. It does however mean, that we need to speak with you on a telephone call or an in-person consultation to efficiently gather the facts and properly assess the merits of his case. At this stage, I am not clear on all of the immigration history needed for me to be sure of where an application should be made. If your husband is by definition, on overstayer, he will struggle to make an application from inside the UK (although there may be an option, discussed further in this answer below).  

You make reference to the applicant being your husband. You also say that the Home Office refused a visa application because you had not been living together for the past 2 years. If you are married, you are not normally expected to evidence 2 years of cohabitation. This will depend on whether you meet the definition of being legally married and it may be that this aspect of the application made had not been correctly reviewed by the decision maker. That said, even if the Home Office had accepted you were legally married, because he may be seen as an overstayer, he would also have to evidence that there is an insurmountable obstacle preventing him from making a visa application from his country of origin. Are you aware of him having any issues that may prevent him from travelling? Is there any reason as to why you personally, would need for him to remain in the UK to make his visa application?  

I suggest that this case has two areas that we should explore in an initial free assessment: 

  1. As he was not informed that his Tier 4 visa was curtailed, was he given adequate notice to regularize his immigration status?  

  1. If he is an overstayer, are you legally married? If so, making an application for Entry Clearance as the spouse of a British national will be the option that has highest merits to succeed. This is because under the European Convention on Human Rights, if the applicant has an adverse immigration history (overstaying in this case), refusing his entry for the reason of overstaying alone is usually not acceptable. This is because it will also impact the private and family life of a British national, a right protected and enshrined in the Convention. We must establish that you are legally married if we are to pursue this option. If you are not married, we will need to evidence that you have lived in the same household for a period of 2 consecutive years. The Home Office have recently referenced you not satisfying this element of the rules, so we should also talk about this on our call.  

As you are British, you are able to rely upon the UK immigration rules when sponsoring your husband’s visa. I have limited information to provide a conclusive direction, as I am not clear on how or indeed why he was issued a visa under the EU regulations at the first instance. A British national of whom lives in another EU member state is entitled to rely on either the UK immigration rules or EU regulations when applying for a visa, so it is certainly possible but I would like to understand the immigration history of your husband. The route that allows for Brits to rely in the EU regulations is enshrined by the jurisprudence in the case of Surinder Singh. I will assume, for now (and until we have the chance to have a call), that you have been able to correctly secure a Residence Card for your husband on the basis of him being defined as your family member and that you mean he has a UK issued Residence Card and not one issued by another member state. If this is not the case, you are welcome to correct me so I can amend my advice accordingly.  

At the time of writing this answer, Brexit has actually happened with negotiations on a trade deal still taking place. This means that changing a Residence Card to Pre-settled status, which is a free application, would be a sensible option (Residence cards will soon have no value). Whilst you have suggested you want him to secure a visa using the UK Immigration rules, I do not believe this is in your interests in both a financial sense and with what it will achieve for your husband, in the long term. Pre-settled status will allow for him to remain in the UK with you and work, if he would like to work. Once 5 years have been completed, he can then make an application for settled status and then for naturalization immediately after.  

If we consider the UK immigration rules in the alternative to pre-settled status, you will need to consider the following requirements: 

  • Do you earn £18,600 per year and have done so for at least 6 months (more if self-employed)? 

  • Do you have suitable accommodation for you and your husband? 

  • Does your huband meet the English language standards? 

  • Do you have around £2500 to pay the Home Office for the visa and the NHS.  

There are other factors to consider with a UK spouse visa application, which we are able to run through in more detail with our free initial immigration consultation. It may be that there are complications that will adjust the advice that I have offered above however, on the information to hand I am confident that pre-settled status is the best option for both cost and objective.  

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