Only certain types of students are allowed to bring dependants with them whilst they study in the UK. For information about who qualifies as a dependant and who can bring dependants in please see the information below.
Who is a dependant?
The Tier 4 rules define your dependants as follows:
- Husband or wife
- Civil partner (same sex only)
- Unmarried or same sex partner (you must have been living together for at least 3 years)
You both must be at least 18 years old when you apply.
- Must be under 18 (at date of first application)
- Must not be living an independent life
In addition both parents must be resident in the UK unless the following apply:
- You are the only parent or
- You have sole responsibility for your child/children or
- There are “serious compelling reasons” which mean you partner cannot live in the UK with you
Please see the UKCISA website for more information.
Who can have dependants in the UK with them?
You can bring your husband, wife, unmarried partner, and children (under 18) to the UK with you as a Tier 4 dependant if one of the following applies to you:
- You are studying a postgraduate course of 12 months or more
- You are a government-sponsored student and studying a course at any level of 6 months or more
- You are already studying in the UK with your dependents and the following applies to you:
- You have a Tier 4 student visa and
- Your current visa is for a programme of six months or more and
- You are applying for a programme of six months or more and your visa has not expired or it expired less than 3 months ago and
- You and your family live together and
- Your family member currently has or had permission (within the last 3 months as your dependant
Your dependants can apply to enter the UK at the same time as you or they can apply separately at a later date. If they do not apply at the same time as you they should ensure that you have received your visa before they make an application themselves.
If you are studying on a Tier 4 part time visa, you will not be able to bring dependants with you to the UK. For more information on the Tier 4 part time study route, please visit our webpage.
For more information please see the PBS dependant policy guidance.
Making an application