Bringing your family

Only some types of Tier 4 (General) student can bring family to the UK as dependants, and only some types of family member count as dependants.

Dependants and Tier 4 (General) Visa permission

Tier 4 visa rules about dependants are complex and the following information is for guidance only.

Please visit the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Tier 4 guidance for complete explanations and definitions. If you have specific questions, please contact our Immigration Advisers.

Which T4 (General) students are eligible to apply to have their dependants join them in the UK?

One of the following criteria must apply:

  • Are a government-sponsored student studying on a course of more than six months in length
  • Are studying a postgraduate course at least nine months in length
  • Are a Tier 4 (General) student studying a course longer than six months and meeting all of the following conditions:
    • Tier 4 visa is current, or it expired no more than three months before the application you need to make now
    • New Tier 4 application is for a course that lasts no longer than six months
    • Dependants already have Tier 4 dependants visa
    • Main applicant and dependants are all applying at the same time in the same country
  • Are on the Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Who qualifies as dependants for Tier 4 visa?


Your partner is a person who must be at least 18 years old and who you intend to live with whilst you are in the UK. They must be your husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner. The UKVI will expect you to provide evidence that your relationship is genuine.


Your child must be under 18 (unless they are applying to extend their PBS Dependant visa in the UK) at the date of application, must not have formed their own family or be leading an independent life or be employed full time. They must also be financially and emotionally dependent on their parents. Both parents must be coming to the UK.

They must:

  • be financially and emotionally dependent on their parents.

They must not:

  • have formed their own family
  • be leading an independent life
  • be employed full time.

Both parents must be coming to the UK.

Money and evidence of funds

Tier 4 dependants must show that they meet the UKVI criteria regarding money. They must hold living costs of £680 a month to a maximum of nine months (£6,120) depending on the length of your leave.

Evidence of funds must show that the applicant(s) has met the financial requirement for every day of a 28-day period to the closing balance date, in either the main applicant or dependants account. If you are sponsored by your own government, by the British Council or by an international organisation, your sponsor will need to provide an official sponsorship document stating that your dependants are fully sponsored. If not, they must show financial evidence.

Further information

For full details on the criteria and application process for Tier 4 dependants visit the UKCISA web pages. If you have any questions, please contact an Immigration Adviser.