Bringing your family

Only some types of student visa holders can bring family to the UK as dependants, and only some types of family member count as dependants.

Dependants and student visa permission

Rules about dependants are complex and the following information is for guidance only.

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

Which students are eligible to apply to have their dependants join them in the UK?

You must be one of the following:

  • A government-sponsored student studying on a course of more than six months in length
  • Studying a postgraduate course at least nine months in length
  • Studying a course longer than six months and meeting all of the following conditions:
    • Student visa is current, or it expired no more than three months before the application you need to make now
    • New visa application is for a course that lasts no longer than six months
    • Dependants already have dependants visa or the dependent child was born since the last grant of permission to the Student, where the student and partner or child are applying at the same time
  • On the Doctorate Extension Scheme
  • A student whose child was born in a timeframe set out in Appendix ST para 31.2 of the Immigration Rules.

Who qualifies as a dependant for a student 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. Under certain circumstances, a partner can also be a fiancé(e) or proposed civil 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 Dependant visa in the UK) at the date of application, and 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.

Money and evidence of funds

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 dependants visit the UKCISA web pages. If you have any questions, please contact an Immigration Adviser.