Bringing your family and dependants

Government changes for dependants

Following changes to the Student visa route, students starting courses on or after 1 January 2024 can only have dependants in the UK if they are studying PhD, other doctoral qualification, or research-based higher degree courses (this does not include taught masters courses).  These changes only affect those starting a course from 1 January 2024. If you started your postgraduate course in September 2023 or earlier (and all the other requirements are met), you will still be able to have dependants in the UK after January 2024. 

Students financially sponsored by the UK or an Overseas Government for full-time courses of at least six months at all academic levels will be able to bring dependants.

Please see UKCISA for further details.


Not all Student visa students can bring family to the UK as dependants. Not all family members are classified as dependants.

For eligibility, please read the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) guidelines on family members, or the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) guidelines on dependants.


Dependants must have at least £680 per month for the duration of the student's visa in the UK, for a maximum of 9 months. If your dependant makes a new visa application in the UK and has been living in the UK with immigration permission (of any type) for 12 months or more on the date they apply, they will not need to meet the financial requirement. If they have not been living in the UK for 12 months or more, or are applying overseas, please read the following information carefully. 

  • Students must show funding until their course end date.
  • Dependants must show funding until the student’s course end date, plus an additional 4 months. This is always capped at 9 months, so the maximum you will show is £6120 for each dependant. 
  • If the length of the Dependant visa is likely to be less than 9 months, funding calculation will depend of the applicant's current immigration status and location. Please contact us for more information.
  • If you are sponsored by your government or an official international scholarship agency, if your letter also shows the names of your dependant/s then you can use your letter for their funding evidence if the money is enough for your family unit or if they state that they cover your all living costs for all family members and your tution fees.
  • If a student already has their visa and the dependant/s are applying later, the dependant/s is required to show evidence of funds for themselves only as it is a separate application.

Before you apply

Please read:

Applying outside the UK

If dependants are outside the UK, they must apply for entry clearance in their home country before they travel to the UK.

It is simpler to apply at the same time as the main applicant. The application form should make clear that the dependant(s) are accompanying the main applicant who will be studying in the UK.

If applications are not submitted at the same time as the main applicant, it is advisable to include a copy of the main applicant's student visa when the dependant(s) applies for entry clearance. The application form should make clear that the dependant(s) are accompanying the main applicant who will be studying in the UK.

How to apply

Apply online using this form. You must specify if you are applying as a Partner Dependant visa - PBS or a Child Dependant visa - PBS. Each dependant must complete a separate application form.

Applying inside the UK

Dependants must apply online. It is simpler if you and your dependants apply to extend your visas at the same time. If your dependant is not already a student dependant visa holder please check UKCISA guidance to ensure that your dependants can make their application from inside the UK.

How to apply

  • If you are a student/main applicant making an application at the same time as your dependants, and do not wish to/cannot use the Using the 'UK Immigration: ID Check' to validate your application, you should fill in the online Student visa application and add your dependants to that online application form.  If you wish to use the 'UK Immigration: ID Check' you will need to make individual applications.  The visa application form will direct you to this option at the start of the process and determine if it is available to you, if it is not available to you, you will be directed to book and attend a biometric appointment at the end of the visa application process.
  • If your dependants are not applying at the same time as you, they will need to make a separate application to you online.
    • If a dependant partner is applying on their own, they can apply using the link found on the PBS Dependant - Partner page
    • If a dependant partner and a dependant child are both applying, they can apply using the link found on the PBS Dependant - Partner page; fill out the application for the dependant partner first and then add the dependant child/children to the application
    • If a dependant child is applying on their own, they can apply using the link found on the PBS Dependant - Child page
  • Some student dependants must apply for their visas at the same time as the student, please see UKCISA for details
Edit this page