Essential UK Dependant Visa Requirements Explained 2024

Essential UK Dependant Visa Requirements Explained 2024

The UK dependant visa enables individuals with certain immigration statuses to bring their close family members to join them in the UK. The applicant needs to fulfil some requirements to qualify for this visa. In this article, we will explore the requirements for the UK dependant visa

Who Can Bring Dependants to the UK?

Not all UK visas permit the holder to bring dependants. Individuals with these visas can apply to bring dependant to the UK:

  • Skilled Worker Visa: Individuals in the UK on this visa can sponsor their dependants, including their spouse, partner, and children under 18.
  • Certain Global Business Mobility Visas: Those with visas under the Global Talent, Graduate Trainee, Senior, or Specialist Worker categories can also bring their family members.
  • Student Visa: As of the latest update, starting in January 2024, only international students pursuing PhD or postgraduate research programs are eligible to bring dependants.
  • Tier 1 Visa Categories: Various subcategories under Tier 1, such as the Investor and Entrepreneur visas, etc., high-value migrants to bring their families from outside the UK.
  • Ancestry Visa: Holders of this visa can bring their dependants, acknowledging the importance of family for those moving to the UK based on ancestral ties.
  • Other Work Visas: Other specific visas, like those for Ministers of Religion or Sportspersons, provide for dependants to accompany the main visa holder to the UK.

Who Can Apply for a UK Dependant Visa?

The married or unmarried partner, children, and some other immediate family members can apply for this visa. 

  1. Partners of Main Applicants: This includes married partners, civil partners, or unmarried partners who have been in a genuine relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for a minimum of two years.
  2. Children: For a Child Dependant Visa application, children must be under the age of 18. However, if they are aged 16 or over, they must demonstrate dependency on the main visa holder. Dependency in this context implies that they:
    • Do not lead an independent life, which means they are neither married nor in a civil partnership, nor do they have any children.
    • Reside with the primary applicant holder, except when they attend a boarding school or university.
    • Receive financial support from the primary applicant.
  3. Additional Family Members: In certain circumstances, other immediate family members might be qualified under the Adult Dependant Relative (ADR) visa requirements. This provision is typically reserved for those with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or British citizenship and aims to ensure that family members who are dependent on care can be reunited.

Also Read: UK Student Dependent Visa New Rules 2024

What Are the Requirements for a Dependant Visa UK?

Relationship Requirements

The foundation of a Dependant Visa application is establishing the genuine and ongoing relationship between the dependant and the main visa holder. This requirement ensures that the UK immigration authorities can clearly identify the familial or partnership bond that qualifies for the dependant visa.

Let’s explore the specific criteria based on the relationship to the primary visa holder.

Spouse or Civil Partner:

  • Marital or Civil Partnership Status: Applicants need to provide legal documentation, such as a marriage certificate or civil partnership registration, confirming the official status of their relationship.
  • Genuine Relationship: Evidence must go beyond mere certification. Applicants are expected to illustrate their relationship’s real and continuing nature through shared financial responsibilities, joint activities, and future plans.

Unmarried Partner:

  • Cohabitation: Applicants must have lived together with their partner in a relationship similar to matrimony or civil association for at least two years.
  • Evidence of Cohabitation and Commitment: This includes joint bank account statements, utility bills in both names or tenancy agreements, which showcase the couple’s long-term commitment and shared life.


  • Age: The child must be under 18 years of age at the time of application.
  • Parental Relationship: A birth certificate or legal document proving the relationship to the British citizen or settled parent must be provided. Additionally, evidence may be required to demonstrate that the child intends to live with the parent(s) and is not leading an independent life.


In certain circumstances, parents of British citizens or those settled in the UK may apply as dependants:

  • Dependency: The parent must prove they depend financially on their British citizen or settled child. This could involve demonstrating that the child provides substantial financial support to the parent.
  • Evidence of Relationship and Dependency: Documentation verifying the relationship and financial dependency is crucial. This might include bank statements showing money transfers, living arrangements, and other relevant evidence.

Financial Requirements

The necessity to meet financial requirements varies based on the visa category of the main visa holder. For instance, for a Skilled Worker Dependant Visa in the UK, evidence must be provided by either the main visa holder or the applicant to demonstrate the availability of the following:

  • For a Partner: The applicant must show they have at least £285 to support their partner’s application.
  • For Children: An additional £315 is required for the first child dependant. Each additional child after the first requires proof of an extra £200 to support their application.

These amounts are designed to cover the dependant’s initial stay in the UK. However, if the main visa holder and the dependant have been living in the UK for at least 12 months, they may be exempt from meeting these financial requirements. 

Is There an English Language Requirement?

A question that might arise is whether English language proficiency is a requirement for the UK Dependant Visa.

Unlike other visa categories that require applicants to meet certain English language criteria, the Dependant Visa does not require applicants to prove their English language skills. This exemption reflects the UK’s approach to facilitating family reunification without imposing the language proficiency barrier on dependants.

UK Dependant Visa Document Requirements 2024

Assembling a thorough and precise set of documents following immigration rules is crucial for a successful application process. The document varies somewhat depending on the specific visa category under which you’re applying, but in general, these documents are required:

  1. Application Form: Properly completed copy of the application form for the particular dependant visa.
  2. Passport: Your current passport or other travel permit that is valid for at least six months.
  3. Biometric Residence Permit (BRP): A copy of your BRP should be included if applicable for applicants already inside the UK.
  4. Relationship Evidence: For a spouse or partner, documentation like marriage certificates, civil partnership certificates, or proof of cohabitation for at least two years is required to validate the relationship between the dependant and the main visa holder. 
  5. Financial Documents: Financial documents include bank statements, payslips, or other proofs to meet the income requirement. 
  6. Accommodation Proof: Evidence of suitable accommodation is required to ensure that dependants have a place to live in the UK and that the family can live together permanently without overcrowding.
  7. Photographs: Include passport-sized photographs that meet UKVI specifications. These should be recent and conform to the guidelines for visa photographs.
  8. Dependant Child Documents: If applying for a child’s dependant visa, birth certificates and consent letters (if travelling or living separately from one parent) are necessary, alongside any other relevant documents proving the child’s dependency.
  9. Parental Dependency Documents: For parent visa applicants, evidence of financial dependency on their UK-based child and proof of the relationship are essential components of the application.

Let Us Help You Bring Your Dependant to the UK

At Spouse Visa Lawyers, we understand that family is everything, and we are here to help you navigate the UK Dependant Visa process confidently.

Our team will assist you with all aspects of your application, including providing the necessary documentation, meeting financial requirements, and proving your relationships. With personalised advice at every step, we’re here to ensure the process is as smooth as possible for you.

Get in touch with Spouse Visa Lawyers today, and let us help you bring your dependants to the UK. 

You Ask, We Answer


Yes, you can apply for a UK Dependant Visa from both outside and inside the UK. The application process differs slightly depending on your location, so it’s crucial to follow the specific guidelines applicable to your situation.

The visa processing period can vary, but it typically takes 8 to 12 weeks, depending on whether you are applying from outside or inside the UK. However, these times can vary based on application volumes and individual circumstances.

Dependant visa holders usually have the privilege of working and studying in the UK.

It is mandatory for dependents of UK visa holders to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when applying for their visa. This gives them access to the National Health Service (NHS) throughout their stay.

Dependants of certain UK visa holders may be eligible to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) after living in the UK for a specific period. The eligibility for settlement depends on the main visa holder’s status and the dependant’s continuous residence in the UK.

Share this post


The information provided in our articles is intended solely for guidance and should not be considered legal advice. We do not assume responsibility for any liabilities arising from the information in written articles and recommend that all readers seek professional advice before taking any action. For those wishing to discuss their case with a professional, please feel free to contact us directly.

Similar Posts