Tier 2 Dependant Visa Work Eligibility UK

Tier 2 Dependant Visa Work Eligibility UK [Guide]

The Tier 2 Dependant Visa allows family members of Tier 2 visa holders to join them in the UK, providing opportunities to live, work, and study there. With the Tier 2 visa now replaced by the Skilled Worker Visa and Health & Care Worker Visa, dependants of these visa holders still have similar rights and opportunities. 

In this guide, we’ll provide clear and precise information about the rights, eligibility requirements, work restrictions, and transition possibilities associated with the Tier 2 Dependant Visa.

Rights Granted to a Tier 2 Dependant Visa Holder

A Tier 2 Dependant Visa holder enjoys several rights and benefits in the UK, similar to those granted under the Skilled Worker Visa and Health & Care Worker Visa categories. These rights are designed to facilitate the integration and stability of the family unit while the primary visa holder works in the UK.

Right to Work

Tier 2 Dependant Visa holders have the right to work in the UK. This includes full-time and part-time employment, self-employment, and voluntary work. There are no restrictions on the type of work that dependants can engage in, allowing them to seek employment opportunities across various sectors, including care work, business, and creative industries. 

This flexibility is crucial for dependants to contribute to their family’s financial stability and pursue their career goals while living in the UK.

Right to Study

The UK also offers educational options to dependants on a Tier 2 Visa. This includes attending schools, colleges, and universities. This means children can enrol in state-funded schools without a separate student visa. 

Adults can take part-time or full-time courses, enhancing their skills and qualifications while living in the UK. The right to study provides a significant advantage, promoting personal and professional development for dependant visa holders.

Access to Healthcare

Dependants have access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). They have to cover the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of the visa application procedure, which allows them to utilise NHS facilities. This ensures that dependants can receive medical care and support without the need for private health insurance, providing peace of mind for families living in the UK.

Freedom to Travel

The UK permits Tier 2 Dependant Visa holders to travel freely within and outside the country. This flexibility is essential for maintaining connections with family and friends outside the UK and for business and leisure. Dependants need to ensure that their visa remains valid and that they do not exceed the permitted absences from the UK to maintain their residency status.

Settlement and ILR

Dependants may be eligible to request Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after residing in the UK for five consecutive years on a Tier 2 Dependant Visa. This status allows them to stay forever in the UK  without immigration limitations. 

Dependants must fulfil certain conditions to be eligible, such as maintaining continuous residency in the UK, passing the Life in the UK Test, and proving they have an adequate knowledge of the English language. Achieving ILR is a significant milestone, providing long-term security and stability for dependants and their families.

Also read: UK Tier 2 / Skilled Worker Dependant Visa Documents Checklist

Eligibility Requirements for a Tier 2 Dependant Visa 

Securing a Tier 2 Dependant Visa requires meeting specific criteria set by UK Visas and Immigration to ensure that only genuine dependants join the main visa holder in the UK. The key eligibility requirements are outlined below:

Relationship Criteria 

For spouses or civil partners, the cornerstone of a successful Tier 2 Dependant Visa application is proving the genuineness of the relationship. Applicants must present a valid marriage or civil partnership certificate recognised by UK law. This documentation confirms the legality and authenticity of the partnership.

Unmarried couples must show they’ve had a meaningful and steady relationship for at least 2 years. Evidence such as joint tenancy agreements, utility bills, or shared financial commitments is typically required to substantiate the relationship’s longevity and commitment. This requirement ensures that only those in genuine, long-term relationships qualify for the visa.

Financial Criteria 

Dependants must prove financial self-sufficiency beyond public assistance. The financial thresholds are £285 for a partner, £315 for the first child, and £200 for each additional child.

To meet this requirement, applicants need to provide bank statements showing the availability of these funds for a significant period before the application. This proof ensures the main visa holder can support their dependants throughout their stay in the UK. 

There are exemptions to this requirement for families already in the UK for 12 months on a valid visa or where the main visa holder’s employer guarantees financial support for the initial month in the UK. This support must be explicitly detailed in the certificate of sponsorship provided by the employer.

Requirements for Dependant Child

Children born to Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa holders in the UK do not automatically receive British citizenship. To travel outside and inside the UK, each child is required to apply for a dependant visa. The eligibility criteria for dependant children largely depend on their parents’ relationship status and visa status.

To qualify as a dependant child, one of the conditions listed below must be satisfied:

  • The family is currently applying to the Home Office, with one parent as a Skilled Worker and the remaining members as dependents.
  • Both parents are in the UK (one or both under the Tier 2 Visa), and the underage child is applying to join them from abroad as a dependant.
  • One parent is in the UK, while the other parent and the child apply together from abroad to join as dependants.

Exceptions to these conditions include situations where only one parent is alive, or one parent has sole responsibility for the child, or severe or effective considerations must be considered.

Also get to know about: Extending Tier 2/Skilled Worker Dependant Visa in the UK

Are There Any Restrictions on Work Eligibility for the Tier 2 Dependent Visa Holder?

While Tier 2 Dependant Visa holders are permitted to work in the UK, they must be aware of certain restrictions. Generally, dependant visa holders can engage in employment activities, with limited exceptions. However, they are prohibited from undertaking specific roles. For instance, dependants cannot work as doctors or dentists in training or as professional sportspersons, including sports coaching roles.

Despite these limitations, dependant visa holders enjoy various privileges. They can remain in the UK for the same duration as the main Tier 2 visa holder, enabling them to maintain their residency alongside their family member. Additionally, they can work, study, or pursue postgraduate courses, subject to certain conditions.

Moreover, individuals holding a Tier 2 Dependant Visa can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) if they have resided in the UK for 5 years without interruption. This eligibility is contingent upon the main visa holder qualifying for a settlement permit or settling permanently in the UK. 

Dependants can also apply to extend their visa in line with the main applicant’s leave, provided they continue to meet the requirements of the visa route and the primary visa holder remains in the UK.

Can I Switch to a Skilled Worker Visa from Dependant Visa?

Dependants currently residing in the UK with valid leave under a different visa category may have the opportunity to switch to a Skilled Worker Visa without departing the UK. However, this switch must occur before their current visa expires.

It’s crucial to note that switching is not permissible for dependants who are already in the UK under specific visa categories. These include individuals on a visit visa, short-term student visa, Parent of a Child Student visa, seasonal worker visa, domestic worker in a private household visa, or those on immigration bail. 

Furthermore, those authorised to remain outside immigration regulations for compassionate reasons, for example, cannot change their visa status while in the UK.

Switching visas requires careful consideration of eligibility criteria and compliance with British immigration rules. When applying for a skilled worker visa, dependants should ensure they meet all the requirements and have the right paperwork to back them up.

Also Read; How to Convert Dependant Visa To Work Visa in the UK

How Can Spouse Vsa Lawyers Help?

With Spouse Visa Lawyers, you can rest assured that your visa application is in expert hands. We specialise in providing comprehensive legal assistance and guidance for individuals managing the complexities of UK immigration law, including Tier 2 Dependant Visa applications. 

Our experienced team of solicitors is well-versed in the eligibility criteria, documentation requirements, and procedural aspects of visa applications, ensuring a smooth and efficient process for our clients. We understand the importance of obtaining the correct visa for you and your family, so we offer tailored solutions to meet your specific needs and circumstances. 

 Contact us today to complete your Tier 2 Dependant Visa application.

You Ask, We Answer


Dependant visas are typically available for spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, and children of individuals holding certain visas, such as the UK’s Tier 2 or Skilled Worker Visa.

Tier 2 dependants are not required to pass an English language test for their visa application. Nonetheless, fluency in English might be required for particular employment positions or educational opportunities in the UK. 

Dependants on a Tier 2 Dependant Visa are subject to the same working hour restrictions as the primary visa holder. Typically, they can work up to 40 hours per week unless their visa conditions specify otherwise.

Tier 2 Dependant Visa bearers have the right to stay in the UK for an equal period as the main visa holder, as long as they fulfil the visa’s conditions and their visa remains valid.

Yes, Tier 2 Dependent Visa holders can generally enrol their children in schools or educational institutions in the UK. However, to get precise advice, it is best to take guidance from immigration management or legal professionals, as particular criteria might need to be met.

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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.

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