The UK Dependant Visa

The dependent family visa route allows immediate family members of individuals on eligible work, student, business, or ancestry visas to have an opportunity to join them in the UK.


Who Qualifies as a Dependant?

The UK Dependent visa is granted to family members and “dependants of individuals” for the same period as the sponsor’s permission to remain in the UK. For instance, if the primary visa holder is authorised to stay in the UK for two years, the dependent visa will generally be issued for the same two-year period.

Holders of a Dependant Visa can enjoy various flexibility in terms of their activities within the country. They are free to live, work, study, and travel in and out of the UK. A significant advantage for dependent visa holders is the ability to work without the need for a specific sponsor.

However, it’s important to note that not all visa categories allow dependants to accompany you. Our team of expert lawyers can guide you on eligibility criteria and the application process.


A dependant’ in the context of UK immigration rules typically includes your spouse or partner and your children. 

Partners of Main Applicants: This includes the spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner (for at least two or more years) of the main visa holder.

Children: This applies to children under 18 of a person with UK ILR or British citizenship, where the individual last held leave in one of the qualified routes. 

Additional Family Members: In specific cases, other close family members might be eligible to join you in the UK. As a UK resident, this is possible if you have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or British citizenship and meet the Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa requirements. 

Who Can Apply For A UK Dependant Visa?

To fulfil the criteria to and be eligible for a UK Dependant Visa, individuals must be:

Partners of Tier 1 visa holders

Partners of Ancestry Visa holders

work or business visa partners


Visa Categories Eligible for Bringing Dependants to the UK

Not all UK visa holders can bring their dependents to the country. The eligibility to bring dependents largely depends on the type of visa maintained by the main applicant. Here are some of the key UK visa categories that allow holders to bring dependents:

Skilled Worker Visa: Those in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa can bring their dependents. This includes spouses, partners, and children under the age of 18.

Certain Global Business Mobility Visas: Individuals in the UK through a GMB vias like Global Talent Visa, Graduate Trainee Visa, Senior or Specialist Worker Visa, etc

Student Visa: As of January 2024, only international students enrolled in PhD or postgraduate research programs can bring dependents to the UK.

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Tier 1 Visa Categories: This includes various sub-categories like the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa, and others under the Tier 1 route.

Ancestry Visa: Holders of an Ancestry Visa can also bring their dependents to the UK.

Other Work Visas: Certain other work visas, such as the Minister of Religion Visa or Sportsperson Visa, also allow for dependents to accompany the main visa holder.

It is important to note that each visa category has specific rules and requirements for dependents, including financial requirements, proof of relationship, etc. Applicants should ensure they fully understand these requirements and are prepared to meet them to facilitate the successful granting of dependent visas.

Financial Requirements

What Are the Requirements for a Dependant Visa in the UK?

To apply for the UK under a Dependant Visa, it’s crucial to meet certain prerequisites to ensure a successful application. These requirements vary slightly depending on the type of visa held by the main applicant but generally include the following:

Relationship Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the dependent family member criteria. This means providing evidence of being the partner, spouse, or kid of the primary visa holder. There should be a clear intention to live with the sponsor in the UK throughout the stay.

Financial Requirements

Long-term visa applicants wishing to bring their dependants to the UK must show proof of sufficient funds to support them and their dependents. To illustrate, to apply for a Skilled Worker Dependant Visa in the United Kingdom, one must be able to provide evidence of:

  • £285 for a partner.
  • One child costs £315, and each additional child costs £200.

Note that the financial criteria might not be needed if both the primary visa holder and the dependent have been residing in the UK for at least 12 months.

Proof of Identity and Relationship

Applicants must verify their identity and the nature of their relationship to the visa holder. This typically involves providing official documents like marriage certificates, birth certificates, and proof of cohabitation for partners.

Required Documents

How to Apply for a UK Dependant Visa

Applying for a UK Dependent Visa entails a set of stages that may differ significantly based on the visa category of the main visa holder. The following is an overview to help you through the application process.

1. Completing the Online Application

Begin by filling out the proper online application form. It is critical to utilise the right form, as different categories have distinct forms. When applying, you must submit the unique reference number from the sponsor’s visa application.

2. Payment of Fees

Pay the requisite application fee for the Dependent Visa. You must also pay the immigration healthcare surcharge, which grants access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

3. Submitting Document 

Upload all required documents as determined by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). These documents typically include proof of relationship, financial stability, and the main applicant’s visa status.

4. Biometric Appointment

Schedule and attend a biometric screening at a nearby UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) location if you live in the UK or a Visa Application Centre (VAC) if you apply from outside the UK. This appointment requires you to have your fingerprints and a photograph taken.

It is crucial to ensure that all information provided is accurate and that the application is complete to avoid uncertainties or rejections. Given the complexity of the process, it might be beneficial to seek guidance from immigration professionals for a thorough understanding and smooth handling of your application.

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Required Documents for a UK Dependant Visa Application

When applying for a UK Dependent Visa, you must submit exhaustive documentation to support your application. The particular documents necessary may differ based on the type of visa the main applicant holds and the connection with them.

Here is a list of some common documents needed for the application process:

  • Evidence of Identity: Typically, this is a valid passport.
  • Proof of Relationship: This can be shown through documents like a birth certificate (for children), marriage certificate, or civil partnership certificate, depending on your relationship with the main visa holder.
  • Global Web Form (GWF) or Unique Application Number (UAN): This number of the main visa holder is crucial to link your application to theirs.
  • Proof of Dependence: If applicable, provide evidence such as documentation of rent or mortgage payment of their home, school, or college fees. Additionally, letters demonstrating that you share an identical address as the principal visa holder might be valuable.

Bank Statements: These documents should show you have enough money to fulfil the visa’s financial criteria. The statements must prove that the appropriate amounts were retained for at least 28 days.

The Genuine Relationship Requirement For The UK Fiancé(e)

Extending a Dependant Visa

Dependent Visas are typically granted for the same duration as the main applicant’s Visa. Dependents can apply for a visa extension concurrently with the primary visa holder or anytime before their visa expires. 

The process for extending a PBS Dependent Visa is conducted online. The applicable fees for the extension depend on the specific visa category of the main PBS Visa holder. Meeting these requirements and timely submission are key to a successful visa extension.

Can a Dependant Visa Holder Apply for ILR?

Holders of a UK Dependant Visa may be qualified to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after a continuous period of residency in the UK, contingent on the visa category of the main applicant. For instance, dependents of UK Skilled Worker Visa holders can typically apply for ILR after residing in the UK for five years.

The route for ILR usually involves the main visa holder either already having ILR or applying for it simultaneously. The specific eligibility requirements and timeframes for ILR vary based on the main applicant’s visa type.

Switching To a Family visa after 6 months

Dependant Visa Refusal and Appeal Process

UK dependant visas can be refused for a variety of reasons. However, the good news is refusal is not the end of the road, and you may be able to overturn the refusal by taking proactive steps. 

Here are some of the typical causes behind the refusal:

  • Mistakes in the application form. This might range from omitting essential details to making errors that raise doubts about the application’s validity.
  • Failing to fulfil the requirements such as the financial criteria or others. 
  • The failure to provide the necessary documents is another critical reason for visa denials. Equally important is ensuring that these documents are submitted in the prescribed format.
  • Simply bundling documents without a clear explanation or a cover note can lead to confusion, making it challenging for officials to understand the context of the evidence provided.
  • Neglecting to include specific essential evidence or providing photocopies when originals are required can significantly weaken an application.

Experiencing a refusal of your UK Dependent Visa can be distressing, significantly disrupting your plans to reunite with your family in the UK and start a shared life. Fortunately, if your UK Dependent Visa is denied, you can contest this decision through an appeal or, in some cases, an administrative review. 

Your decision letter from the Home Office will detail your appeal options if your UK Dependent Visa is refused. A successful appeal typically results in the Home Office revisiting and often granting the visa. If the appeal fails, further legal action at the Upper Tribunal may be possible.

In such challenging circumstances, the expertise of immigration solicitors can be invaluable. They can provide professional assistance at every stage of the appeal process, from interpreting the refusal letter to preparing a comprehensive appeal strategy. 

Let Us Handle The Complicated Legal Work

Need Help With Your Dependant Visa?

Understanding the application procedure and fulfilling the requirements of a UK Dependant Visa can be challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. We at Spouse Visa Lawyers are here to help you every step of the way with your dependent visa application.

What We Offer:

  • Personalised Consultation: To begin, we get to know you and your particular circumstances to give you personalised advice and solutions.
  • Document Review and Preparation: We can help you gather and evaluate all necessary paperwork if you want to prevent rejections or delays.
  • Application Submission Support: Our expertise extends to guiding you through the online application process, helping to alleviate any confusion or uncertainty.
  • Continuous Communication: We maintain open lines of communication, keeping you informed at every step and available to answer any questions or concerns.

At Spouse Visa Lawyers, we are committed to simplifying your visa application journey. Our goal is to maximise your chances of a successful outcome, allowing you to reunite with your loved ones in the UK with peace of mind. 

Contact us for dedicated support and take the first step towards a smooth Dependent Visa application.

You Ask, We Answer

FAQs About UK Dependant Visas

A UK Dependant Visa allows family members of someone with a valid UK visa (like a work or student visa) to join them in the UK. It’s typically for spouses, partners, and children under 18.

Yes, dependents on a UK Dependant Visa can work in the UK without restrictions on their employment. The dependant visa holder can also work in the UK.

The visa is generally valid for the same duration as the main visa holder’s permission to stay in the UK.

Yes, dependant can potentially apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after remaining in the UK for a qualifying period, usually 5 years. Please note that there are additional requirement that need to be fulfilled for this.

Yes, Dependant Visa holders are generally allowed to travel in and out of the UK. However, prolonged absences might affect eligibility for settlement, so it’s essential to keep this in mind.

Required documents vary depending on the primary visa holder’s visa category. The documents typically include proof of relationship, financial evidence, and the main visa holder’s status documentation.

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How can we help?

We are determined to deliver proficient and personalised assistance that satisfies your necessities. Our aim is to simplify and make your Fiancé(e) Visa application process as easy as possible. Get in touch with us today to get clarity on your circumstances and how we can be of assistance.