UK Tier 2 Dependant Visa Criteria Explained

UK Tier 2 Dependant Visa Criteria Explained

The Tier 2 Dependant Visa enables family members of Tier 2 Visa holders to join them in the UK. While the Skilled Worker Visa and the Health & Care Worker Visa have replaced the Tier 2 Visa, the option for dependants to accompany the main visa holder is still available.

To be eligible for the Tier 2 dependant visas, an applicant must fulfil the criteria set out by UK immigration. This blog post explores the criteria for applying for dependant visas under this route, outlines who qualifies, and highlights the opportunities and rights afforded to dependants in the UK.

What Is the UK Tier 2 Dependant Visa?

The UK Tier 2 Dependant Visa allows dependants of individuals in the UK under the Tier 2 Visa to come to the UK and live with them. Since the original Tier 2 Visa has evolved into the Skilled Worker Visa and the Health & Care Worker Visa, the routes are now known as the Skilled Worker Dependant Visa and the Health & Care Worker Dependant Visa. 

This visa category encompasses not only the partners and children of those holding the now-replaced Tier 2 Visa but also those under the new Skilled Worker and Health & Care Worker categories. Aimed at ensuring family unity, the Tier 2 Dependant Visa emphasises the UK’s commitment to supporting the personal lives of international workers contributing to its economy.

Who Can Apply for a UK Tier 2 Dependant Visa?

Eligibility for a UK Tier 2 Dependant Visa is primarily focused on families of someone already in the UK under a Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa. These family members can include spouses or civil partners, unmarried partners (who have been in a relationship with the main visa holder for at least two years), and children. 

Applicants for the Tier 2 Dependant Visa must demonstrate the authenticity of their relationship with the main visa holder as a fundamental part of their application process. This is crucial for ensuring the integrity of the visa system and that only genuine family members can join their loved ones in the UK.

Eligible Main Applicant Visa Categories

Eligible dependent visas are designated for the immediate family members of individuals who are currently in the UK under specific visa categories. These categories include:

  • The Tier 2 (General) Visa, now known as the Skilled Worker Visa, also encompasses the Health & Care Worker Visa.
  • The Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa is tailored for those arriving in the UK to engage in religious duties.
  • The Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa is designated for elite athletes and coaches of international renown.
  • The Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa is for staff of international corporations relocating to a UK office. 

Additionally, dependents of individuals who have transitioned from a Tier 2 visa to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or British citizenship are also eligible, provided the main applicant previously held leave under the Tier 2 visa category. 

Important Update for the Care Worker Visa

Starting March 11, 2024, care workers and senior care workers will no longer have the option to bring their dependants when they immigrate to the UK.

If you work as a care worker or senior care worker in the UK and have a Skilled Worker visa, your spouse and kids are unable to come or stay with you in the UK unless any of the reasons listed below are true:

  • You’re currently on a Skilled Worker visa.
  • You’re extending your Skilled Worker visa with your present employer.
  • You’re switching towards new employment within a similar occupation code while holding a Skilled Worker visa.

UK Tier 2 Dependant Visa Requirements

Securing a UK Tier 2 Dependant Visa requires meeting specific criteria set forth by the UK Home Office to ensure that only genuine dependants join the main visa holder in the UK. To be able to apply for this visa, key eligibility requirements that applicants must fulfil include: 

Relationship Requirements for Spouse

The foundation of a successful Tier 2 Dependant Visa application lies in proving the genuineness of the relationship between the dependant and the main visa holder. For spouses or civil partners, this involves presenting a valid marriage or civil partnership certificate recognised by UK law. The goal is to confirm the legality and authenticity of the partnership and ensure it meets UK standards.

Unmarried partners must demonstrate a substantial and continuous relationship of at least 2 years. This is typically evidenced through shared commitments such as joint tenancy agreements or utility bills, which portray a longstanding and committed partnership.

Requirements for Children

A child can apply if they’re under 18 years old, including those born in the UK during your residency or over 18, as long as they currently reside within the UK as your dependant.

Conditions for eligibility include that the child must reside with you unless they are engaged in full-time education away from home, such as attending a boarding school or university. Additionally, the child should not be married or in a civil association.

To support the application, you will need to submit proof of your living situation, which can be one of the following:

  • A statement from the bank
  • Bills from a credit card
  • A driving licence
  • A document confirming NHS registration
  • An official correspondence from their academic institution, including a university or college.

Also Read: UK Student Dependent Visa New Rules 2024 – Spouse Visa Lawyers

Financial Requirements

Dependants must prove financial self-sufficiency through the support of the main visa holder without recourse to public funds. The financial threshold is set at £285 for a partner, £315 for one child, and £200 for each additional child.

To prove the capability, evidence typically includes bank statements showing the availability of these funds for a significant period before the application, demonstrating the ability to support the dependant throughout their stay in the UK.

Exemptions to these financial requirements exist 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 detailed in the certificate of sponsorship provided by the employer during the initial Tier 2 visa application.

Also Read: Essential UK Dependant Visa Requirements Explained 2024 – Spouse Visa Lawyers

What Can I Do With a Tier 2 Dependant Visa?

Holding a Tier 2 Dependent Visa opens up several opportunities for individuals to integrate and contribute to life in the UK. Individuals under this visa category can remain in the UK for the equivalent duration as the primary Tier 2 visa holder, allowing families to stay united.

Dependants are permitted to work in most sectors of the UK, which allows them to gain professional experience and financially support their families. Under particular conditions, they can also enrol in study programs or pursue postgraduate courses, enhancing their qualifications and career prospects.

Furthermore, after continuously living in the UK for 5 years, dependants can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), provided the main visa holder is eligible for or has already obtained settlement.

Additionally, dependents have the option to extend their visa in alignment with the main applicant’s leave as long as they continue to meet the eligibility requirements and the main visa holder remains in the UK. 

Also Read: Ultimate Guide to UK Dependant Visa: New Rules, Requirements, and Process 2024

Let Us Help You Bring Your Dependant to the UK

Bringing your dependent to the UK may seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Spouse Visa Lawyers UK, we specialise in simplifying this process, ensuring quick and seamless reunification for you and your family.

Our expert team understands the nuances of UK immigration law and provides personalised support throughout the process. We’ll handle all your application details so you can focus on what matters.

Contact us today to start your path towards a united future in the UK.

You Ask, We Answer


To qualify for a Tier 2 Dependant Visa, you must be a family member dependant on someone holding a Tier 2 visa. This encompasses spouses, partners, and children under 18 years of age. Additionally, you must meet the financial criteria. 

When applying from outside the UK, you must fill out an online application form, pay the visa expense, schedule an appointment at a visa application centre, and submit the necessary documents along with biometric data.  

Certainly, individuals holding a Tier 2 Dependant Visa are qualified to work in the UK. However, there are restrictions; you cannot undertake training as a doctor or dentist in training or engage in professional sports, including coaching roles. For all other sectors, you can seek employment without requiring a different work visa.

Your stay in the UK with a Tier 2 Dependant Visa is tied to the main visa holder’s term of leave. You can remain in the UK as long as the main Tier 2 visa holder’s permit is valid. Should the primary visa holder extend their stay, you may apply to extend your dependant visa accordingly.

Yes, children under a Tier 2 Dependant Visa are eligible to seek their education in the UK. This includes enrolling in schools and colleges or even undertaking higher education courses. 

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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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