Requirements for Tier 4 (Dependant) Applications
Who can be a tier 4 dependant?
Your partner and your children are the only family members who can be your Tier 4 dependant. Your partner can be:
- Your husband;
- Your wife;
- Your civil partner;
- Your unmarried partner or same-sex partner.
Your children must be:
- Aged less than 18 years old at the time they apply; or
- Aged 18 or over only if they are already in the UK as a PBS dependant child and are applying to extend their visa.
IMPORTANT: When bringing Tier 4 dependent children BOTH living parents must normally be coming to the UK or extending their leave in this capacity. If only one parent is applying to come to the UK, please speak to an International Student Adviser at the University because there are very limited exceptions to this requirement.
Who can bring a tier 4 dependant?
Bringing dependants to join you will depend on the type of course you are studying and the duration of your stay in the UK.
Not all Tier 4 students are allowed to bring dependants and restrictions apply. You can ONLY bring dependants if:
- you are studying a course that is 9 months or more and sponsored by the University on a course at RQF Level 7 (Master's Degree) or above; or
- you are a government-sponsored student undertaking a course that is 6 months or more; or
- you are applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES).
Where can dependants apply?
Dependants can apply online from within* and outside the UK.
Outside the UK
Each dependant must complete a separate application online at the UK Government website.
Within the UK
Each dependant MUST apply BEFORE their current visa expires.
- If you are applying at the same time as your dependant(s) you will need to use this form.
- If your dependant partner is applying later than you use this form.
- If your dependant child, for example a new baby born in the UK is applying later than you use this form.
* In order to apply from within the UK your dependants must already hold a qualifying valid Points Based System (PBS) visa such as Tier 4, Tier 2, and dependants. If they hold any other visa type please contact the International Student Advisory Team.
What are the required documents?
Documents not in English must be translated by a fully certified translator/translation company and the translation(s) must meet specific requirements. Please see the Translations page for more information.
More information about the policy on dependants can be found here.
- Completed appropriate Tier 4 PBS Dependant form.
- Current passport or travel document, including your previous passport if it contains your current UK visa.
- Current Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card (if applicable).
- Police Registration Certificate of dependant if they were required to register with the Police if applying within the UK.
- Tuberculosis (TB) certificate, if applying outside the UK and coming to the UK for longer than 6 months and you are resident in any of the countries listed in the following on the UK Government website. If you have lived for at least 6 months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK, and you've been away from that country for no more than 6 months you won't need a TB test.
- Copy of the Tier 4 student’s current visa/BRP (front and back), (if applying separately).
- Letter from the university confirming Tier 4 student is currently enrolled, (if applying separately).
- Birth certificate showing evidence of relationship between the Tier 4 student and the child (you do not need to submit this if applying for an extension of an existing Tier 4 dependant visa within the UK).
- Babies born in the UK who are making their first application within the UK do not have to submit a passport or travel document. They must however submit their birth certificate. UK Visas and Immigration may request this document whilst processing the application, it is therefore advisable to obtain a passport for your baby as soon as possible.
- Marriage certificate showing evidence of marriage where the dependant is a spouse (you do not need to submit this if applying for an extension of an existing Tier 4 dependant visa within the UK).
- Evidence of continuing relationship with your partner if you have lived apart for some time (if applying separately). You can evidence this via emails, phone/skype logs, plane tickets from visiting one another, family photos, covering letter laying out your position etc.
- Evidence that you are living together e.g. utility bills, council tax bill, joint bank statement(s) or separate statements with the same address, tenancy agreement (if applying within the UK).
- Unmarried and same-sex partners will need to provide evidence that they have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for a period of at least 2 years.
- Evidence of maintenance of £6120 per dependant (£680 per month up to a maximum of 9 months) or the length of leave expected to be granted, whichever is shorter. Please see the Tier 4 Maintenance Requirements page for guidance on acceptable formats.
- Children aged 16 and over at the time of application will need to submit particular documents to demonstrate that they have not formed an independent family unit or be leading an independent life e.g. NHS registration document, letter from their educational institution confirming the address, bank statements (we advise that you submit 2 items).
Making an online tier 4 dependant visa application in the UK
The form is only available online (see ‘within the UK’ section above).
- Follow the instructions on the form.
- When you reach the documents page, stop, log out and book an appointment to see an adviser. If you go beyond this point it may not be possible to make any changes or corrections to the form. DO NOT PAY or finish the application.
- You will receive an email with a link, which allows you to return to the form if you have not completed it. Ensure that you can access your email and the link easily when you come and see an adviser.
- Bring ALL of the required original documents with you to a Visa Application and Supporting Documents check appointment. To view how to book an appointment click here.
- If you do not have your online application completed to stage 3 above or you do not have all the required documents with you, the adviser will not be able to see you and you will be asked to return later.
- After you have submitted the application, you will need to book an appointment to visit a Service Point to provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) and your supporting documents. The closest Service Point is Reading library.
- You will retain your documents (including your passport) whilst your application is being processed, but you must NOT leave the UK before a decision has been made on your application. Otherwise UK Visas and Immigration will treat your application as being withdrawn.
What happens next?
After your dependants have provided their biometrics and their supporting documents at an appointment at a Service Point, the next correspondence received should be from UK Visas and Immigration with your dependants’ visa application decision(s). Their BRP(s) will arrive separately.
If their visa application is refused, make sure you contact the International Student Advisory Team and supply a copy of the refusal notice.
The application fee when applying from outside of the UK is £348 per dependant.
The application fee when applying from within the UK depends on the application type.
Time for a decision
Cost per person
Within 8 weeks
Within 5 working days
The next working day
As part of the application process you and any dependants will be required to pay the immigration health surcharge to cover the duration of your stay in the UK. You’ll then be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and won’t require private medical insurance. Please note that you will still need to pay for certain types of services (e.g. prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests).
Dependants of students who make applications outside the UK for entry clearance for leave for more than 6 months are subject to the IHS charge. Dependants of students already present in the UK who make applications for leave to remain (extensions) are subject to the charge, even if a period of under 6 months' leave is applied for, but this means that entitlement to free NHS treatment will continue. The cost of this charge will be £300 for each applicant and dependent per year of the actual visa to be granted, including any final extra period. Periods less than six months are charged at £150. Periods between 6 and 12 months are charged at the full year rate.
Babies born in the UK
If you are a Tier 4 student and you are pregnant, it is very important that you talk to one of our International Student Advisers as soon as possible.
Birth in the UK does not automatically make a baby a British citizen. If your baby is born in the UK but is not a British citizen, it is quite lawful for him or her to remain in the UK without making an immigration application. However, the baby will need immigration permission to re-enter the UK after any travel abroad, and for babies born to Tier 4 students, there are limited instances when the baby can apply for immigration permission as your dependant.
We advise that students who have babies born in the UK seek to make an immigration application for them as soon as possible after their birth to avoid potential liability for NHS charges in any period between three months after they are born (when free treatment is automatically allowed) and granting of their leave.
Need more help?
If clarification is needed on any aspect of the Rules or you have questions about your visa application, please email the International Student Advisory Team at email@example.com where we will respond to you as soon as possible, alternatively telephone +44(0)118 378 8038 or you can book an appointment to speak to an International Student Adviser.