Bringing Your Family

Bringing your family to the UK as dependants

If you have a Tier 4 (General) student visa, or will be applying for one at the same time as your dependant makes their application

Your husband, wife, civil partner or eligible partner and children under 18 can join you as your dependant in the UK if:

  • You are government-sponsored and your course is over six months long OR
    • your permission is current or expired no more than three months before this immigration application AND
    • your new immigration application is for a course over six months long AND
    • your dependants already have Tier 4 dependant or “student” dependant leave AND
    • you apply for immigration permission at the same time as your dependant

The dependants of international students are normally given permission to remain in the UK for the same period as the student, on the understanding they can be maintained and accommodated without recourse to public funds. They may also need to register with the police.

Your dependant may take up employment as long as you have leave to remain in the UK for 12 months or more. Please note that anticipated earnings cannot be presented as evidence of funding when applying to come to the UK.

The new maintenance requirements for student dependants can be found on pages 10 – 13 of the Points Based System Policy Guidance, which can be downloaded from the UK Border Agency website. Currently, this states that a dependant (of a student studying outside London) must be able to show living costs of £400 per month for up to 9 months (£3,600) depending on the length of the student’s course.

Applying for entry clearance as the dependant of a Points Based System migrant

Your dependant should apply for entry clearance using the Application Form VAF10- PBS Dependant either online or on paper depending upon the facilities available in the country in which they are applying. This form can be downloaded from the UK visas website. They should also refer to the 'PBS Dependant Guidance Notes’ that are available on the same web page, when completing the form, and the Points Based System – Dependants Policy Guidance.

It is their responsibility to check the UK visas website for a full list of documents that will be required. As a guide they should provide the following:

  • A photocopy of each document in addition to the original document itself should be submitted.

The length of time in which applications are processed varies, so it is advisable to contact the British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate in your own country as soon as possible.

If you have an old style student visa issued before 31st March 2009 under the old immigration system:

Your dependant should apply for entry clearance using the Application Form VAF3b. A full list of the documents they will need to provide is included on page 9 of the form, and the fee is £199.

The requirements for student dependants under the old system differ slightly from those for PBS dependants as detailed above. For further details please refer to the UK Council for International Student Affairs information sheet “Your Family’s Immigration” available via the weblink below.

Useful links

Please note: The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama can ONLY provide sponsor support for students coming to study with us. It is the students' responsibility to obtain the relevent entry clearance for any dependants they may wish to bring with them.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is given in good faith and has been carefully checked with The UK Council for International Student Affairs and the UK Border Agency. However please note that the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy. Immigration law is subject to change; please ensure that you have the most up to date information by checking the websites listed under the “Useful resources” subheading above.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is given in good faith and has been carefully checked with The UK Council for International Student Affairs and the UK Border Agency. However please note that the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy. Immigration law is subject to change; please ensure that you have the most up to date information by checking the websites listed under the “Useful resources” subheading above.