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UK Dependant Visa: A Comprehensive Guide

A UK Dependant visa permits immediate family members of UK visa holders residing overseas to join them in the UK. Contact our immigration lawyers at +44 (0) 1293 522 275 for guidance or fill out our contact form for assistance with your visa application.

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November 9, 2023

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What Is A UK Dependant Visa?

The UK Dependant Visa serves as the gateway for immediate family members of UK visa holders to join them in the country. Various visa categories, such as work, PhD study, business, and ancestry visas, permit holders to bring their dependant family members to the UK. Within the immigration rules, there are distinctions between a PBS Dependant visa and a general Dependant visa. Despite these differences, both visas share a common purpose: facilitating the reunion of dependant family members with the main visa holder in the UK. Specifically, PBS Dependant visas cater to individuals on points-based visas, like the Skilled Worker visa, enabling them to bring their family members to the UK.

Who is eligible to apply for a Dependant visa?

If you are a dependant of an individual holding a UK work, PhD study, business, or ancestry visa, you are eligible to apply for a Dependant visa in the UK. The term ‘dependant’ encompasses partners (spouses or those in a civil partnership) and children of the primary visa holder.

For partners, eligibility requires either marriage or a civil partnership with the main visa holder, or cohabitation for a period exceeding 2 years.

Children applying for a child dependant visa must be under 18 years of age, or if 16 years or older, they must be reliant on the main visa holder. Dependency in this context means that they:

  • Are not leading an independent life (i.e., not married, in a civil partnership, or with children)
  • Reside with the main visa holder (unless attending boarding school or university)
  • Receive financial support from the main visa holder

In addition to Dependant visas for children and partners, the Adult Dependant Relative visa scheme allows the possibility of bringing elderly family members to the UK, provided the UK resident holds indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or UK citizenship.

Requirements for a UK Dependant Visa

To secure a UK Dependant Visa, you must fulfil the following general criteria:

  • Demonstrate that you meet the relationship requirements as a dependant family member.
  • Establish that you meet the financial prerequisites to sustain your livelihood in the UK.
  • Provide evidence of your identity and your relationship with the visa holder.
  • Express the intention to reside together with the sponsor during your stay in the UK.

*Note: Since dependant visas fall under various immigration categories, the specific requirements for a UK Dependant Visa will vary based on the type of visa held by the sponsor, who is the primary visa holder.

Financial Requirements for Dependant Visas

  • £285 for a partner
  • £315 for one child, with an additional £200 for each extra child

The existence of financial requirements hinges on the specific visa category held by the primary visa holder. For instance, in the case of applying for a Skilled Worker Dependant Visa in the UK, it is essential to demonstrate that either the main visa holder or the applicant possesses the following financial resources:

In the majority of situations, if both the main visa holder and the dependant have resided in the UK for 12 months or longer, there is typically no financial obligation to meet.

Applying for a UK Dependant Visa: A Step-by-Step Guide

The application process for a UK Dependant Visa is contingent upon the type of visa held by the primary visa holder. To navigate the application successfully, adhere to the following key steps:

  • Complete and submit the online application form, ensuring the inclusion of the unique reference number from the main applicant’s application. It is crucial to select the correct application form, considering variations for PBS dependant children and partners.
  • Fulfil the financial obligations by paying the application fee and immigration healthcare surcharge.
  • Compile and upload all requisite documents specified by UKVI to substantiate your application.
  • Schedule and attend a biometric appointment at the nearest UKVCAS or Visa Application Centre if you are outside the UK. During this appointment, your fingerprints will be scanned, and a photo will be taken.

In the majority of cases, anticipate a decision on your UK Dependant Visa within an 8-week timeframe.

Validity and Conditions of the Dependant Visa

Dependant visas are typically issued for the same duration as the permission granted to the primary visa holder. For instance, if the main visa holder receives a 2-year visa, the Dependant Visa will also be valid for a period of 2 years.

Beneficiaries of the Dependant Visa relish substantial flexibility, encompassing the freedom to live, work, study, and travel unrestrictedly. Notably, dependants are not obligated to seek sponsorship for employment in the UK, affording them the ability to change jobs and employers without requiring permission from the Home Office.

It is essential to note that while Dependant visa holders enjoy various privileges, they are ineligible to apply for public funds, including benefits, during their stay in the UK.

Transitioning from Dependant Visa to Settlement (ILR)

Dependant visa holders have the opportunity to seek settlement in the UK when the primary visa holder is granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), typically after 5 continuous years of residence in the country. To be eligible for ILR, partners must maintain a genuine relationship with their partner, demonstrating the intention to continue their relationship post-application. Additionally, they must possess sufficient income to independently support themselves in the UK. For children, eligibility involves residing (or intending to live) with their parents, receiving adequate support and accommodation without resorting to public funds, and maintaining a status of being unmarried, not in a civil partnership, and not leading an independent life (unless at boarding school or university).

Attaining ILR comes with substantial advantages, including the privilege of permanent residency in the UK without the need for further visa applications. Furthermore, individuals holding ILR can apply for British citizenship after a year.

For personalised assistance with your dependant visa application, connect with one of our knowledgeable immigration solicitors at +44 (0) 1293 522 275.

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