Immigration rules can change frequently so you should always check you have the most up to date information before you make a visa application. We recommend visiting for detailed information.

This information is for students who want to bring their dependants to the UK as a dependant. If you are a student who will be studying in the UK for six months or less you cannot bring dependants to the UK.

Definition of dependants

  • Partners - this means your husband, wife or civil partner. Civil partnership means you are a same sex couple who has registered your partnership to gain formal legal recognition of your relationship.
  • Your unmarried or same-sex partner - to be unmarried or same-sex partners, you need to have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for a period of at least two years. You will be expected to provide evidence of this.
  • Your child or children - If they are applying for the dependant visa for the first time they must be less than 18 years old.

Your dependants are only eligible if:

  • You are government-sponsored and your course is over six months long OR
  • You are doing a postgraduate level course of 9 months or longer at a Higher Education Institution OR
  • You have visa permission under the Doctorate Extension Scheme

How to apply

Go to and complete the application form. Make sure you select the correct option - PBS Dependant Partner or PBS Dependant Child, as appropriate. Guidance notes are available from the website.

Some of the documents your dependant will need include:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Photographs to prove the wedding took place
  • Evidence of communication, i.e itemised phone bills; screenshot printout of messages via Whatsapp, Viber, WeChat, Tango, Skype, MSM etc; printout of email communication; money transfers; photographs taken together at different times; air tickets booked together or to visit each other; hotel bookings together etc.
  • tenancy agreement to show that you both will live at the property here in the UK
  • A copy of your student visa (if you already have one)
  • Each dependant must show a bank statement in their name or in the name of the student visa holder for the previous 28 days. The required minimum balance must be kept every day throughout the 28 day period.
  • If you have an official government sponsor, attach the sponsor letter. If you are fully sponsored for all living costs and tuition fees, then your dependant only needs to show the sponsor letter and does not require bank statements. If you are only partially sponsored, then it is necessary to show additional bank statements.
  • Passport, birth certificate and official translation (if necessary)
  • Other documents e.g. photos, payment as specified by the Embassy/Visa Application Centre - please contact your Embassy to check what these are.

Maintenance amounts

Each dependant must show £680 per month of your course to a maximum of £6,120 (9 months).

Are you government or scholarship sponsored? If yes, there may be a shortfall between the sponsorship you receive and the amount of money your dependant must show for the visa application. If there is a shortfall, you must show the additional amount in your own savings in the Tier 4 student's bank account or in the bank account of the dependant applying for the visa. This money must be held every day for 28 days. This money must be separate to the sponsorship money received.

Here is an example:

Family of three people (husband, wife and child). They receive government sponsorship of £1,840 per month in total. The husband/student's course is 12 months long:

for 2 dependants
+ £1,023 for student
= £2,383 total maintenance
minus  £1,840 sponsorship per month
= £543 difference between sponsorship and maintenance requirements
x 9 £4,887 The difference x 9 months. This is the additional amount that must be shown separately in the bank account, every day for 28 days.
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