Your partner and children
Your partner and children can apply to join you in the UK as your ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible.
A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:
- your partner
- your child under 18
- your child aged 18 or over who was previously on your or your partner’s visa as a dependant
You’ll need to provide evidence of your relationship when you apply.
You must be able to prove one of the following:
- you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognised in the UK
- you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply
- live with you (unless they’re in full time education at boarding school, college or university)
- not be married, in a civil partnership or have any children
- be supported by you without using public funds
Apply from outside the UK
Your partner or child must apply online.
They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph (known as ‘biometric information’) taken at a visa application centre as part of their application.
Find out how to get your visa decision faster - this depends on where you’re applying from. Check if your visa application centre offers faster decisions and other services.
Apply from inside the UK (extend or switch their visa)
Your partner and children may be able to extend their visa or switch to a UK Ancestry visa to stay with you in the UK.
You can add your partner or children to your application when you extend your visa. They do not need to apply separately.
Switch to an Ancestry visa
Your partner or child can apply to switch their visa online.
They cannot apply to switch if they’re currently in the UK:
- on a visitor visa
- on a Short-term study visa
- on a Parent of a Child Student visa
- on a Seasonal Worker visa
- on a Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa
- on immigration bail
- because they were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds
If they’re in one of those categories, they must leave the UK and apply for a UK Ancestry visa from abroad.
Get help to apply online
You can get help with completing the online form if you:
- do not feel confident using a computer or mobile device
- do not have internet access
You can only use this service if you’re applying to extend your visa in the UK.
You cannot get immigration advice through this service.
Children born while you’re in the UK
If you have a child while you’re in the UK, they do not automatically become a British citizen.
You must apply for their dependant visa before they turn 18 if they want to stay in the UK.
You can apply online for their dependant visa. You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child.
You’ll need to provide a full UK birth certificate for each child, showing the names of both parents.