8. Family members

Your family members (dependants) might be able to apply to join or remain with you in the UK if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A dependant is either:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner
  • your unmarried or same-sex partner
  • your child under 18 years old - including if they were born in the UK during your stay

You can apply to bring a dependant to the UK if you’re:

  • sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts 1 year or more
  • a new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts longer than 6 months
  • a Doctorate Extension Scheme student

They’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application. Check how much they’ll have to pay before they apply.

Savings

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.

Each dependant must have a certain amount of money available to them - this is in addition to the money you must have to support yourself.

The amount of money you need depends on:

  • the length of your course
  • where you’re studying in the UK
  • whether you’ve finished a UK course or are currently studying

You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 28 days before you or they apply.

Read the detailed guidance for dependants for how much money you’ll need and the full list of documents you need to provide.

Dependants applying outside the UK

Your family members must apply online.

They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of their application.

They’ll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when they said they’d arrive in the UK.

They may be able to get their visa faster or other services depending on what country they’re in - check with the visa application centre.

North Korea

Your family members can’t apply online if they’re applying from North Korea.

To apply from North Korea they must:

Dependants applying in the UK

You should apply for your dependants’ visas at the same time as you extend or switch your own visa.

If you can’t do it at the same time, your dependants can apply to extend or switch their visas at a later date.

They can’t apply in the UK as dependants if they already have a Standard Visitor visa.

If your dependants want to get a decision more quickly than the standard 8 weeks, they can apply:

  • for priority service - there’s a limited number of places each day
  • to use a premium service centre - they’ll need to go in person
Application type Time for a decision Cost per person
Standard 8 weeks £448
Priority 10 days £823
Premium Same day £948

You’ll also need to provide biometric information and pay the healthcare surcharge.

Apply for the standard or premium service

Your partner or child can apply online:

  • for the standard service
  • to use a premium service centre

Pay the appropriate fee at the same time.

Apply for the priority service

Your dependant must fill in a request form before they can use the priority service. They must send it to the email address on the form.

Only the first 60 requests received each day after 8:30am (Monday to Friday) are accepted - they’ll get an email saying if they’ve been successful.

Once they’ve been accepted for the priority service your partner or child should apply within 24 hours. They should pay the fee at the same time.

They should send their supporting documents by registered post or courier to the address given in the priority service acceptance email.

Their documents should reach UK Visas and Immigration no later than two days after you applied.

Biometric information

Each person applying must also provide their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo).

They can give their biometric information at:

They’ll get a biometric residence permit if their application is successful.

Children born in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply online.

You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child.