Dependant visas for family University of Greenwich

If you hold a Tier 4 visa and you have a dependant or dependants, they may be able to apply for a visa to join you in the UK whilst you study, or to extend their stay in the UK as your dependant if they are already in the UK. The visa issued to dependants of Tier 4 migrants is called the Points Based System (PBS) Dependant visa.

Dependants are defined by the Home Office as:

  • a husband or wife
  • a civil partner
  • an unmarried partner who has been in a relationship with you similar to marriage for at least two years
  • a child. Children must be under 18 to apply for a dependant visa, (unless, potentially, they are already in the UK with immigration permission as your child dependant).

When dependants of students are issued visas they should usually have the same expiry date as the student's visa.

Rules and regulations

Whether a dependant is applying for a visa from inside or outside the UK, it will be necessary to read the Home Office 'Policy guidance on dependants of points-based system migrants' document, which you can find here.  This document explains about the requirements of the PBS dependant visa application including what documents the dependant will need to provide and how much money they will need to demonstrate they have when applying. If the information in this document is followed correctly, chances of a successful visa application should be much higher.

Dependant visa application forms

When you (the main applicant / student) fill in your Tier 4 application form (online), you indicate in your answers that you have a dependant / dependants applying with you.  The form will then generate extra sections for each dependant which you then fill in. If you need advice on these forms or the application in general, you can contact ISAS.  If the dependant is applying at a separate time to you, they will need to complete the dependant application form online separately.


If your course is below masters-level, it is generally not possible for your dependants to apply to join you in the UK.  One exception to this if you are government-sponsored (that is officially financially sponsored by a government in your study).  If you are government-sponsored, you should have the ability for your dependants to join you in the UK on dependant visas.

If you have been issued a visa which is less than 12 months in length, or you are studying below degree level, you should expect your dependants to not have the right to work in the UK. 

These regulations are reasonably complex, so seek advice where necessary. 

Other information to be aware of

When your dependant completes their visa application from overseas, they need to give your CAS number in the application form.  If for any reason you do not still have your CAS number, speak to the Student Centre or ISAS.

Further information and advice

Contact your campus Student Centre
For student status letters and appointments with ISAS advisers contact your campus Student Centre.

UKCISA information on dependant visas
ISAS recommends UKCISA's information about family immigration and dependant visas.