This page contains detailed information on who is eligible to come to the UK as a dependant, how to make a dependant application and the maintenance requirements for Points Based System dependants under the Student Visa route.


Who can bring dependants to the UK?

In order to bring dependants with you to the UK, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. You must be undertaking doctoral-level study (a PhD) or a research-based higher degree (MRes) OR
  2. You must be in receipt of an award from a Government which covers some or all of the financial aspects of your course (fees and living costs) and your course must be full-time and at least six months long OR
  3. You are already in the UK on a student visa which lasted at least 6 months long and
    1. your permission is current
    2. your new immigration application is for a full-time course that is at least six months AND
    3. your dependant: 
      1. already has Student dependant immigration permission or
      2. is your child who was born since you were last granted permission
    4. you apply for immigration permission at the same time as your dependant

See the guidance here for more information about whether you can have dependants with you in the UK. If you are not sure, please email us

Who cannot bring dependants to the UK?

  • Undergraduate or postgraduate Masters students not in receipt of a Government award towards their studies
  • Pre-sessional students holding a conditional offer for their Undergraduate / Masters / PhD course will not be able to bring family members to the UK under the Student Visa route for the pre-sessional course.
  • Students studying on a part-time course that meets the Student Visa requirements.

If your dependants wish to come to visit for a period of up to six months only, they may wish to come as a visitorPlease note, however, that it is not possible to switch from a visitor visa into a Points Based System dependant visa or any other visa from within the UK.

Who can be a PBS dependant?

The only family members who can make applications as your 'dependants' under the Student Visa route are:

  1. Your spouse / civil partner (aged 18 years or older).                                                          Civil partners' are same-sex or opposite-sex couples who have registered their partnership and who have thereby gained formal legal recognition of their relationship.  Opposite-sex couples are included in the definition of ‘civil partners’ in England
  2. Your unmarried partner (aged 18 years or older).                                                                They will have to prove that they have been in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership with you for at least two years before the date of their application. See the additional guidance for this section of the Rules, which gives some details of what evidence caseworkers will consider as evidence that the relationship is 'durable'. However, note, this guidance can change at any time and without warning, so it is important that you look at this guidance before you apply.
  3. Your children (aged 18 years or younger)
  • If your child is applying to come to the UK as your Student dependant for the first time, they must be younger than 18 years old when they apply.
  • Your child (of any age) ‘must not be living an independent life’. This means that:
    1. they do not have a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner, and
    2. they live with their parents, except where they are at boarding school, college or university as part of their full-time education 

The Home Office's guidance on Appendix Children outlines what the Home Office will look for in assessing this.

How to apply

Outside the UK

If your dependants are currently outside the UK they must:

  • Apply for 'entry clearance' from the Visa Application Centre in their home country before they travel to the UK.
  • Complete the online application form and pay the required fees. The application and Immigration Health Surcharge fees are the same as those for a student visa.

Dependants will need to provide:

  • Proof of relationship (e.g. marriage certificate/birth certificate), proof of durable relationship if unmarried partners.
  • Copy of main applicant's visa + statement of attendance  (unless you are applying at the same time and haven’t yet received your visa / registered on your course)
  • Evidence of funds and accommodation (if required)    

Apply online via the GOV.UK website and read more information about dependants.

Within the UK

Dependants should ideally apply at the same time as the main Student Visa applicant. When the main applicant is completing the online application form there is an opportunity to select the number of dependants so the dependant application forms will also be completed online. 

  • If Dependants are applying after the main applicant has been granted their Student visa, there are separate links for PBS - Partner and PBS - child

See further guidance on how to apply here.

Maintenance requirements

New student dependants applying outside the UK:

Anyone applying with a main applicant for a new course of study will need to have enough money to support them for 9 months.

Place of study

Amount per month

Number of months


Inner London (all Imperial campuses)

£ 845 per month



This money must have been maintained in a bank account for 28 days prior to making the visa application, or in the form of a scholarship which covers living costs for family members as well as for the main applicant.

'Low risk' applicants

If your dependant counts as a 'low risk' applicant they must have the right amount of money for the right period held by an acceptable financial institution, but they do not have to provide any evidence of that with their immigration application. The Home Office calls this the 'differentiation arrangement' for 'low risk' applicants. 

Your dependant will count as a 'low risk' applicant if:

  • both your nationality and the nationality of your dependant are listed within paragraph ST 22.1 of Appendix Student of the immigration Rules  AND
  • your dependant is applying at the same time and in the same location as you AND
  • your dependant is applying for entry clearance in the country of their nationality or where they are resident, or they are applying for leave to remain inside the UK 

It is very important your dependant should obtain the evidence that they meet the financial requirements, even though they do not need to send it in. This is because the Home Office are entitled to ask them for it at any point while they are processing the application, and if the applicant is unable to produce it within a short period of time then their application will be refused. 

Student dependants already in the UK:  

Student dependants who apply for Student dependant permission from within the UK and who have been living in the UK with immigration permission or 12 months or longer when they apply do not now need to meet a financial requirement. 

Please read the additional guidance on meeting the financial requirements here.

If you are unsure how much money your dependants will need to demonstrate then please do not hesitate to contact us

Immigration Health Surcharge 

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is increasing from 6 February 2024 for Student route and Graduate route applications. 

For Student route applications, and Student route dependant applications, made on or after 6 February 2024, the IHS fee will be £776 per applicant, per year of permission applied for. Student route applicants currently pay £470.

For Graduate route applications, and Graduate route dependant applications, made on or after 6 February 2024, the IHS fee will be £1035 per applicant, per year of permission applied for. Graduate route applicants currently pay £624.