This article contains information on bringing dependents to the UK whilst studying.

Who qualifies as a dependent

The only people who qualify as dependants are your partner and/or your children. For definitions and restrictions, please refer to the UKCISA website.

Can I bring my dependents?

Only some types of Tier 4 (General) students can bring their families as dependants. These are:

  • Students sponsored by your Government and studying a course for longer than 6 months
  • Students who are studying a postgraduate level course for 12 months or more

In both cases, you must also:

  • Either already have a Tier 4 (General) visa or 
  • Start the Tier 4 (General) visa application process in the same country at the same time as your dependant is making their application.

Financial requirements for bringing your dependants into the UK

If you want to bring your dependants, you must show the following financial evidence:

  • Dependants of Tier 4 (General Student) need to show £680 for every month of the main applicant’s Tier 4 leave up to a maximum of nine months.
  • Dependants of Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme) need to show £1360.
  • If your sponsor is also sponsoring your dependants, you will need an official sponsor letter from your sponsor stating that they will cover the full maintenance cost for each dependant.
  • The evidence of funds can be shown in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account. If the dependant is your child then the funds can be held by the other parent, but only if they are in the UK as well.
  • The money must be held for 28 consecutive days.

See more information on this on UKCISA’s website.

Accommodation for families/ family visits

You will need to seek private accommodation off campus. Families are not eligible to apply for University Halls of Residence. The same applies should your family wish to visit you when studying.

For more advice and support about organising a visit or accommodation, please contact the International Student Advisers.

Can my dependents work?

In most cases, your dependants can work in the UK if their visa is for 12 months or more. We always advise that they check their visa for the specific conditions.

Immigration rules change frequently, so it is important to make sure that you keep up to date with the latest regulations. For an up-to-date immigration policy, please refer to  UKCISA’s news pages


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