Applying for a Tier 4 Dependant Visa Outside the UK

Each Tier 4 Dependant needs to submit their own visa application as a Tier 4 Dependant Partner or a Tier 4 Dependant Child. Each application should include the required supporting documents.

Please see the guidance below on how to apply for a Tier 4 Dependant visa and what documents are required.

You will need to apply online using the UKVI website:

  • Your application form should make clear that you are accompanying the main applicant who will be studying in the UK. If you are applying at the same time as the student you should write their application reference number in the form to ensure that your applications are considered together.

The online application form contains details of all the supporting documents dependants are required to submit with their application. You should also read the UKVI Dependant Guidance.

  • Passport (must be valid for at least a few months)
  • One recent passport photograph, taken against a light background
  • If you are coming to the UK for more than six months you may require a TB certificate. Check on the UKVI website if you are from a country that requires a TB certificate.
  • Evidence of your relationship to the main student - a copy of your original marriage or civil partnership certificate for Dependant Partners and evidence that your relationship is subsisting such as proof of living together and a copy of an original birth certificate for a Dependant Child
    • If you are not married or you do not have a civil partnership certificate then you must have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least 2 years and you must provide sufficient official evidence to prove this e.g. utility bills, tenancy agreements, bank statements, medical registration letters, covering at least a 2 year period. 
    • If you are married or in a civil partnership you must also provide evidence that your relationship is genuine and subisting e.g. signed letters to say you intend to live together, photographs and correspondence covering the duration of your relationship. This evidence could include dated photographs of your wedding or honeymoon, or photographs of the two of you together, as well as email or texts.
  • Financial evidence - A dependant needs to show at least £6,120 (£680 per month for nine months) for maintenance, unless their visa will be for less than nine months duration. Please see page 2 of this financial guide. They should provide original bank statements (less than one month old) showing the correct funds for at least 28 days before completing the online form. The funds can be in the dependant's account, the main student's account or a joint account.
    • If the student has an official sponsor and the sponsorship covers the living expenses of the dependants as well, then you need to provide an official sponsor letter which includes the dependants names and states their living expenses are fully covered.

If the main applicant is a PhD student who is at the end of their programme of study and is eligble to apply under the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme, dependants may still claim established presence. This means that they only need to show 2 months of maintenance for their visa application. This is only applicable to dependant of a student applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme.

Some applicants do not need to include financial evidence with their Tier 4 Dependant visa applications. If you meet the following criteria you do not have to include your financial evidence (bank statements or sponsor letter) when applying for your Tier 4 Dependant visa, however you should still meet the financial requirements because UKVI can contact you and ask to see your financial evidence:

  • both you and the main applicant (student) are considered 'low risk' applicants (please click here to check who is 'low-risk'); and
  • you are applying at the same time as the main applicant (student); and
  • you are both applying in your country of nationality, or both applying inside the UK; and
  • the main applicant holds the same nationality as you.

If all of the above criteria are not met then the financial evidence must be included with the other supporting documents as part of the visa application.

The cost of making a standard Tier 4 Dependant Visa application overseas is £348, payable in local currency. In-person or priority applications, if available, will be at a higher cost.

There is also a mandatory Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS). This is an additional payment which the applicant must make as part of the Tier 4 Dependant visa application form, just like a Tier 4 Student must pay. It provides the Tier 4 Dependant with access to the UK's National Healthcare Service (NHS)

The IHS payment is £300 for each year until the expiry date of their visa (which will be the same as the main student's visa), plus £150 for any part of a year that is less than 6 months. The amount you need to pay will be calculated automatically as part of the online visa application process.

If you do not submit your visa application at the same time as the main applicant, you should make sure that you include in your application a copy of the main applicant's UK student visa and passport. Your application form should state clearly that you are joining the main applicant who will be in the UK as a student and you intend to live together.

If you are joining the student in the UK and you are married but have not lived together then you should provide evidence that your relationship is genuine and subisting e.g. signed letters to say you intend to live together in the UK, photographs and correspondence covering the duration of your relationship. This evidence could include dated photographs of your wedding or honeymoon, or photographs of the two of you together, as well as email or text messages covering the duration of your relationship.

Please note that if you (the dependant) applies separately to the Tier 4 Student then you will not be considered under the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme, even where the Tier 4 student has applied under this. You must include all evidence with your visa application, including financial evidence.

UK Council for International Students (UKCISA): Advice for students with dependants

If your application is refused please email the Student Immigration Team and include scans of all pages of the refusal notice. We can then advise about next steps.