Dependency Visa

dependency Visa

“Dependency Visa” are applied by partners, relatives or dependant children to come and join their family members in the UK. Depending on your circumstances, your dependants can apply to come and join you in the UK or extend their leave to remain if they meet the qualifying requirements as a dependent.

How to qualify for a UK Dependency Visa

Fortunately the UK Immigration Rules and Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 do make provision for dependants to apply for a UK dependency visa. In order to qualify as a dependant, you must be the spouse, unmarried or civil partner of the main applicant. Children who are under the age of 18 years may also accompany the main applicant to the UK as dependants under the UK Immigration Rules. If you are applying as a dependant on someone who is an EEA national, the dependency age for children is 21.

It is sometimes possible for a child to accompany one parent to the UK, but special rules apply. Consequently, we advise you to contact us to ensure your particular status.

Getting the right legal advice is important and at ICS Legal, we conduct a number of these applications. You can email our team on, complete our contact form by clicking here or call us on 0207 237 3388 between the hours of Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Our “independent reviews” on Freeindex provides you with the reassurance that we can assist on all immigration based applications and you can click here to read our independent reviews.  

Children over 18 need to qualify independently under the Immigration Rules for rights of residence in the UK. Exceptional applications for children over 18 to accompany parents as dependants may be possible in very restricted circumstances.

There are different maintenance requirements depending on the application being made by the main applicant, or immigration status of the sponsor, such as whether the sponsor is present and settled in the UK, the main applicant is staying in the UK on a visa, or have rights to live under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations.

Length of stay and right to work under the UK Dependency Visa

The length of the permit or dependency visa will depend on whether the sponsor is present and settled in the UK, the main applicant is residing in the UK on a visa, or has a right to reside under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations. Generally speaking, where the main applicant is residing in the UK on a visa, the dependant will be granted leave in line with the main applicant.

Where the sponsor is present and settled, generally speaking the dependant will be issued with a visa for 33 months. This visa must be renewed for a further 33 months, before an application for indefinite leave to remain can be made. Where an application is made under the European Regulations, the dependant will be given five year permit to stay in the UK, during which time the EEA national must be experiencing a Treaty Right. There are no work restrictions on the holder of a dependency visa.

Want to find out if you qualify for a Dependency Visa?

Talk to one of our experts and get the right advice first time, every time.

Dependency visa as a PBS migrant

If you are the family member of a Tier 1, 2, or 5 migrant, you cannot apply in the UK if you:

  1. were last granted entry clearance or leave as a visitor, including where they entered the United Kingdom from the Republic of Ireland to stay under the terms of articles 3A and 4 of the Immigration (Control of Entry through the Republic of Ireland) Order 1972 (as amended by the Immigration (Control of Entry through Republic of Ireland) (Amendment) Order 2014) on the basis of a visa issued by the Republic of Ireland authorities endorsed with the letters  “BIVS” for the purpose of travelling and staying in the Republic for a period of 90 days or fewer; or
  2. were last granted entry clearance or leave as a short-term student or a short-term student (child);
  3. were last granted entry clearance or leave as a parent of a Tier 4 (child) student.

Dependency visa as the family member of a Tier 4 migrant

The Immigration Rules for those in the UK as a Tier 4 migrant have to meet certain requirements, so it is best to get legal advice on this. Click here to complete our free assessment and check whether your dependants can apply for the UK dependency visa to join you in the UK. 

If you are the family member of a Tier 4 (General) applicant, whether or not you can apply for the PBS Dependant category in the UK depends on the type of permission to reside that you have and type of course the Tier 4 (General) student is studying, or will be studying. This means that simply meeting the rules as a dependant, cannot qualify you on a UK dependency visa.

Dependency visa evidences

The UK Home Office would expect that you provide relevant evidences to prove the dependency between you and the main migrant or the sponsor to the application. If you are applying as a family member of a PBS migrant and your last grant of leave was not as their dependant or you are a child born in the UK, you are required to demonstrate your relationship.

Where you are married or in a civil partnership to Points Based System migrant, you will need to submit your marriage or civil partnership certificate to support your application. When you are submitting your application as the partner of a PBS migrant but are not married or in a civil partnership with them you are required to provide documents to show that you have been staying in a relationship akin to marriage/civil partnership for a period of minimum two years – documents should therefore cover the whole of this period. Credentials will only be accepted where they are from official sources such as utility bills or NHS registration.

Dependency visa grant of leave if migrant holds PBS status

Grant of leave is given by the UK Home Office usually in line with the main migrant unless their circumstances have changed. The UK Home Office will grant leave in line with the expiry date of the PBS migrant’s (or main applicant’s) leave, except where the PBS migrant has been granted indefinite leave to remain. In these cases, the UK Home Office will grant you a period of three years leave.

An application for further leave may then be made if required to take you up to the applicable qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain From 18 March 2015 that relies on the nation from where you applied, successful applicants for entry clearance will not be provided a vignette in their passport, but rather you will be given a BRP. If successful you will be provided a 30 day visa to allow you to collect your BRP after you have arrived in the UK.

If the main migrant alters employer or educational institution and is therefore visa provided with a new certificate of sponsorship and applying for leave to remain to work or study under their new sponsor, dependants do not have to apply with them for leave to remain. Instead PBS dependants can remain in the UK until the end of the validity period of their existing PBS dependant leave.

Dependency visa conditions attached

The dependency visa contains conditions on the visa however this differs between the type of leave your sponsor holds. The general conditions are attached which are subject to changes are as follows:

  1. No recourse to public funds.
  2. Registration with the police, if this is required by paragraph 326 of the Immigration Rules,
  3. No employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach).
  4. No Employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training, unless you: have obtained a primary degree in medicine or dentistry from a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or which holds a sponsor licence under Tier 4 of the Points Based System; or are applying for leave to remain and have, or have last been granted, entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain that was not subject to a condition restricting your employment, whether that is employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training or otherwise, and have been
    employed during that leave as a Doctor or Dentist in Training.
  5. Study will be subject to a condition set out in Part 15 of the Immigration Rules where the applicant is 18 years of age or over at the time their leave is granted, or will be aged 18 before their period of limited leave expires.

Applying for permanent residence under the dependency vTalk to our experts and get the right advice first time, every time.isa

It is possible for those holding a dependency visa to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain, if the main applicant attains Indefinite Leave to Remain at the same time, and the dependant has spent enough time in the UK over the preceding period as applicable in each individual case.

Where the sponsor is already present and settled in the UK, generally speaking the dependant must spend a probationary period of 60 months in the UK before applying for settlement. Dependants holding an EEA Dependency Visa under the European Regulations are required to spend a period of five years in the UK, during which time the EEA national must be managing a Treaty right, before applying for confirmation of the right of permanent residence.