Bringing Family to the UK

Please note the information below is for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult the Gov.UK website and Tier 4 policy guidance prior to making any application.

Tier 4 Dependants

Under the Tier 4 immigration rules your 'dependants' are:

  • Husband or wife
  • Civil Partner (same sex relationship only)
  • Unmarried or same sex partner (you must evidence that you have been living in a relationship 'akin' to a marriage for two years)
  • Children under the age of 18 (upon arrival in the UK)

Who can bring dependants?

You can bring your dependant to the UK if:

  • you are studying a postgraduate level course, lasting 12 months or more, or
  • you are fully sponsored by your government for a programme of study lasting more than six months

Additional rules for children

You can only bring a child/children with you to the UK if both parents are going to be in the UK. This means that if your partner is going to stay outside of the UK, your child/children cannot join you.

Exceptions to this rule apply if:

  • you are the sole parent
  • you have 'sole responsibility' for your child/children or
  • there are serious compelling reasons which mean you and your partner cannot come to live together in the UK

How to apply as a Tier 4 dependant

Your dependants will need to apply as a 'dependant of a Points Based System migrant. Each dependant will need to complete a separate application form which can be found on the Home Office website.

As part of the application process, each dependant will need to provide evidence that they can be financially supported in the UK. Each dependant of a student studying in inner London is required to show £845 per month for living costs, for nine months. This money must have been held in a bank account in either the Tier 4 applicants or the dependant's name for a period of 28 consecutive days prior to applying. This money is in addition to the money that the main Tier 4 applicant must show.

If the Tier 4 applicant has a scholarship that is covering the cost of their family being in the UK, the scholarship letter must confirm this and state how much money is allocated to each dependant.

Can my dependants work in the UK?

Yes – details of the type of work that they can do can be found on the UKCISA website.

Babies born in the UK

Being born in the UK does not automatically make a baby a British citizen. The baby needs to have a parent with British citizenship or settled status in the UK in order to be born British.

If your baby is born in the UK but is not a British citizen, it is quite lawful for him or her to remain in the UK without making an immigration application. However, the baby will need immigration permission to re-enter the UK after any travel abroad, and for babies born to Tier 4 students, there are limited instances when the baby can apply for immigration permission as your dependant.

A baby can apply for immigration permission as your dependant from either inside the UK or from your country of permanent residence if:

  • you are on a postgraduate course of at least 12 months at a publicly-funded Higher Educations Institution or 'recognised body' or
  • you are a government-sponsored student on a course lasting more than six months

Further information

For further information on applying to bring your family to the UK, please visit the UKCISA website.


Student Support Office
+44 (0)20 7590 4140


Gov.UK Home Office