What is a Dependant Visa?
A Dependant visa allows family members of a visa holder to come to the UK alongside them for the duration of their stay.
There are various different visa categories that may qualify visa holders to bring their family to come to the UK on a Dependant visa, these include:
Those who plan to, or have any of the above visa types can seek assistance in gaining Dependant visas for family members, However, these family members must qualify as dependants. Any other family members, such as parents and siblings, are very unlikely to be approved to come to the UK.
Who qualifies as a dependant family member?
Immigration rules are stringent on who is classified as a dependant, so it is important to ensure that you fit into one of the following categories:
- Husband, wife, or civil partner
- Unmarried partner or same-sex partner
- A child under the age of 18 years old (at the time of application)
Partner of the visa holder
If you are a spouse or partner of a visa holder, you must be able to provide evidence of a relationship. If you are related through marriage or civil partnership, you can provide marriage or civil partnership certificate as evidence.
For those in an unmarried partnership, you must have lived with your partner for at least two years prior to applying separately. You should prove to the Home Office that you have been living at the same address for the required time frame.
Children of the visa holder
For children of a visa holder, most parents must be applying at the same time in order for an application to be made on the child’s behalf.
In some cases, a Dependant visa can be granted to a child if their parents are already in the UK. The child can apply to join them provided they are under the age of 18 years old at the time that their application form is submitted.
If one parent (i.e. the visa holder) is already in the UK, the dependants (partner or child) can apply to join them in the UK and can be granted entry clearance for the rest of their stay in the UK.
Documents required for a Dependant visa
Dependant visa applications are to be supported by a selection of different documents. These documents are required in conjunction with your application form by the Home Office:
- Passports or valid travel documents- to provide evidence of your identity, nationality, and travel history
- Marriage or civil partnership certificates- for a spouse
- Birth certificate- for a child or children
- Bank statements- to provide evidence that you are able to meet the financial requirement
- Evidence of the relationship between the dependant and the main applicant
- Results of a Tuberculosis test (if you are from a listed country)
- Results of a criminal record and barring check (if required of the applicant)
If they aren’t already, your documents will need to be translated into English or Welsh before being submitted for consideration.
Applicants should ensure that the documents they intend to submit are original and not photocopies. Every document supplied must be authentic to the person applying. Failure to submit documents can result in your Dependant visa application being delayed or even refused.
It may seem overwhelming to accumulate all of the relevant documentation you need, so a trained immigration lawyer can help to advise you and ensure that everything you need is in place before you apply.
Dependant Visa application process
You can apply for a Dependant visa online via the government website by submitting the application form, supporting documents, and the relevant application fee. As part of the application, you must attend an appointment at a visa application centre in order to have some biometric information taken. This will include photographs and fingerprints.
Once you have successfully attended your biometric information appointment at the visa application centre, your application will be submitted for approval. It can take up to 12 weeks to receive a decision on a Dependant Visa if you are applying from outside the UK.
If your application is successful, you will receive a decision letter in the post stating the outcome. Once you have been granted permission to enter the UK on a visa, you will be allocated a biometric residence permit which you must collect within ten days of your intended date to come to the UK.
How much does it cost?
The cost of the Dependant Visa depends on how you apply.
- Applying from outside the UK: £1,538
- Applying from in the UK: £1,048
This fee will apply for each dependant who wishes to join the main applicant in the UK.
Each applicant is also required to pay the biometric residence permit fees applicable to their application.
For every person applying, you must pay the immigration health surcharge when you submit your application and application fee. You can find further information and guidelines on the immigration health surcharge via the government website.
How long can you stay in the UK on a Dependant Visa?
Those who are granted entry clearance on a Dependant Visa can stay in the UK for the same length of time as the main applicant. For example, if the main applicant is granted a Minister of Religion visa for three years, Dependant Visa holders and also expect a maximum stay of three years.
For children granted a Dependant Visa, their length of stay will be in line with the shortest visa stay of the two parents.
After a stay of five years in the UK, there may be an opportunity to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Can a Dependant Visa lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain?
After five years of continuous residence in the UK, the main applicant may become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If this is the case, any dependants who have been staying in the UK may also become eligible.
This will mean they are free of immigration rules and control and can live and work freely in the UK.
Once a Dependant Visa holder is granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, they will no longer be tied down to the main visa holder. Meaning that if the main visa holder chooses to leave the UK, the dependant with ILR can remain in the UK if they choose to do so.
Why apply for a Dependant Visa?
There are some advantages to becoming a Dependant visa holder and living inside the UK.
For those on UK visas, being away from your family member for an increased amount of time could prove extremely challenging. A Dependant Visa means that the main applicant can remain alongside their family the entire time they are working in the UK. Meaning a happier, more balanced quality of life.
Furthermore, dependants are able to work and study in the UK for the duration of their stay. Adults are able to seek employment and children can attend state and private schools throughout the country.
You are not required to hold a student visa to do so. However, those seeking a more permanent solution to studying in the UK after the main applicants’ UK visas expired can seek assistance in acquiring a student visa.
The main applicant must be able to prove that they meet the financial requirement in order for their dependant family member to be considered for the Dependant Visa.
For those bringing their partner, spouse or civil partner with no children, the minimum financial requirement that applies is £18,600 per year before a tax payment is made.
If children will be accompanying your partner also, an additional £3,800 will be required for the first child. For any extra children after this, £2,400 per additional child is required here after. This financial requirement does not apply to children who are British or who have Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Whilst you are in the country on a UK visa, you will not be able to apply for any state funds and benefits.
Reasons an application may not be accepted
A rejected application could have a detrimental impact on your plans to stay in the UK on a visa. It is essential to ensure that you get your application right the first time, as appealing can be a very challenging process. By knowing the common mistakes made on a visa application, they can be avoided by double-checking before you submit.
Some common mistakes made are as follows:
- Failure to submit the correct required documents
- Mistakes being made in the application form (not filling details in correctly)
- Failure to submit original copies of documents (photocopies of documentation are not permitted)
- You withhold any details of criminal or immigration offences from the Home Office
For anybody who is unsure on how to get their application right for approval, they can seek the advice of an immigration lawyer who can support you in filling out your application and acquiring all of the correct supporting documents first time around. This way, your application has the highest chance of approval from the moment it is submitted into the Home Office.
How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?
Having your family members in the UK with you during your stay can be extremely important for many. At Birmingham Immigration Lawyers, we understand the importance and the effect it can have on the quality of life to be surrounded by loved ones.
Our trained team of immigration lawyers are experts in the field of dependant visa applications. We can help you every step of the way, from applying to extending your visa or applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
For more information on how Birmingham Immigration Lawyers can help you, call our friendly team of advisors today on 0121 667 6530.
Last modified on November 24th, 2023 at 10:22 am
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Applicants for a Dependant Visa are not required to take an English language test to enter the UK. This will only apply to main applicants if it is necessary for a specific visa type.
It is incredibly unlikely that siblings and parents would be granted entry clearance on a visa to stay in the UK with the main applicant. Dependants fit into the following categories, typically as a partner or child:
- Spouse/ Civil Partnership
- Unmarried partner or same-sex partner (living at the same address
- Children under the age of 18 year old
If your application is rejected, you can sometimes appeal, however it is a very challenging and time-consuming process. If it is necessary to appeal, it can be beneficial to seek the help of a trained immigration professional.
Just having five years of residence does not guarantee you with Indefinite Leave to Remain. You must still meet the specific ILR criteria set out below:
- No criminal offences or immigration rule breaches
- A passed Life in the UK test
- Proof of B1 level in English
- Must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK within the last 12 months
It is important to note that an attempt to deceive the Home Office and provide them with false information in support of an application, can result in you being banned from applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain for up to ten years.
Hiring a trained immigration lawyer can offer you the best chance of success, due to their extensive knowledge and experience of the immigration systems. They can work with you to peer review your application to minimise the chance of mistakes, ensure that you have all of the correct documentation in place and they can even speak to the home office for you on your behalf. The benefits of hiring a professional are plentiful and it can only make things better for you.
Birmingham Immigration Lawyers deal with visa cases all of the time, meaning they have a large portfolio of successes.