If you are coming to study at GCU on a Tier 4 visa, then you may be eligible to bring your family with you as dependants.
A dependant of a Tier 4 student is defined as:
- Your Partner:
- Your spouse (husband or wife) or civil partner or your unmarried partner (this can also apply if you are a same-sex couple), you must be living together for at least 2 years.
- You must both be 18 years old at least when you arrive in the UK and must intend to live together in the UK.
- Your children:
- Must be under 18 years of age on date of application.
- Must not have formed an independent family unit or be leading an independent life.
- Must not be employed full-time.
- Must be wholly or mainly dependent upon their parents emotionally and financially.
- Must be living with their parents, except where at boarding school, college or university (in full-time education).
Only those family members can qualify as your dependants. This means that parents, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and other relatives are not eligible to be your dependants.
The rules for dependants of Tier 4 students have strict requirements for the length and type of programme you are studying, and on whether you are financially sponsored by your government.
As a Tier 4 Student, you can bring a family member as a dependant if:
- you are financially sponsored by your government (sponsorship must cover all fees and living costs), then your course of study can be at any level, and must last for 6 months or more. OR
- you are studying at postgraduate level and lasts for 12 months or more. OR
- you are a Doctorate Extension Scheme Student. OR
- your current or last visa status was a Tier 4 Student Visa on a course longer than 6 months and dependants already have dependant immigration status and you apply at the same time.
Please note that the length of your course will be taken as the start and end dates on your CAS.
Unfortunately these rules mean that if you do not have a government sponsor and are studying at undergraduate level (or for less than 12 months at postgraduate level), then your family members cannot come to the UK as your dependants. However, they may be able to come and visit you for up to 6 months; please see Visa Immigration Support & Advice (VISA) for advice on standard visitor visas, or see our webpage on inviting your family to visit.
You can also bring dependants to the UK if you are a Doctorate Extension Scheme Student.
You must possess the correct funds to support yourself and your dependant(s) when you make your application. The amount of money you need to show will depend on how many dependants you are applying with, and how many months you are studying for.
You must have £680 (or £845 if you are a GCU London student) for each dependant per month of your period of leave (up to a maximum of 9 months). Remember that this is additonal to your own maintenance per month.
The recommended UKVI currency convertor is OANDA. Please use this to calculate all living costs required in £ sterling to ensure you have sufficient funds.
Dependants need to show maintenance funds for the length of the leave rather than the course up to a maximum of 9 months
If you are applying under the Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme you must show the funds for you and your dependants for 2 months instead of up to 9.
All funds for Tier 4 and Tier 4 dependants must be shown for a consecutive 28 days; the final date of the account must be within 31 days of your date of application. Your family's application can be refused if you do not meet the maintenance requirement. The funds can be held in your account or your dependant's if they are not applying at the same time as you.
If you are the dependant of a Tier 4 Student who qualifies for differentiation arrangements and considered to be “low risk” student from countries listed in Immigration Rules, Appendix H, you will be required to provide fewer evidential documents when submitting your application. You will be required to provide this evidence to VISA to confirm documents are in place as UKVI are entitled to request this information once your visa application is in progress.
You may need to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’) as part of your immigration application.
This amount is a single amount and applicants will be charged the annual amount for each year of the maximum period of leave which could be granted under the immigration rules. If the period of leave includes part of a year that is more than 6 months, the full annual amount is payable ie £150 for each dependants per year. If this period of leave includes part of a year that is 6 months or less, the amount payable for that part of a year is half the specified amount, ie £75 for each dependant.
Note that the Order refers to length of leave, not length of course, so the additional periods at the start and end of a course are taken into account when calculating the immigration health charge.
If you are applying in the UK you will be required to make the payment during the VISA appointment included in submitting your application.
- When making a dependant application, you must submit proof of how you are related to your dependants (marriage/birth certificates are essential). These documents must be original (no photocopies) and accompanied by certified translations if not already in English.
- You and your husband/wife or civil/unmarried partner must declare in your application that your relationship is "subsisting". This means that the relationship must be genuine and continuing throughout your time together in the UK. If you falsely claim a relationship to be genuine and subsisting, then this can be counted as deception, which means an automatic visa refusal and possible bans on coming to the UK in the future. You will need evidence of the relationship such as a utility bill, letting agency letter to confirm your joint address.
- If your dependant(s) are applying from outside the UK to join you they will need to provide additional evidence of a pre-existing and ongoing relationship.
UKVI Policy Guidance for Dependants of UK Visa Applicants (Tiers 1, 2, 4, 5) available here
If you are applying for entry clearance (from outside the UK), then your dependant(s) will need to fill out the online Tier 4 dependant application. See the UKVI's country finder tool for information on how to apply from your home country. In some cases, your dependant(s) may be applying to join you after you have arrived here in the UK. VISA will be able to advise on how you can assist them with that application as well.
The fee is:
- Out of the UK - £348
- In the UK - £475
If you are applying as a partner/spouse to extend your Tier 4 visa from within the UK fill out the online form here and have one or more dependants, then VISA will advise you on the application and send it for you. You need to fill out the online form, which will have sections for you, and for each dependant. Your dependants should attend the submission appointment unless any children are in school/nursery. Yourself and each dependant will need to enrol biometric data at the Post Office (or the Public Enquiry Office if applying through the in-person premium service).
Our helpful step by step guide to the online application form with useful information and tips can be downloaded here: Guide to PBS Dependent online application Inside the UK
If your child is over 16 years on the date of application, they will be required to provide TWO additional documents to evidence residential address, such as:
- bank statements
- credit card statements
- driving licence
- NHS registration card
- letter from school, college or university on letterhead paper with official stamp
No, there are currently no English Language requirements for Tier 4 dependants. However, we would strongly advise that some English is known before travelling here, or that arrangements for English lessons are made on arrival, as your family members may find it very difficult living in a new country without speaking any English.
Your dependants will be allowed to study in the UK, either at GCU or a different institution, and the course does not need to be a specific level. They can also study an English language course if they wish. Please note that if your dependant's course of study is longer than the length of your Tier 4 visa, and you are not in a position to extend your visa, they will need to return home and apply for their own Tier 4 to return and complete their studies. You cannot switch from dependant to Tier 4 in the UK.
If your visa is less than 12 months, your dependants will not be allowed to work in the UK unless you are a Government Sponsored Student.
If you are studying a course below degree level, your dependants will not be allowed to work in the UK unless you are a Government Sponsored Student.
Your dependants' visa will state their eligibility to work in the UK.
The only types of work your dependants will not be eligible to undertake is as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach) or as a doctor or dentist in training unless they 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.
For more information on working as a dependant, see UKCISA information website.
You dependents will always be given the same visa expiry date as you. If this is not the case, please contact the VISA Team so we can contact UKVI to investigate this and make your case to have this corrected.
A baby born in the UK to two non-British parents is not granted British citizenship by birth. Your baby is legally permitted to stay in the UK, however if you leave the UK and intend to return, you will need to apply for a visa for your baby.
"A baby can apply for immigration permission as your dependant from either inside the UK or from your country of residence (where it is called 'entry clearance') if:
- you are government-sponsored on a course of more than six months OR
- you are on a postgraduate course of at least 12 months at a publicly-funded Higher Education Institution or a 'recognised body'."
If you or your dependant is due to give birth, please see VISA for advice on what you should do as if you find you need to interrupt your studies due to pregnancy, you would normally be expected to leave the UK and apply for a new Tier 4 Student Visa to return to the UK and continue your studies.
Your child should apply for his/her own passport and Dependant visa to normalise his/her immigration status and pay the Immigration Health Surcharge to ensure cover for any required NHS care and treatment. The online application can be found here.
Yes, every child between the ages of 5-16 has a right to education at a State (government funded) school. There are also private fee paying schools, for which you must pay annual tuition fees. For more information on schools in Glasgow, see Glasgow City Council's website.
The immigration rules clearly state that your child or children can only be admitted as dependants if both parents will be present in the UK with them. However, there are exceptions to this rule, for example if you are the sole surviving parent, or if you have had sole responsibility for the children's upbringing. Contact the VISA team: visa@GCU.ac.uk or for GCU London: visa@GCULondon.ac.uk for advice on your individual situation as you will be required to submit evidence to support this with your application.
For more information and assistance, if you are in Glasgow, please come to George Moore Building Level 1 during a drop-in session or make an appointment with one of the advisors at the Campus Life Desk (George Moore Building Level 1) or email VISA