Choosing to study in the UK is one of the smarter choices students can make for their personal and academic growth. It opens up new avenues of opportunities and gives them a lot of room to explore their career choices. The outstanding academia equipped with a global reputation and diverse student communities is ideal for all international students who wish to go abroad to pursue higher studies. The UK also offers a lot of flexibility and convenience for its international students, like offering spouse visas.
If you are a student planning to study abroad and your spouse, the United Kingdom is a great choice for exploring your options. For international students in the UK who wish to live with their spouses, the option to apply for a UK Dependant Visa is available.
Who is classified as a dependant?
The following people meet the criteria of applying for a UK Dependant Visa:
- Your spouse (over 18 years old or above)
- Your husband or wife, civil partner, same-sex partner or unmarried one. Please refer to UKCISA guidance for a detailed explanation of the terms mentioned above.
- Your children (under 18 years old)
- If one of the parents is applying for a UK degree programme, their children will be considered eligible for a dependant visa.
- According to immigration rules, both parents are required to be present in the UK. However, there are exceptional cases where either you are a divorced or widowed parent. For more details, refer to the UKCISA guidance.
Applying for a dependant visa
If the duration of your UK course programme is longer than six months, you will be eligible to apply for your spouse’s dependant visa in the UK.
New UK students can only bring their spouse in the following cases;
- If they are enrolled in a postgraduate course, i.e., 12 months or longer.
- If they are a Government-sponsored student with a 6-months or longer course duration.
- The eligible age requirement is 18 years or older, and you must ensure that your spouse meets all the eligibility criteria rules listed by the UK immigration authority for dependant visas.
- If you are enrolled in a course programme that does adhere to UK Dependant Visa rules and regulations, your spouse cannot come to the UK. You must take care of the course programme that you choose and spare some room to make amendments if required.
Be thorough with your research when you plan to apply for a course programme and make sure it is in accordance with your long-term plans of living in the UK.
Are spouses allowed to work in the UK?
The work permit for your spouse in the UK is dependent on various factors. Your course selection is a critical deciding factor of whether your spouse will be allowed to work in the UK or not. For course programmes that are 12 months or longer, a work permit is granted to the spouse in most cases, but the situation may vary for some.
Government-sponsored students have the upper hand in this case, and their spouses are easily granted a work permit.
When to apply for a dependant visa in the UK?
It is usually recommended that students should apply for their spouse’s dependant visa right when they are applying for their UK course programme or just after they have received their visa application.
If the student is still waiting for the outcome of his UK visa application, their spouse visa application should also be kept on hold until the first visa application is accepted.
What much would it cost to apply for a dependant visa?
The application fees will be charged as per each individual dependant; the fee is £348. The immigration health surcharge of £470 will also be added to the fee for the visa’s validity period.
How to apply for a dependant visa?
Just like the student visa, the dependant would also need to apply from either the country of residence or the country of nationality. The application needs to be prepared and submitted online. Your spouse’s application will be independent; you may add individual applications for other people if there may be.
As you will be preparing for the online application of your spouse, your spouse will need to book an appointment to physically visit a visa application centre in the country of residence for biometrics enrolment, facial image records and submitting all other supporting documents.
If your spouse is coming from the USA, New Zealand and or from Australian cities, they will go for biometric registration to a local immigration centre. After completing this step, your spouse must send their documents to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
About UK Immigration: ID Check app
EEA or Swiss nationals can apply via the UK Immigration. They can have IDs checked through an app and won’t necessarily have to visit a Visa Application Centre to process their documents. The app allows you to submit scanned copies of your passport along with your photo. The app is compatible with iPhone 7 model or the newer versions and any Android phone. The app is user friendly and provides step by step instructions to help students with the application process.
The visa application for dependant needs to ensure that they have sufficient funds to cover the living cost in the UK. The visa validity is of up to 9 months, so the finances that you reflect in your account should be according to the number of months you are planning to stay. The amount of £680 is required for each month. If you are planning to live for a period of 9 months, then it should be a total of £6,120.
This requirement is fulfilled by providing a bank statement and holding the funds in the student’s or their spouse’s name. The supporting financial document needs to show that the funds have been in the account for 28 days at the minimum; it must not be more than 31 days before the date of application. For example, if you are submitting your application on 20th May, your bank statement should be from 20th February to 20th March.
Which UK universities offer dependant visas?
Here is the list of the top-tier UK universities that offer dependant visas to international students for their spouse:
- University of Cambridge
- University of Oxford
- University of Bradford
- University of Birmingham
- University of Essex
- The University of Edinburgh
- University of Leeds
- University of Northampton
- Brunel University London
- University of Liverpool
- University of Southampton
- University of Stirling
- Bournemouth University
- University of Warwick
For more details and information regarding the university policies and preferred course programs for students applying for a dependant visa, visit their website.
We hope that this article helped guide you with if you are planning to study in the UK having spouses with you. Applying to the UK as a student having spouses may seem like an overwhelming process for many. Get in touch with experts in the field to take over this job from you. While you can worry about planning your life ahead, we will take care of all the necessary arrangements. Contact us now, and we will be glad to assist you with the entire process.