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Bringing your family

Only some types of Tier 4 (General) student can bring family to the UK as dependants, and only some types of family member count as dependants.

Dependants and Tier 4 (General) Visa permission

Tier 4 visa rules about dependants are complex and the following information is for guidance only. Please refer to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) Tier 4 guidance for complete explanations and definitions. For specific queries contact UWE Immigration Advice.

Which T4 (General) students are eligible to apply to have their dependants join them in the UK?

One of the following criteria must apply: 

  • You are a government-sponsored student studying on a course of more than six months in length.
  • You are at postgraduate level studying on a course at least 12 months in length.
  • You are a Tier 4 (General) student on a course longer than six months and meeting all of the following conditions;
    • your current Tier 4 visa has at least three months left before expiry and
    • your new Tier 4 application is for a course that is longer than six months duration and
    • your dependants already have Tier 4 dependants visa and
    • main applicant and dependants are all applying at the same time in the same country.

Who qualifies as dependants for Tier 4 visa?


Your partner is a person at least 18 years old, who you intend to live with whilst you are in the UK and is your husband or wife or civil partner or unmarried partner or same-sex partner. The UKVI will expect you to be able to provide evidence of the genuineness of your relationship.


Your child must be under 18 at the date of application, must not have formed their own family or be leading an independent life or be employed full-time and must be financially and emotionally dependant on their parents. Both parents must be coming to the UK.

Money and evidence of funds

Tier 4 dependants are required to show they meet the UKVI criteria regarding money. They must hold living costs of £680 a month to a maximum of nine months (£6,120) depending on the length of your course.

Evidence of funds must show the applicant(s) have met the financial requirement for every day of a 28-day period to the closing balance date, in either the main applicant or dependants account. If you are sponsored by your own Government, British Council or by an international organisation, your sponsor will need to provide an official sponsorship document stating that your dependants are fully sponsored. Otherwise they will be required to show financial evidence.  

Further information

For full details on the criteria and application process for Tier 4 dependants please visit the UKCISA webpages. If you have any questions about the requirements of a Tier4 dependant visa please contact an Immigration Adviser.

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