uk student dependent visa new rules

Can a Student Visa Dependent Work in the UK in 2021 ?

Under the new UK Points Based System visa conditions dependents can stay in the UK. This also includes the partners or children of the primary applicants. The UK government rules regarding work are fairly strict for primary student visa holders. A student visa dependent can work in different occupations. Although, they must still follow specific rules.

Dependents can apply for a UK dependent visa directly or along with the applicant. However, the primary applicant are required to be a full-time student on a postgraduate level course (RQF level 7 or above) that lasts for at least 9 months or longer. They can also be a new government-sponsored student, or a doctorate extension scheme student.

Who Is a UK Student Visa Dependent ?

International students can bring their immediate family members to the UK during their studies. To specify, these include the child or partner of the applicant (they are called dependents). There are separate UK student visa rules for the dependent.

Relatives like brothers, parents, sisters, or other relations cannot apply as dependents unfortunately. 

Qualifications to Become a UK Student Visa Dependent

A person can become a UK student visa dependent if the fufill the below:

  • They are the wife or husband of the applicant
  • The partner is the fiance,a  same-sex partner, or a unmarried partner. The applicant and the partner must of lived together for two years minimum
  • The partner is a registered civil partner
  • They are over 18 years of age
  • They meet the UK’s financial requirements
  • They would stay as long as the applicant is
  • The partner would live with the applicant throughout their time
  • The spouse has no interest in settling permanently in the UK

Children to Become a UK Student Visa Dependent

A child can become a UK student visa dependent if:

  • The individual is lower than 18 years of age
  • First-time applicant for a UK Student Dependent Visa
  • Ready to show documents as per Student & Child guidance rules
  • Coming with both parents or single parent
  • Above 18 years must show separate documents for staying as a dependent
  • Have no interest in staying in the United Kingdom permanently
  • Parents are financially responsible for them (specific to minors)
  • Do not have full-time employment (specific to minors)
  • Usually live with their parents (except for educational purposes)
  • Parents are their emotional support
  • Unmarried and have no child of their own (specific to adults)

General Rules for UK Student Visa Dependents

There are some constraints to becoming a UK student visa dependent. 

These are related to the original UK student visa holder. They are as follows;

  • The UK student visa holder has applied for a post-graduate level course full-time. The time limit is 9 or more. The sponsors under the Register of Student Sponsors include publicly-funded colleges, private providers, HEI, independent schools, etc.
  • An international or government sponsorship agency awards the UK Student Visa holder a full-time course
  • The dependent has immigration permission for a UK student dependent visa
  • A disabled dependent must have housing, travel, and reception already arranged. It is possible with the support of United Kingdom authorities.
  • The original UK student visa holder has a child after getting Student Visa permission
  • The dependent must apply at the same period as the UK Student Visa applicant

Please note that under-18 UK Student Visa holders cannot bring any dependents with them. This condition is specific to the UK college or university-level student visa holders only.

They have to follow the United Kingdom visa regulations and conditions regarding duration and work permanence.

Unfortunately, dependents cannot stay in the United Kingdom permanently. But a UK student visa dependent can ask for a visa extension.

Children Born in the UK

Children born in the UK do not have automatic citizenship rights… they are required to have at least one parent in the UK with the a ‘Settled Status’ or withold a British citizenship. However, the child will not require a visa while the individual is in the UK unless the family travels outside and wants to re-enter the UK.

Please note that the Primary Student Visa applicant may be charged for any NHS treatment.  They can if the child is 3 months old and the family traveled outside of the Scotland region before they have a visa.

Rules for UK Student Visa Dependents Regarding Occupation

The rules for a UK student visa dependent on working in the UK are:

  • The student visa holder is taking a 9 month or longer post-graduation course and withold a “track record of compliance”. In this instance, their dependent can opt for a part-time job in the UK
  • The Student Visa holder has received a full-time course invite from a sponsorship agency. Only international or government agencies count in this case, and the course timeline is for the duration of 6 months (minimum)
  • Dependents of Primary Student Visa holders with permission of 9 or more months are able to work. The Primary Visa holder should be pursuing a full-time UK college degree level or a place in higher education

Fields a UK Student Visa Dependent Can Work In

The UK Study Visa dependents are not under any limitations to work in any particular field. There are some points under this for dependents below;

  • Dependents can search in any sector
  • Those with specialist skills need to target fields that need them or their skills. Many companies take in employees with multilingual skills, as an international student this is very ideal

Fields of Work Which Are Not Applicable

A UK student visa dependent cannot work in the following fields; the sports sector.

The rules under this are:

  • They cannot work as a ‘sports coach’ or other as a ‘professional sports person.’
  • It applies to partner dependents who got permitted a visa during or after April 6, 2014
  • It applies to child dependents who got permitted a visa during or after November 19, 2015
  • It also applies to fresh applicants who are dependents of the new UK student visa holders
  • Medical sector

The rules under this are:

  • They cannot work professionally as a dentist or as a ‘doctor in training’
  • It applies to former Tier 4 partner dependents who received visa permission on October 5, 2020
  • It applies to newer dependents of the UK Student Visa holders

The UK study visa dependents who are exempt from this are:

  • Those who have a degree course in dentistry or medicine from British universities
  • Had a UK Visa from before under which they could practice their profession

Duration of Work Time

A UK student visa dependent can stay in the United Kingdom only with the primary visa holder. They need to return to their home country with the primary visa owner. So, they can work only as long as they are in the UK. The duration ranges from 6 months or more.

How Can a UK Student Visa Dependent Get Work in the UK?

Some companies may not take UK student visa dependents as their workers. Thus, we advise one should apply to more than one place.

Some jobs or companies also mention if they accept UK student visa dependents or not. It is essential to read through the given information carefully to avoid dissapointment.

Please note that it is important to mention if you are a UK student visa dependent in your interviews or applications.

When to Apply for a UK Dependent Visa ?

Student Visa dependents should apply for a UK visa either at the same time as the primary student or once the student visa has been granted or accepted. Dependents living outside the UK have the opportunity to apply up to 6 months before the programme or course starting date.

Dependents with the following status of visas in the UK will have to file their application within the UK we have compiled a list below;

  • Standard Visitor Visa
  • Short-Term Student Visa
  • Parent of a Child student Visa
  • Seasonal Worker Visa
  • Domestic Worker in Private Household
  • Leave Outside the Immigration Rules

Dependents holding immigration permission in any of the above categories that we have mentioned, or are on a immigration bail are required to leave the UK and file an application back home.

Documents Required for a UK Dependent Visa

This includes the following documents along with your visa application;

  • A valid passport or travel document
  • Marriage certificate for spouse
  • Birth certificate for children
  • Bank statements
  • Evidence of relationship with the principal applicant
  • Results of tuberculosis test (if applicable)
  • Result of criminal record check (if applicable)

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) authorities are rigid and very strict when it comes to the documentation. Therefore, please be accurate and meet the requirements that the UK office has stated. Failure to provide the correct details or documentation can result in rejection of your application.

Documents that are not in the English or Welsh have to be translated by an official translator. Moreover, UKVI can impose checks to verify validity of the information. Any anomalies found can be construed as a deception and false. It can also impose a 10 year ban on the applicant from being granted entry clearance to the UK in the foreseable future.

Advantages of a PBS Dependent Visa

The PBS dependent with leave to enter or leave to remain will be permitted to do the following below;

  • Work full-time or part-time in the UK
  • Study full-time or part-time in the university
  • Leave and re-enter the UK during the validity period
  • Apply to extend the visa
  • Apply for UK Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

The indefinite leave to remain is the individual’s immigration status. It allows the person to live and work in the UK for an indefinite period without applying for a visa extension. However, PBS dependents will not be able to claim benefits in the UK.

Other FAQs

Has the UK tier 4 study visa been replaced?

Yes. The tier 4 visa has been replaced by the UK student visa after Brexit was put into action. The points-based system (PBS) has now come into effect since the beginning of 2021.

Which Student Visa Dependents Can Work In the UK?

UK Study Visa dependents who are over 16 are able to work full-time. There are no restrictions on the type of work they choose to go into, there are a few exceptions.

Student route dependents are also able to study in the UK. If the dependent chooses to take up a study programme that requires ATAS clearance, they will have to witthold an ATAS certificate before joining their programme or course.

Can Short Term Visa Dependents Work in the UK?

Short Term Study Visa holders can bring at least 2 people with them. The individual’s will have to apply for a visa separately. They are not considered UK study visa dependents in this case. Their companions will fall under their specific visa regulations if they choose to work in the UK.

Please note that Short Term Study visa holders are not allowed to work within the UK.

Can Dependents of Post Study Work Visa Holders Work in the UK ?

The dependents cannot file a visa application along with the primary Post Study Work visa individual. However, the main rules are not specified for this in detail by the UK office.

This dependent can work in the UK if they are already have a student visa which is formerly known as the tier 4 visa.  It only applies if they entered the UK before the Post Study Work holder.

How long does it take to get a UK dependent visa ?

It typically takes about 15 working days to get a UK dependent visa decision if the application is filed outside the UK. It takes around 8 weeks if the application is made from within the UK.

Is it easy to get a job in the UK on a dependent visa ?

Dependent visa holders can work freely within the UK. There is no specific type of job that is best suited to the person. They can look for anything in the work sector and apply.

Are English language skills required for dependents to work in the UK?

Yes. Taking an English language course is useful for UK immigration as it is the minimum requirement for applying for a spouse visa.

Can I join a bachelor degree or diploma course at a UK university with a student dependent visa?

Yes. The UK education system and immigration laws allow you to join a UK institution, provided you are already in the UK and not on a visit visa.

Are Indian students able to bring in their spouses while studying in the UK on scholarship?

Yes. Indian students studying in the UK on a scholarship can bring dependents. It is expected for you to cover their living expenses and are allowed by the sponsor.

Can UK visa consultants help my family members join me in the UK?

Yes, visa consultancy is an ideal option in this case. As post-Brexit many of the conditions have changed. A UK Study Visa Consultant like us at Kampus Group would be aware of the kind of changes made to the immigration rules and would successfully guide you correctly and your dependents that wish to join you in the UK.


Overall, Smart Move education Group can confirm that as a UK student visa dependent, you can work in the UK. There are various sectors where searching for a job have a few exceptions. However, there are some rules that dependent visa owners must follow in the UK. Being aware of these conditions will help you chart out a future career path with no dissapointments.

It is essential to check the latest Immigration Rules in the UK regarding primary Student Visa applications of the dependents. Going to UK student visa consultants like Kampus Group would be very helpful if you have any doubts regarding the laws post-Brexit or concerns.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *