What is a Dependant visa?
Dependant visa is a document that allows the partner and children of the main visa holder to legally reside in the United Kingdom with them. They are eligible to apply for the document with the main visa holder, if their visa allows for it. The list of main visas under which dependant visas may be applied for are as follows:
- Tier-2 Worker Visas;
- Tier-5 Temporary Worker permissions;
- Innovator and Global Talent visas;
- Ancestry routes.
Who can apply for a Dependant visa?
To understand who is eligible to apply for the dependant visa, it is first necessary to understand who can be a dependant. This term includes both the partner and children of the main visa holder. For each of the main visas, the requirements of obtaining such visas are different.
For dependant visas for partners, the requirements are comparatively mild. The Home Office allows the holder of the main visa to take married partners, partners in civil relationships, unmarried partners and same sex partners as dependents. The relationship between the parties must be proven with documentary evidence; thus, while it is easier to prove marriage with the help of a marriage certificate, applicants may be required to collect credible evidence to prove unmarried relationships. If proving a relationship where the parties are not married, the minimum duration of such relationships must be two years, with corroborating evidence for the same duration.
For children, the rules may vary on a case to case basis.For instance, if the child was born during the period of the main visa holder’s legal stay in the United Kingdom, they do not become UK citizens right away. However, the child will be eligible for a Dependent visa.
For most types of visas, the child has to be younger than eighteen years old to be automatically considered as a dependant. There are some exclusions to that rule, but in those cases, it will be necessary to prove the child still lives with the parents and is being financially supported by the parents. In the majority of cases, it is also necessary for the main visa holder to submit an application for their children at the same time they make an application themselves. Some additional requirements for a dependent visa in the UK for the children may vary- we advise getting in touch with an immigration consultant to get accurate information regarding your specific circumstances.
Dependant visa documents checklist
To apply for a dependent visa in the UK, it is necessary to prepare an assortment of documents. Normally, the UK dependent visa documents list includes:
- marriage certificates;
- birth certificates of children;
- bank statements;
- proof of relationships (generally over a 2 year time period);
- additional documents for specific cases.
Passports and other identity documents are required to prove both the identity and the history of traveling of the applicant. Marriage certificates are used as another proof of the relationships being genuine. It is worth mentioning that these certificates will only be approved if they were issued by organizations recognized in the United Kingdom or legally notarised.
Children’s birth certificates are needed to ensure their date of birth and their relationship to their parents. Bank statements are used as proof of meeting the financial requirement, which states that the person has to possess a specified sum of money in their bank accounts to support themselves throughout the period of stay in the country.
In order to prove a genuine, subsisting relationship between unmarried partners, applicants may submit evidence such as photographs taken together, utility bills issued jointly in the name of both partners, etc.
The additional documents may include tests for certain specified diseases, depending on the country of origin of the applicant or even questions regarding any criminal record or convictions. These documents may be required either based on the nationality of the applicant or the individual case of the original document holder.
How to apply for a Dependant visa?
The dependant visa application itself is rather straightforward. The rules typically match the ones of the respective main visa holder. In the majority of cases, the application can be done online: the person has to fill out the required form on the official website of the Home Office.
For some visas, the applications may be submitted either from within the United Kingdom and from outside of the country. For others, it is only possible to apply while being in the UK. The application process includes both submitting the necessary personal information and the documents mentioned in the previous section.
When the application is approved, the dependent will receive a letter and an invitation to collect biometric information at an approved centre in the country of their residence. It is worth knowing that the application may also be delayed or rejected, in case something turns out to be wrong with it. It may include incorrectly submitted documents, failing to submit some of the required documents, or, in the case of a rejection, it may be that the Home Office discovers the person is not eligible for the visa applied for. Where the main visa applicant’s application gets rejected, a dependant visa will not be approved either for lack of standing.
What is a Dependant visa processing time?
The processing time for a dependant visa in the UK typically matches the one of the main visa holder. For applications sent from outside the UK, the processing period rarely exceeds twelve weeks. It is also worth mentioning that the process includes visiting a department to let the Home Office collect the biometric data, so the duration of the process is partially up to the applicant. It is especially important to submit a correct application, as the process will be prolonged significantly, if something was submitted wrong. For an additional sum of money paid towards visa fees, processing time may be significantly reduced.
Dependant visa fees
There are multiple UK dependant visa fees associated with every permission document. The main fee for the document itself depends on the type of the visa of the main holder. Almost always, the fee for a dependent will be the same as for the original holder.
There are some additional fees that are associated with every visa. These include the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge, the biometric data collection fee, and the fee for the English test. The healthcare surcharge is £624 for every year the dependent is planning to stay in the United Kingdom.
Can a dependent work in the UK?
This is a popular question, and the answer is yes. There are a few exceptions: for example, it will be impossible for the dependent to work as a doctor. Another most common work restriction is working as a Sportsperson, as there is a separate visa with separate conditions for such work. In most other cases, dependants will be free to work in the United Kingdom. This also includes self-employment. The dependents are also free to study during their stay within the country.
Can a Dependant visa lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain?
It is possible to get ILR with a dependent visa. To do so, it is required that the main holder becomes eligible for the document. Thus, the main holder will have to pass one of the routes that lead to ILR in order for their partner and children to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Remain with a dependent visa. One of the requirements is that they have to continuously reside in the United Kingdom for five years. Once the dependent gets granted an ILR, they stop being tied to the main visa holder and can continue living in the UK even without them.
How can we help?
As it becomes clear from the article, the process is rather tricky and requires an individual approach. The good news is that our professional team of lawyers is ready to provide the assistance required. The experts in Sterling Law have applied successfully for such visas several times and will be glad to help you with your individual case with the attention and expertise it deserves.
We are ready to guide you and your partner throughout the entire process, starting with determining which documents are required and ending with preparing everything for the application itself. Our office is based in London, but we also provide consultations online. Feel free to submit the form on this page, and we will reach out in no time.