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For some of us starting the road to UK, we wonder about how to bring our families with us. One cannot think to plan for the future without knowing that they are providing and safeguarding their kith and kin. So let's now discuss about applying for your dependants to stay in the UK.
First of all, who can be considered a dependent?
Who are the dependents?
A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:
- your husband, wife, or partner
- your child under 18
- your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant
For your partner, you must be able to prove that either:
- you’re in a civil partnership or marriage that’s recognized in the UK
- If you are not married, you’ve been living together in a relationship for at least 2 years when you apply
If your child is 16 or over, they must:
- live with you (unless they’re in full-time education at boarding school, college, or university)
- not be married, in a civil partnership, or have any children
- be financially supported by you
Unfortunately, your parents/siblings do not qualify as dependants, so you cannot apply for TIER 2 dependants visas for them. You can, however, apply for their visit visas, but that is for another post to discuss.
Continuing, what all is need in this application?
How to apply for a Tier 2 visa for dependants
The visa application process is almost the same as yours, the migrant. But remember to put the type of visa as dependant and don't forget to mention their details in your own application.
Recently UKVI has transferred there service for applying all sorts of visa in GovUK website. For your visa, you select Tier 2 (General) in the visa type selection. Remember that, for your partner and children, the visa type is PBS Dependent - Partner visa & PBS Dependent - Child visa respectively.
- A separate online application in the GovUK website Just like your own, you have to apply for your dependants separately.
- Gathering required documents and submission at VAC As mentioned below, gather the supporting documents and show up at the visa application centre (VAC) in the appointment date made during the online application.
- Receiving the passport back with a vignette If the application is approved, the passports of the dependants will also have a vignette during which they will have to travel in the UK. So, it's wise to apply for your and your dependents' visa together.
- Receiving Biometric Resident Permits while in the UK Follow the instructions in the letter that was given with the passport and that will tell you all you need to do to collect your dependants' BRP while in the UK. Remember, your dependants have to collect their BRP themselves; you can't collect on their behalf.
Documents needed for TIER 2 dependant visa
Maintenance / Personal savings
If your CoS has a tick "Y" in maintenance, you do not need to show any personal savings, neither for you, nor for your dependants.
Otherwise, you must show £630 for each dependent you are listing on your application. This requirement can be met by:
- having savings of £630 which must have been held for at least three months prior to the date of application; or
- the Tier 2 A-rated sponsor providing a written undertaking that, should it become necessary, it will maintain and accommodate the family member for a month.
Let's assume you are coming to the UK with your spouse and 2 children. You must have £630 for your spouse and a further £630 for each child, in addition to the £945 required for your own application. In total, your family will require evidence that they hold £2835 in available funds (£630 x 3 = £1890 + £945).
If your dependants apply separately from you (the main applicant), they will need to have the necessary funds to meet the maintenance requirement or have a written undertaking from an A-rated Sponsor, unless you already had leave in a Tier 2 category, and when applying for your most recent period of Tier 2, leave was not required to show evidence of satisfying maintenance requirements.
You won’t need evidence of your savings if you have a:
- fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor
- certificate of sponsorship stating that your sponsor will give each of your dependants at least £630 to cover their costs for a month if they need it
Criminal Record certificate
Your dependants need to have criminal records certificate submitted with their visa application. Please read here to know about how to obtain criminal record certificate for tier 2 visa.
Proof of Relationship
You will need to provide proof of a relationship in order to proceed with the application:
Partners (including spouses and civil partners):
- marriage or civil partnership certificates
- bank statements
- Council tax bills
- medical registration documents
- utility bills
- full birth certificate showing both parents names
If you’re applying as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner
You must prove that:
- any previous marriages or civil partnerships have ended
- you plan to marry or become civil partners within 6 months of arriving in the UK
Note: you will not be able to work during your engagement. Keep in mind that if you are not married or in a civil partnership, you will need to provide documents to show that you have been living in a relationship akin to marriage/civil partnership for a period of at least two years – documents should therefore cover the whole of this period. Documents will only be accepted where they are from official sources such as utility bills or NHS registration.
TB Clearance Certificate
Another document you must provide in order to apply for a Tier 2 dependant visa is a test to determine if you are positive for tuberculosis. You’ll need to have a tuberculosis test if you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are a resident of any of the following countries.
You’ll be given a chest x-ray to test for TB. If the result of the x-ray isn’t clear you may also be asked to give a sputum sample. If your test shows that you don’t have TB, you’ll be given a certificate which is valid for 6 months from the date of your x-ray. Include this certificate with your UK visa application.
You won’t need a TB test if any of the following apply:
- you’re a diplomat accredited to the UK
- you’re a returning UK resident and haven’t been away for more than 2 years
- you lived for at least 6 months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK, and you’ve been away from that country for no more than 6 months
I am bringing my children with me. Will they also require a TB test?
All children must see a clinician who will decide if they need a chest x-ray. Children under 11 will not normally have a chest x-ray taken.
You must take your child to an approved clinicand complete a health questionnaire. If the clinician decides your child doesn’t have TB, they’ll give you a certificate. Include this certificate with your child’s UK visa application.
My wife is pregnant. What are my options?
You can choose:
- an x-ray with an extra shield to protect you and your unborn child in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters
- a sputum test- there may be an extra fee and you could wait up to 8 weeks for results
- to wait until after delivery
If you don’t want to be tested, you can use an x-ray taken within the last 3 months at a UK-approved screening clinic. Ask a clinician at an approved clinic to review your x-ray. If it’s accepted, the clinician will give you a certificate to send with your UK visa application.
Summary of the documents needed
- Dependants' valid passport
- Certificate of sponsorship (CoS) of the migrant
- Proof of personal savings (If maintenance is "N" on the CoS)
- Proof of relationship
- Criminal record certificate
- TB clearance certificate (if required)
Conditions of Stay as a Dependant
- No recourse to public funds
- No employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach)
- No employment as a Doctor in training or Dentist in Training, unless you:
- have obtained a primary degree in medicine or dentistry from a UK institution that is a UK recognized or listed body, or which holds a sponsor licence under Tier 4 of the Points Based System; or
- are applying for leave to remain and have, or have last been granted, entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain that was not subject to a condition restricting your employment, whether that is employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training or otherwise, and have been employed during that leave as a Doctor or Dentist in Training.
Children born while you’re in the UK
If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply for permission for them to stay. You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child. When you apply you must send a full UK birth certificate showing the names of both of your child’s parents.
Training on the Dependant Visa
As such, you cannot work in a training post on a dependant visa. That being said, you can apply for a training post and apply for your own (independent/migrant) TIER 2 visa, but for that you would need to return to your home country, and it would reset the timeline for your Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). What that means is, you must be in the UK for 5 years before you can apply for an ILR, but if you switch from a dependant to an independent visa, that clock will start at day one all over again.
Is IELTS required?
No, IELTS is not required for TIER 2 dependant visa applications.
Do my dependants need to change visa if I change visas?
If the main migrant (i.e. you) changes employers, and is given a new CoS and TIER 2 visa, dependants do not have to apply with them to renew their BRPs/visas so long as they still have valid ones. Instead, the dependants can remain in the UK until the end of the validity period of their BRPs/visas. They can later apply for further extensions keeping in line with your visa.
Visa applications are always hectic. But, if you remain clam and think rationally, it is not that complicated. Good luck to you and your family!