Can you bring your family with you on a Tier 4 visa?

Photograph of a woman holding her son's hand

If you are studying in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, it is possible to bring some family members (dependants) with you. However, both you and they must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible.

Do you qualify to bring family (dependants) to the UK under a Tier 4 visa?

To apply to bring family members to the UK, you must be one of the following:

  • Sponsored by a higher education institution on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts 9 months or more
  • A new government-sponsored student on a course that lasts longer than 6 months, or
  • A Doctorate Extension Scheme student.

You will also have to prove that you have enough money to support each person in your family, including yourself. The amount of money you will need depends on where and for how long you are studying. You can find out more in the Home Office’s guidance for dependants.

Does your family qualify to be brought to the UK when you come to study?

Your family can only be brought to the UK under your Tier 4 visa if they are:

  • Not citizens of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, and
  • Your dependants.

Who qualifies as a dependant under a Tier 4 visa?

Not every family member qualifies as a dependant. They must be one of the following:

  • Your husband, wife, or civil partner
  • Your unmarried or same-sex partner, or
  • Your child under 18 years old. This includes children who were born in the UK during your stay.

Your parents and siblings do not qualify as your dependants, so you cannot bring them to the UK under a Tier 4 visa. However, they can visit you under a tourist visa.

How do you bring dependants to the UK under your Tier 4 visa?

If both you and your dependants meet the requirements, your dependants can apply to come to the UK under your Tier 4 visa. The application costs £348 per person and must be completed online.

As part of the application, your dependants will need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken. They will be responsible for collecting their biometric residency permit (BRP) within 10 days of when they said they would arrive in the UK.

If you decide to extend or switch your visa, you should apply for your dependants’ visas at the time that you apply for your own.

Where can I found out more about the Tier 4 visa?

We are always updating information about the Tier 4 visa and you read more about the Tier 4 visa here.