UK Dependent Visa New Rules 2024

UK Dependent Visa New Rules

UK Dependent Visa New Rules 2024

Did you know the UK Dependent visa new rules are coming into effect from January 1, 2024? It will create a massive impact on international students and their families. The United Kingdom has a long history of issuing dependent visas to spouses, children, and other family members of students, skilled workers, and other visa holders. So, you must be updated with the UK dependent visa rules to ensure your family is prepared for the changes.

Basics of UK Dependent Visa

Definition and Purpose                     

A UK dependent visa allows the family members of a person living in the UK on a study, work, or other type of visa to join them. Dependent visas are available for spouses, partners, children, and other close family members.

The purpose of a UK dependent visa is to allow family members to stay together and support each other while the main visa holder is living in the UK. Dependent visa holders can also study and work in the UK, subject to certain restrictions.

Types of UK Dependent Visas

Several types of UK dependent visas are available based on the relationship between the dependent and the primary visa holder. Here are the most common ones:

  • Child Dependant Visa UK: This visa category allows the children of a person who is living in the UK on a study, work, or other type of visa to join them. To be eligible for this visa, children must be under 18.
  • Spouse/Partner Visas: These types of visas allow the spouses or partners of a person who is living in the UK on a study, work, or other type of visa to join them. They must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with the main visa holder to be eligible for a spouse/partner visa.
  • Tier 4 Dependent Visa: It allows the dependents of a person studying in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa to join them. Tier 4 dependent visas are only available to dependents of students who are studying postgraduate research programs.

The Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for a UK dependent visa can differ based on the visa type you are applying for. People of the following category can apply for a UK dependent visa:

  • Spouses and partners of UK visa holders.
  • Children under the age of 18 years of UK visa holders.
  • Other close family members include UK visa holders’ parents, grandparents, and siblings.

Detailed Insight into the New Rules

Overview of New Changes

A new UK visa rule will come into effect on January 1, 2024. Under the new rules, international students can no longer bring their dependents to the UK unless enrolled in a postgraduate research program. It is a significant change from the current rules, allowing all international students of postgraduate courses to bring their families.

Not just the new international students; the new rule will also affect dependents of students who are already studying in the UK. From January 1 next year, dependents of current international students in the UK won’t be able to apply for Tier 4 Dependent Visa. Instead, they will have to apply for different types of visas, such as a spouse or partner visa or children dependent visa.

The minimum income threshold for family visas under Appendix FM is set to increase significantly from £18,600 to £38,700. This change will take effect in Spring 2024. The decision to implement this adjustment was announced on Monday, 4 December, as part of a series of measures aimed at reducing legal migration numbers to the UK.

Application Process Enhancements

The UK government is currently reviewing some changes in the application process for dependent visas to make it more efficient and user-friendly.

One of the changes being considered is introducing an online application system for dependent visas. This would make it easier for applicants to submit their applications and reduce the processing time.

Another change that is being considered is to reduce the amount of paperwork that is required for dependent visa applications. It would make the application process less burdensome and quick for applicants.

Requirements for Successful Applications

There are several general requirements for a dependent visa in the UK, although the specific requirements depend on the visa type. To be successful in your dependent visa application, the following are some requirements:

  • Financial Aspects: Dependent visa applicants must show they have enough money to support themselves while staying in the UK. The amount will depend on which region you will live in the UK and the number of family members.
  • Language Proficiency: Dependent visa applicants must meet new English language requirements, such as passing a secure English language test or SELT at level A1 or above.
  • Requirements for Dependent Visa in UK: Applicants must be dependents of UK visa holders, meet the health requirements, and pass a criminal record test.

Special Focus on Student Visa and Dependents

UK Student Visa New Rules 2024

According to the UK student dependent visa new rules in 2024, international postgraduate research students can only bring their family members on dependent visas. From July 17, international students can no longer switch to work route visas before completing their courses.

The current student visa policy allows international students to bring their families if enrolled in a course with more than a 6-month tenure. So, the UK government has introduced these new rules to reduce net migration to the UK.

Can Students Bring Dependents to the UK?

Under the 2024 visa rules, international students studying postgraduate research programs can only bring their dependents to the UK. Postgraduate research programs are defined as PhDs and research-based master’s degrees.

If you are an undergraduate student, you won’t be able to bring your dependents to the UK. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule as well. For example, you may be able to bring your dependents to the UK if you are a government-sponsored student or if you are studying a course that is essential to the UK economy.

Minimum Income Threshold For Dependent Visa

The Minimum Income Threshold for the UK Dependent Visa is a key aspect of the new immigration changes. Under the updated rules, the income requirement has significantly increased, from £18,600 to £38,700. This change poses a financial challenge for British citizens and UK residents seeking to sponsor their spouse, partner, or fiancé for a dependent visa. It’s important to note that while social care workers are affected by these changes and won’t be permitted to bring dependents to the UK from Spring 2024, other categories like Skilled Workers and Global Business Mobility migrants may not have the same limitations.

Studying on a Dependent Visa in the UK

Dependents of a student visa holder can study in the UK with their dependent visa, meaning they can attend school or college in the UK. However, there are some restrictions on the courses they can study. For example, they cannot attend any professional qualification courses.

Yes, you can study in the UK if the person you are dependent on is a postgraduate research student. There are no restrictions on studying in the UK with a dependent visa. However, you must meet some eligibility criteria to attend a course. Sometimes, you may have to obtain an ATAS certificate to attend your program. For more specific information, you can contact UKVI.


Tips and Guidance for Applicants

Preparing a Strong Application

Following are some tips for preparing a strong dependent visa application:

  • Read the application form carefully and ensure it is completed and accurate with answers to all the questions.
  • Provide all the required supporting documents, such as your relationship with the main visa holder, proof of your financial resources, and your English language proficiency.
  • Organize your documents neatly and clearly, as it will make things easier for the visa officers to process your application.
  • Proofread your application carefully before submitting it so there are no spelling or grammar errors.

Seeking Professional Legal Advice

Suppose you are unsure about any aspect of the dependent visa application process. In that case, if you have any complex circumstances or any specific questions you need to answer, you must seek professional legal advice. An immigration lawyer can help you address the requirements and to prepare a robust application.

Utilizing Reliable and Official Resources

You must collect visa application information from reliable and official resources. Several resources are available to help you with your dependent visa application, including:

  • The UK Visa and Immigration Service website
  • The British Council
  • The UK Government Website

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the UK Dependent Visa Financial Requirements?

The financial requirement for a UK dependent visa varies based on what type of visa you are applying for. According to the new UK Dependent Visa Financial Requirements for family visas under Appendix FM have seen a significant increase in the minimum income threshold. It has risen from £18,600 to £38,700, posing a substantial financial barrier for British citizens or settled individuals looking to sponsor a spouse, partner, or fiancé.

How to Apply for a Child Dependent Visa in the UK?  

You must fulfill several criteria in applying for a child dependent visa UK. The applicant must be less than 18 years of age and meet other eligibility requirements. The application can be done online or through mail.

Can I Extend My Visa under the New Rules?

Under the new visa rule, 2024, you may be able to extend your visa. However, it will depend on the type of visa you have and your individual circumstances.

Can Students Bring Dependent in UK?

According to the new visa rule 2024, only international students of postgraduate research programs, such as Ph.D. and Research master’s programs, can bring dependents with them to the UK.


UK dependent visa new rules will bring significant changes to the immigration system for international students in the UK and their families. In a word, there are some changes in visa policies, financial requirements, language requirements, and the application process. So, if you want to study in the UK, make sure you are informed and prepared for the changes.

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