UK Spouse Visa Guide: Fees, Eligibility, Documents, and Application Process

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Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Jun 12, 2023 04:06 PM IST

As per recent changes announced by the UK govt, International students pursuing full-time postgraduate courses are eligible to bring their partners and children on UK student dependent visas. Check out the eligibility criteria, application process, documents required, fees and processing time of a UK Spouse visa.

UK Spouse Visa Guide: Fees, Eligibility, Documents, and Application Process

Spouse visas for students in UK will become tougher to get as the UK government puts several restrictions on bringing family members along with them as dependents. The new rules propose that only postgraduate students who are studying research-based programmes including PhD students can bring their spouses. The new rules will be implemented for students starting courses from January 2024 onwards.

Living alone is a daunting experience especially in a new country, away from the comfort zone and familiar surroundings of home. Therefore, it is an unsurprising behaviour for international students to bring their spouses along with them while studying at a UK university. This satisfies their basic emotional needs and helps them better in their academic pursuits. Though students gain academic and professional experiences, living alone gives rise to negative emotions of loneliness and homesickness. 

The ability to bring spouses on dependent visas to the UK is the most suitable alternative for many foreign cohorts. This article, therefore, will walk you through the rules, regulations and restrictions related to spouse visas for students in the UK and its eligibility and application process. 

UK Dependent Visa for Spouses of International Students

A UK student dependent visa is issued to a dependent partner or child in case they are a husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner and children under 18 years of age. Applicants need to provide proof of the relationship when they apply for a UK spouse visa by submitting a civic partnership or marriage certificate or birth certificate of the child.

The student and the partner must be 18 years old when they apply for permission for immigration. They must also intend to live throughout their partner’s stay in the UK and also the spouse or partner cannot stay for a longer period of time than the student. Each dependent has to complete the application online at the UK government website.

Want to Know More About UK Dependent Visa?

Eligibility to Bring Depedents to UK 

The UK government lays down certain eligibility criteria for students to bring dependents or spouses to the UK. The government is planning to introduce new changes to the existing rules to curb immigration rates. The rules will make it hard for international students to bring their families over to the country while they are studying. Only research-based postgraduate students including doctoral candidates can bring their families. As per the existing rules, foreign students must fulfil the following criteria to bring dependents:

  • Enrol in a full-time, postgraduate-level programme that is at least nine months long.

  • Enrol in a full-time course for at least six months that is sponsored by the government. This indicates that the UK government or another foreign government is providing financial support for your academic endeavours.

  • Apply for Doctorate Extension Scheme (DES). 

The family members would be qualified to apply for a dependent visa if:

  • They have previously been studying in the UK and the following conditions are satisfied, even if the qualifications listed above do not apply to their situation

  • Their new course must be longer than six months in length, you must have current UK student visa immigration permission (or it must have expired no more than three months before the new visa application), their family members must apply for dependent visas at the same time as they do for their new student visa, and their new student visa must be approved.

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Application Process for UK Spouse Visa

Similar to a UK student visa, dependents should apply to the nation where they were born or where they currently reside (if they have authorization to do so). Online application is made for this purpose. Each dependent must submit a separate application.

Schedule an appointment to visit the visa application centre to enrol on biometrics (fingerprints and facial pictures are taken) and submit supporting papers.

When an application is accepted, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) notifies the applicant in writing. They are given a biometric residence permit allotment once they have been permitted to enter the country. They have ten days to pick up the permission.

Both inside the UK (entry clearance as a dependent) and outside (permission to stay as a dependent), the partner or child may apply for a dependent visa. They should do this either when they apply for their student visa or after they already have one.

Also, for a spouse visa in UK, the applicant needs to fulfil the financial requirements as well. GBP 845 for 9 months is required for courses in London and GBP 680 for 9 months is required for courses outside London.

Documents Required to Apply for UK Spouse Visa

The primary applicant must submit a few paperwork and certificates for the Student Dependent Visa application. If these documents are not in English, they must be translated by a professional translator and must meet certain requirements. Here are all the document requirements for obtaining a student dependent visa for the UK:

  • The Student PBS Dependent Form must be completed.

  • They must have a valid passport or other travel document.

  • For entry clearance, they must present their most recent BRP card, which serves as their biometric resident permit.

  • A dependent police registration certificate will also be required if they are applying from within the UK.

  • They may require to show a tuberculosis certificate if they are applying from outside the UK or staying in the country for an extended period of time. Only a few nations do not require TB testing for the UK's application. 

  • When the dependent and the student dependent are applying separately, the front and back copies of the BRP or UK student visa are required. 

  • The university letter attesting to the student's enrollment in support of the UK student visa application is also required.

  • A birth certificate proving a relationship between the student visa holder and the dependent child is required if the dependent is a child born in the UK.

  • If a kid was born in the UK and does not have a passport or other kind of travel authorization, they should present their birth certificate. They should provide the newborn's passport or other legal documentation as soon as feasible. 

  • A marriage certificate is required as proof of their marriage for a spouse visa.

  • In a situation of an unwed romantic partner, they can use emails, phone records, family photos, letters, etc. as evidence because immigration approval requires proof of a continued relationship.

  • The same-sex and unmarried partners will have to show proof that their union is analogous to marriage. They must demonstrate that they have lived together for at least two years.

UK Spouse Visa Fees

One must finish the application fee payment process after completing the application form and attaching all necessary certificates and papers. The UK dependent visa fees depend upon different situations. The fees are mentioned below: 

  • When applying for a UK student visa outside of the UK, the dependent application fee is GBP 348 per person. 

  • If one applies from the UK, the application fee for each dependent varies depending on the application type. 

  • The application price per person is GBP 475 if they submit a regular application within eight weeks.

  •  The application cost is GBP 975 if they submit a priority application within five business days of the appointment. 

  • If they opt to submit a super-priority application, the decision date for which is the day after the appointment on the following working day, the cost per dependent is GBP 1,275. 

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Processing Time for UK Dependent Visa

Depending on where the dependent is applying from and the application price you pay, the processing period for the UK student dependent visa varies.

If they apply for a dependent visa from outside of the UK, the processing time may take up to 12 weeks. When they show up for the biometric appointment and submit their application, the time period begins to run.

Fortunately, they can pay an extra price to use the priority option, which will expedite the processing of their application. The response will arrive in 5 working days.

On the other hand, if they apply from within the UK, it takes 8 weeks from the date of the appointment. They might pay more for services that are super- or priority-priority.

The 'priority' service processes the visa in 5 days, whereas the super-priority one takes only 24 hours. 

The main reason for the denial of a dependent visa application is common errors. It is crucial to spot these mistakes by double-checking your application form before submitting it. Therefore, international students and their dependents must check all the information provided in the article and act accordingly so that they can get their visas easily and move to the UK.

Our study abroad experts guide students from shortlisting universities to visa applications and visa interviews. Get in touch with them at abroad@collegedekho.com 

Get Help Regarding UK Student Visa Application!

FAQs

Who can bring spouses on UK dependent visa?

If you are enrolled in a postgraduate course full-time that lasts at least nine months or if you have been enrolled full-time for at least six months and are a government-sponsored student. The UK government or another foreign government may provide official financial sponsorship.

Is it possible to work on a UK student dependent visa?

Yes, it is possible to work on a UK student dependent visa. A dependent may work in the UK, barring they are not permitted to hold a position as a professional athlete or coach. If they are given the dependant visa before 5 October 2020, they cannot work as a doctor or dentist in training. 

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge for a UK student dependent visa?

The Immigration Health Surcharge is GBP 470 each year that the visa will be granted, including any final extension periods. Less than six-month periods are charged at a rate of GBP 235. Six to twelve-month periods are billed at the full-year rate.

What are the reasons for the refusal of a UK student dependent visa?

The reasons for the refusal of a UK student dependent visa are: 

  • Insufficient funds

  • Missing or insufficient records particularly financial ones.

  • Not submitting the documents UKVI has requested.

  • An immigration prohibition that prevents the dependent or student from travelling to the UK.

  • A cautionary tale from a past rejection for dishonesty or instances in which false documents were provided.

  • Long unaccounted-for study gaps.

Can a student dependent visa lead to indefinite leave to remain?

Yes, you can obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain with a dependent visa. After five years of continuous residency in the UK, the primary applicant may be qualified for an Indefinite Leave to Remain. Therefore, any of their dependents may also qualify. If a dependent is granted an Indefinite Leave to Remain, immigration laws and controls no longer apply to them. You are therefore free to live and work in the UK.

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