Tier 4 dependent working

If you are studying in the UK on a Tier 4 student visa, you may be wondering if your family dependents can come to the UK to live and work. In this article, we look at how your family members can qualify as your dependents and the options that they have if they want to work in the UK.

Can my dependent work on a Tier 4 visa?

Yes, as long as you adhere to the eligibility criteria then they can work in the UK. You must ensure that you are either;

A Government-sponsored student taking a course longer than 6 months or taking a postgraduate course of 12 months or more at a publicly funded higher education institution.

Who counts as a dependent under a Tier 4 student visa?

Your partner – In this instance, a partner is classified as a spouse or a civil partner. If your country does not have civil partnerships, then the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group can offer some alternatives.

You will need to meet strict financial criteria that prove that they will be supported during their stay in the UK. You will be required to prove that this money is freely available to use.

Your child or children – If you have a child under 18 years of age then they will also qualify to stay with you in the UK. Again you will be required to prove that you have the means to support them during your stay in the UK.

What is the application process for a dependent?

They will have to apply online and collect their Biometric Residence Permit within 10 days of when they said they would arrive in the UK.

How much does it cost for the application?

The standard fee is £457 and the decision time will be around 8 weeks. You can pay for a priority service that gets processed in around 10 days and costs £916. If you need it even faster than that, there is the Premium service at £1,047 and is the same day service.

The Premium service is limited to 60 requests per day for the first 60 applications received after 08:30 am (Monday to Friday) so you will have to get in early.

Will we have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?

Yes, your dependents will be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as this helps to cover the cost of their use of the National Health Service (NHS). The cost is £200 per year per dependent and based on the anticipated length of stay on their visa.

How we can help


If you need some advice or help on Tier 4 student visa issues then please get in touch. Our immigration specialists are fully trained in helping people like you to settle in the UK to study or work and are here to help.


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