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Student Dependants


You can have dependants with you in the UK if:


1.     You are in receipt of an award from a Government and your course is full-time and at least six months; OR

2.     You are doing a full-time research-based higher degree, a PhD or other doctoral qualification of nine months or longer at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance (Northumbria university is such education provider), where the start date of the course was on or after 1 January 2024. If your course start date was before 1 January 2024, the course must be a full-time postgraduate level course of nine months or longer undertaken at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance.

3.     You are studying or have studied on a full-time course lasting at least six months and all four bullet points below apply:

  • Your Student permission is current or expired no more than three months before this immigration application
  • Your new immigration application is for a full-time course that is at least six months
  • Your dependant already has Student dependant immigration permission (or it expired no more than three months before this application), or your dependant is your child who was born since you were last granted your immigration permission
  • You are applying for immigration permission at the same time as your dependant


Your partner and your child can be your Student dependant.

'Partner' means

  • Your husband or wife
  • Your civil partner. Civil partners' are same-sex or opposite-sex couples who have registered their partnership and who have thereby gained formal legal recognition of their relationship
  • Your unmarried partner or same-sex partner.  In both cases, you need to have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for a period of at least two years before you make your immigration application. You need to provide evidence of this. 

In all cases, you must both be at least 18 years old when you apply for immigration permission.

You must intend to live together throughout your partner's stay in the UK, otherwise your Dependant’s immigration leave could be revoked.

Your partner must not intend to stay in the UK longer than the period you are given.

Your partner and child must each have a certain amount of money available to them. This is in addition to the money you must have to support yourself. See further information on Dependant financial requirements here.

Your partner and child must apply online. They must either:

They’ll need your application number - you get it when you apply. This number is called a Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN). You’ll find it on emails and letters from the Home Office about your application.

Please see further information on submitting Dependant application here.  

If your children are aged between 5 and 16, they can attend government primary and secondary schools in the UK, as long as they are here as your dependants. You will not have to pay for this. However, schools may sometimes refuse places to children if they consider their stay in the UK will be too short, or if the schools have no free places.

We recognise that pregnancy and parenthood during your studies can be both daunting and exciting. Finding out you are pregnant whilst preparing to study or studying at university can give you more questions and decisions to make about your life and future. Your circumstances are individual but this page is aiming to give you some general advice and signpost you to services which may be useful. 

Those on Student visas are required to be in full time attendance, on campus. Attendance is monitored for all students and non-attendance will result in your withdrawal from studies, and your Student visa sponsorship being stopped. If this happens you will need to leave the UK.

If you find you need a break in your studies due to pregnancy this can impact on our ability to continue to sponsor your visa.

Unfortunately, there is no provision in the Immigration Rules for maternity leave if you are studying on a Student visa. Please be aware that due to UKVI policy, there will be very limited options regarding taking time out from your course due to pregnancy/maternity. 

If you are pregnant and studying on a Student visa your options are either defer your studies and exit the UK or continue your studies in the UK with a short break after giving birth.

If you would like to discuss how pregnancy may affect your Student visa, please contact the Welfare, Immigration and Funding Team by completing out enquiry form.

In preparation to bring your dependants with you to the UK, please see further information on financial preparation and planning your accommodation in the UK for your time in the UK here.

The UK government have recently confirmed that they will be removing the right for international students to bring dependants unless they are on postgraduate courses currently designated as research programmes.  

Although further details have not yet been released, we understand that you may have queries about this impending change so have provided a summary of the information that has currently been released. We will update this page as and when we receive more information.  

When does the change come into effect? 

From their announcement we expect this change to come into effect from January 2024. 

Who will be affected by this change? 

It is likely that applicants applying for a Master’s programme in January 2024 will no longer be able to bring dependants. We believe that applicants applying for PhD programmes will be unaffected by these changes and will still be able to bring dependants. However, until further details have been released by the UK government, we do not know the exact details of the proposed changes.  

Applicants applying for master’s courses that begin in September 2023 will be unaffected by any changes and will still be able to bring dependants.  

Where can I find out more information? 

UKCISA - international student advice and guidance 

Government Statement 


Common Queries 

I was planning to start my Masters course in January 2024 and bring my dependants what are my options? 

We believe that this will not be possible but are awaiting further information from the UK government. You may however wish to consider studying in September 2023 to avoid any disappointment you may wish to bring your dependants if the course you wish to study is available in September 2023. Unfortunately, we do not offer all courses/subject areas in September so this option may not be possible for some applicants .

I am planning to start my Masters course in September 2023 and want to bring my dependants, is this possible? 

You are still able to apply to bring your dependants if you are commencing a programme in September 2023. 

I am studying a PHD can I bring dependants? 

There are no planned changes at present that will prevent you from applying to bring your dependants with you. If this changes, we will update this page and contact any applicants this may affect. 


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