Eligibility

If you are the family member of a Tier 4 (General) applicant, whether or not you can apply for a Tier 4 Dependant visa from inside the UK depends on the type of permission to stay that you have.

Provided that the main applicant is eligible to have dependants with them in the UK, you can make a PBS dependant application if:

You are related to the main applicant in the following way:

  • Husband or wife (known as your spouse)
  • Partner (this can be same sex) provided that you have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years
  • Their child under the age of 18 – both parents must be coming to the UK except in exceptional circumstances.

AND

  • You are already in the UK as the dependant of the main applicant, or
  • You are in the UK on a visa other than a visitor visa

It is highly recommended that you read the PBS Dependant policy guidance as published on the Home Office website, and the UKCISA guidance for dependants, before you make your visa application.

Application process

If you are currently in the UK and need to apply to extend your Tier 4 Dependant Visa, or are applying to switch from another permitted visa category, then you should apply via the UK Government website.

When you create an application you will be sent a link via e-mail. You must keep this link safe as you will need it to log in to your application at a later date.

If applying at the same time as the main applicant then please follow the guidance on the main applicant page.

If you are applying separately from the main applicant then you should access the link above and then select either 'partner' or 'child' from the section 'dependants applying in the UK' near the bottom of the page.

The Advisors in the Global Student Office (located in the Student Service Centre) can help you to do this by checking your application form and documentation. It is still your responsibility to complete the application form.

Once you have submitted your application online, you will need to book an appointment at one of the new six UKVCAS service points in order to provide your biometrics. UKVCAS service points are being rolled out at various times throughout the month of November 2018. Our nearest UKVCAS service point is in Glasgow.

At your appointment at a UKVCAS service point, you will provide your biometrics, confirm your identify (using your original passport) and scan your original documents. Following your appointment you will be able to leave the service point with all your original documents and await a decision pending the application method you have chosen.

If you would like the Global Student Office to help you with your application it is vital that when you reach the ‘Check your Answers' section of the form, you select 'Return to Application Later' from the drop down in the top left corner. You should then e-mail the link to yourself. You must keep the link safe as you will need this to access your form at a later date. If you go any further then we will be unable to make any changes at the checking stage.

Application fees

Visa applications must be made before your current visa expires at a cost of £475 or £1,085 using the Premium Service.

In addition to the application fee, you will need to pay an immigration health surcharge at point of application. The surcharge was introduced by the UK Government in April 2015 for students and their dependants to contribute towards the cost of providing a National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

The charge has been set at £150 for students and for their dependants (subject to change  late 2018), and will be applied to all applications from inside the UK. The £150 is a pro rata annual fee based on the total number of years that the Student or Student Dependant visa is granted. Part years will be charged at £75 if less than six months, and £150 if between six months and 12 months duration.

Further information can be found on the UKVI website: Immigration health surcharge: information for migrants.

Documentation required

Passport(s) and previous visas

In addition to your current passport, you should also include your previous passport if it contains your current visa. 

BRP Card

A BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) is the format which the Home Office uses to grant visas in the UK. It is the size and shape of a credit card and has your photograph on the front. If your current visa was issued as an extension in the UK then you will one of these and must include it with your application.

Evidence of relationship

Spouse/Partner

If this is your first application as the Tier 4 Dependant of the main applicant, you will need to provide evidence to show that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. You must include the marriage certificate, however there is no set guidance regarding additional evidence. You may wish to consider the following:

  • a covering letter to explain the relationship; how you met, if you've lived together, travelled together, when you got married etc.
  • evidence of trips taken together (hotel bookings, flight bookings)
  • evidence of maintained contact if you have been apart for a while
  • a small selection of photographs provided these are dated

If you already hold a Tier 4 Dependant visa you will need to provide evidence of your address to show that your relationship is subsisting and that you are still living together. This should include a document such as a bank statement or a utility bill.

Child

If this is your first application as the child of the main applicant, you must provide your birth certificate.

If you are a dependent child over the age of 16, you will need to provide two pieces of evidence that confirm your address to show that you are still living with the main applicant. This should include two of the following;

  • bank statement
  • credit card bill
  • driving licence
  • NHS Registration document (if already in the UK)
  • a letter from your current school, college or university confirming your address 

This must be on official headed paper and bearing the official stamp of that organisation. It must have been issued by an authorised official of that organisation. The documents submitted should be from two separate sources and ideally dated no more than a month prior to the date of application.

CAS Letter

If you are applying at the same time as the main applicant then they will be submitting a CAS letter. If you are applying separately then we advise that you also include copies of their CAS letter, passport ID page and current visa with your application.

Evidence of name change

If you have changed your name you are required to provide official evidence of this with your application. The evidence must state your previous name, your new name and the date of change. Typical examples of documents used include deed poll certificates, passports containing both names, and government issued house hold registers.

Police registration certificate

If you were required to register with the police when you came to the UK, you must send a copy of your Police Registration Certificate with your new application. After registration, it is important that you inform the police if you change your address, receive an extension to your visa, move to another institution or are issued with a new passport. It is important that your certificate is up to date when you make your new visa application.

Finance requirements

You are required to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in the UK. The amount needed is known as maintenance and is a maximum of £6120. Maintenance is calculated as £680 for each month that your visa will be issued for, up to a maximum of nine months (any part-month should be rounded up). Please note that is different to how maintenance is calculated for main applicants. 

The calculation will begin on the following date:

  • the date after your current leave expires, if you are already in the UK as a Dependant of a Tier 4 (General) Student and are applying for further leave to remain.
  • the date of your application, if you have a visa in another Dependant category and are now applying for a Tier 4 (General) Dependant visa. 

The end date is the date that your new visa will expire, or 9 months from the start date (whichever is earlier)

Please be careful when calculating the additional period of time that you will receive at the end of the visa, which may differ depending on the length of the main applicant's course. In a number of cases a main applicant will need to show a lower level of maintenance than their dependants, so it is important that this is calculated correctly. If you require help in calculating the amount required, please contact ISAO@hw.ac.uk.

The total maintenance must be held as a minimum balance in the account for at least 28 days without dipping below the required amount. Required funds must remain in your bank account until the date of application.

APPLICABLE TO DOCTORATE EXTENSION SCHEME APPLICANTS ONLY

If you are applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme the maintenance requirement is reduced to £1360 if; the main applicant currently has valid immigration permission as a Tier 4 (General) student or a student under the immigration rules in place before 31 March 2009, AND they have finished a single course that lasted six months or more during this immigration permission. If you are unsure about what level of maintenance you should show, please contact ISAO at isao@hw.ac.uk.

Finance documents

Evidence must be in the form of cash funds. Other accounts or financial instruments such as shares, bonds, pension funds etc, regardless of notice period are not acceptable. More than one bank statement can be used, however they must be personal bank accounts, and show the same date range.

We do not recommend the use of Personal Certificates of Deposit

These documents do not show the transaction details of the account and it is therefore impossible to determine if the funds have remained for the required period. They often have a maturity date, which means that you do not have instant access to these funds as required, and in addition, they usually have a disclaimer on the back saying they cannot be used as a financial guarantee.

Personal UK bank account

We recommend that you use a UK bank account that is in your own name or that of the main applicant and that it contains the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your account number
  • The date of the statement (must be produced less than 31 days before your application is made)
  • The bank's name and logo
  • The amount of money available in your account
  • Stamp on every page unless the statement has been posted to you

Personal foreign bank account

A personal foreign bank account can be in your own name or that of the main applicant and it should contain the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your account number
  • The date of the statement (must be produced less than 31 days before your application is made)
  • The bank's name and logo
  • The amount of money available in your account
  • Stamp on every page unless the statement has been posted to you

In addition to the information above, the balance of your account should be shown in British Pounds (GBP). Your currency must be converted into pounds using the exchange rate found on the OANDA website. This conversion should be handwritten on the bottom of your bank statement along with the date you converted it.

Not all banks are accepted by the Home Office and it is therefore important you check their website before submitting your application. This affects the following countries: Cameroon, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Ghana, Bangladesh, Iran and Sri Lanka.

Please refer to Appendix P of the Immigration Rules for further information.

Official financial sponsorship

If the main applicant is receiving an official financial sponsorship that also covers you, then you will need to provide a letter from the sponsor. This must be written on their official letter-headed stationery and be stamped with the official stamp of the organisation. The letter must be dated (we would recommend your letter be no more than three months old) and include:

  • The names of all persons covered by the sponsorship
  • The name and contact details of your official financial sponsor
  • The length of time your sponsorship covers
  • The amount of money they will pay towards your monthly living costs. Alternatively, your sponsor should state on the letter that they will cover all living costs.

If your sponsor has indicated that you are due to return to your Home Country by a certain date, this may reduce the duration of your visa to below that which you would normally expect.

Partial Sponsorships

If the scholarship only provides some of the finances required, or only covers some of the required maintenance period you will be required to provide additional evidence of having the required funds available, such as a personal bank statement. Please discuss with ISA if you are unsure about this. 

Previous Financial Sponsor

If you are no longer receiving funding in the UK, but have done so in the last 12 months, your financial sponsor must still include a statement giving their consent to you remaining in the UK. If they do not give this permission then your application will be refused.

Other acceptable finance documents

There are a number of other documents that the Home Office will accept as proof of funds. For a full list, or for further information on any of the methods mentioned above, please visit the Home Office website.

Translated documents

All documents that are not in English will require official translations containing the following:

  • Confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • Details of the translator or translation company's qualifications and/or accreditations
  • The translator or translation company's contact details
  • The date of translation
  • The original signature of the translator or an authorised official of the translation company

You can use any official translator, however we have recommended a few below that you may wish to contact:

Alpha Translations, 18 Haddington Place, Edinburgh
+44 (0) 131 558 9003
alphatrans.co.uk

Global Language Services, Belgrave Business Centre, 45 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EP

+44 (0) 131 220 0115

globallanguageservices.co.uk/location/edinburgh/

After submission

Current Process - optional from 05 November

When you have paid the application fee online, you will generate a letter informing you about enrolling your biometric details. You will have 15 days from the date of application to give a fingerprint scan and a digital facial photograph at a participating Post Office. The closest one to our Edinburgh Campus is in Princes Mall Shopping Centre on Princes Street. Unfortunately there are no participating branches in Galashiels, so students from our Scottish Borders Campus should also use this branch.  Within the same timescale, all application documents must be posted to the UKVI. 

Once your visa application has been considered by a caseworker, the Home Office will write to you (or the main applicant) notifying you of their decision (this is likely to be by e-mail). If the visa has been granted, you will be sent your visa and suppirting documents in separate envelopes 7-10 working days after you receive the decision.

New Process - Mandatory from 29 November

The application fee and biometric enrolment fee will be combined and paid at the end of the online application form. You will book an appointment for all applicants at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service Centre (The closest one to Heriot Watt University will be in Glasgow).  

During the appointment, your biometric information will be taken and you will upload your supporting documents (if you haven't already done so). You will retain your original documents but must not travel throughout the application process

Once your visa application has been considered by a caseworker, the Home Office will write to you notifying you of their decision (this is likely to be by e-mail). If the visa has been granted, you will be sent your visa 7-10 working days after you receive the decision.