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Tier 2 Dependent Visa

The Tier 2 Dependent visa allows family members of those already in the UK on an eligible work visa (previously Tier 2 visa) to come and join them.

For more information about the Tier 2 Dependant visa, including how you could become eligible for it and for help when submitting your application, reach out to one of our immigration advisers today on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.

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    Overview of the Tier 2 Dependent Visa

    The Tier 2 Dependent visa is a visa that allows certain dependent family members of Tier 2 visa holders to travel to the UK and join them.

    This visa route is also available to those who hold settled status through indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship and previously held a Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa.

    Note that UK Tier 2 visas are now closed for new applicants and have been replaced by the Skilled Worker visa and the Health & Care Worker visa. Because of this, the Tier 2 Dependent visa is also known by the following names:

    • Dependent visa
    • Tier 2 Spouse visa
    • Skilled Worker Dependent visa
    • Health & Care Worker Dependent visa

    However, the requirements for all of these visas are all broadly the same.

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    What Are the Eligibility Requirements for a Tier 2 Dependent Visa?

    In order to be eligible for a Tier 2 Dependent Visa, you and your family members must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

    • Your spouse, partner or parent must be in the UK on a valid, eligible Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa, or have indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship and previously have held a Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa
    • You must be one of the eligible family members as listed in the Tier 2 Dependent visa requirements
    • You will have to pass the general UK grounds for admission, including having a clear immigration history with no immigration violations or transgressions
    • You must not intend to stay in the UK when and if your own UK visa expires
    • If you are applying to join your partner or spouse in the UK:
      • You both must be over 18 at the time of application
      • You must be in a marriage or civil partnership legally recognised in the UK
      • If not in a marriage or civil partnership, you must have been living for at least 2 years together prior to the date of application
      • You must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship and intend to live together for the duration of your visa stays
    • Children over 16 must be financially dependent on you or your spouse or partner
    • You must meet the minimum financial requirements
    • You must not have held any of the previous visas:

    Which Visas Are Eligible for Dependents?

    As previously mentioned, UK Tier 2 visas are closed to new applicants and have been replaced by a new set of visas.

    However, people still in the UK on these old Tier 2 visas are still eligible to bring their dependents to the UK. These include the following visas:

    Foreign nationals who have entered the UK on one of the new replacement visas are also eligible to bring their dependent family members. These include:

    • Skilled Worker visa
    • Health & Care Worker visa

    Which Dependent Family Members are Eligible?

    An eligible Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa holder may bring the following family members to the UK to join them:

    • Spouse or civil partner
    • Unmarried partners (must have been together for at least 2 years)
    • Children aged under 18 at the time of application (including those born in the UK during period of visa validity)
    • Children over 18 (only if currently in the UK as the main visa holder’s dependant)

    Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa holders must provide proof that the relationship with their family members is genuine as part of their application.

    How Can I Satisfy the Genuine Relationship Requirement?

    In order for you to come to the UK on a Tier 2 Dependent visa, you must provide proof of your relationship in order to satisfy the Home Office that your relationship is genuine.

    For example, this may take the form of a valid marriage or civil partnership certificate if you wish to bring your partner or spouse to the UK. Marriages and civil partnerships must be legally recognised in the UK for you to be eligible for this visa.

    For unmarried partners, you must provide compelling proof that you have been in a relationship with your partner for at least 2 years. This may be in the form of documents such as tenancy agreements, or shared utility bills.

    If the Tier 2 Dependent visa is for a child under the age of 18, proof must be provided that the child is dependent on either you or your partner or spouse. This is to satisfy the rule that only dependent family members can be eligible for this visa.

    In addition, proof must be provided to show that the child is not married or in a civil partnership, does not have children of their own and they live (or will live) with you full-time, unless they live away from home as part of their education.

    What Are the Financial Requirements?

    Tier 2 Dependent visa holders have no recourse to public funds in the UK, which means that they cannot claim any benefits.

    As a result, you will need to provide adequate proof that your family member in the UK will be able to financially support you throughout your stay when you come to the UK (or that you  have access to such funds).

    The minimum financial requirements are as follows:

    • £285 for a partner
    • £315 for one child
    • £200 for each additional child

    You or your family member will need to demonstrate that you have had these funds available to you for 28 of the 31 days prior to the date of application for the visa. You may do this by providing a recent, up-to-date copy of your bank account statement.

    Note that you won’t need to provide proof that you meet the financial requirements if either of the following apply:

    • You (the dependent family member) and your family member have been in the UK on a valid visa for 12 months already, or
    • You family member’s employer can cover your costs for your first month in the UK
      • This must be stated on the certificate of sponsorship you received from your family member’s employer when they first applied for their initial Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa

    Get in touch with our immigration experts for assistance with your Tier 2 Dependent visa application today. Contact Us

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      What Are the Requirements For Dependent Children?

      There are a different set of rules and guidelines for dependent children, most of which are reliant on your own personal circumstances and family setup.

      In order to qualify as a dependent child for a Tier 2 Dependent visa, one of the following must apply:

      • The entire family is applying to the Home Office for visas, such as one parent for a Skilled Worker visa (or equivalent) and the rest as dependents
      • Both parents are in the UK, with one or both of them under an eligible Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa and the child is applying to join them as a dependent from abroad
      • One parent is in the UK under an eligible Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa, while the other is applying together with the child from abroad to join as a dependent

      However, note that exemptions may apply to the above if any of the following apply:

      • Only one parent is alive
      • Only one parent holds sole responsibility for the child
      • There are serious, compassionate or compelling considerations that need to be considered

      If any of these circumstances apply, you will have to supply additional documentation or proof with your application in order to prove that these apply to you.

      Note that if the child applying lives with the Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa holder, they will have to provide evidence of the child’s address through documents such as a bank statement, driving licence, NHS registration document or an official letter from their university or college.

      How Do I Apply for a Tier 2 Dependent Visa?

      How to Apply From Outside the UK

      You must apply for a Tier 2 Dependent visa online through the Gov.uk website.

      To apply for this visa, you will need your family member’s application number for their Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa. This will be in the form of either a Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN).

      You will need to ensure that you fill in the online application for the visa as accurately as possible. You will also need to upload a range of supporting documents in order to support your application, such as those that prove that the relationship between you and your family member is genuine.

      You may also be required to attend a local UK visa application centre in order to give your biometrics information.

      Note that the local visa application centre may retain your identity documents such as your passport while processing your application.

      You should receive a decision on your application within around 3 weeks, though this may vary depending on the volume of applications the centre has received at the time, and how busy they are.

      How to Apply From Inside the UK

      You must apply for a Tier 2 Dependent visa online through the Gov.uk website.

      If you’re already in the UK, you may be able to switch to a Tier 2 Dependent visa from your current visa, as long as you successfully apply and switch before your current visa expires.

      However, note that you will not be able to switch to this visa if you’re currently in the UK on under any of the following:

      • A Visitor visa
      • A Short-term Study visa
      • A Parent of a Child Student visa
      • A Seasonal Worker visa
      • An Overseas Domestic Worker visa
      • On immigration bail
      • Permission to stay outside the immigration rules, such as on special compelling or compassionate grounds

      To apply for this visa, you will need your family member’s application number for their Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa. This will be in the form of either a Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN).

      You will need to ensure that you fill in the online application for the visa as accurately as possible. You will also need to upload a range of supporting documents in order to support your application, such as those that prove that the relationship between you and your family member is genuine.

      You may also be required to attend a local UK visa application centre in order to give your biometrics information.

      Note that you will not be able to leave the UK while your application is being processed. If you do leave before receiving a decision, your application will be withdrawn.

      You should receive a decision on your application within around 8 weeks, though this may vary depending on how busy the UK Visas and Immigration service is.

      What Can I Do With a Tier 2 Dependent Visa?

      You will be able to do the following with a Tier 2 Dependent visa:

      • Stay in the UK for the same period of time as your family member’s own Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa
      • Work, with some specific exceptions
      • Study or take a postgraduate course, with some exceptions
      • Extend your visa along with your family member’s Tier 2 (or equivalent) visa, as long as they also continue to meet eligibility requirements
      • Apply for indefinite leave to remain if you’ve been in the UK for at least 5 years and your family member also qualifies, or has previously successfully applied for settlement

      You will not be able to do the following:

      • Claim benefits or access public funds
      • Work as any of the following:
        • A doctor or dentist in training
        • A professional sportsperson
        • A professional sports coach

      How Can IAS Help?

      Travelling to the UK to join your spouse, partner or parent in the UK under a Tier 2 Dependent visa is a popular choice for many visa applicants.

      If you have a family member who is currently in the UK on an eligible work visa and you would like to travel to join them, IAS can help.

      We are expert, professional and experienced immigration lawyers with a long and prestigious record of helping visa applicants like yourself successfully apply for UK visas. We offer a full and comprehensive service that can help maximise your success in obtaining a visa to join your family in the UK.

      We can assist you in filling out the application form and ensuring that all entries are completed as accurately and fully as possible. We can also help assemble your supporting documents to put forward the most compelling and persuasive case for visa approval as possible, as well as helping you throughout the relocation process after your visa is approved.

      For more information about the services we offer, and what we can do for you, reach out to us today to learn more. Call us on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Dependent visa holders will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after spending 5 years on a Tier 2 Dependent visa.

                Note that in order to be eligible, your family member must also either:

                • Qualify to apply for ILR after spending 5 years in the UK on their visa
                • Have previously successfully applied for ILR after spending 5 years in the UK on their visa

                You must also fulfil all of the other eligibility requirements for ILR.

                For more information, see our dedicated page on indefinite leave to remain.

                You will be able to stay in the UK for as long as your family member’s current visa is valid.

                For example, if your family member’s visa has 3 years and 6 months’ worth of leave remaining at the time of your application, your Tier 2 Dependent visa will also be valid for 3 years and 6 months.

                You will be able to extend your Tier 2 Dependent visa along with your family member and their own visa as long as you still continue to meet the requirements for your respective visas.

                UK Visas and Immigration offer a priority service and a super-priority service for their visa applications, which you may be able to use during the application process.

                Take note that these will incur an additional fee of either £500 or £800, depending on which one you choose.