Tier 2 Dependent UK Visa

Tier 2 Dependent UK Visa

The Tier 2 Dependent Visa is issued to the spouse, child or family member of a Tier 2 visa holder. If you want to know more about the application process, who qualifies for the Tier 2 Dependent visa, how to apply, what are the requirements such as biometric information, required documents and more… Read on!

What is the Tier 2 Dependent Visa?

A Tier 2 Dependent Visa is for partners and children who accompany or join their family members in the UK who are applying for or already have a Tier 2 visa. A Tier 2 Visa is a visa that falls under the Points Based System (PBS) and is issued for nationals who want to come and work in the UK but live outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Going abroad and need a visa? Check out our other articles for more guidance:

Who qualifies as a Tier 2 Dependent?

If a person is a UK Tier 2 Visa holder or applies for a Tier 2 visa, then they are allowed to bring their dependents to the United Kingdom, such as:

  • spouses,
  • unmarried or same-sex partners,
  • children aged under 18 at the time of application,
  • children over 18, if they’re currently in the UK as a dependent.

Can I apply for a Tier 2 Dependent UK Visa? 

If you find yourself in one of the following categories, you can apply for a Tier 2 Dependent Visa:

  • Tier 2 General – for the highly skilled workers with a job offer in a shortage profession in the UK.
  • Tier 2 Sportsperson – for sportspeople or sport coaches with a job offer in the sports sector for a position benefiting the overall advancement of the UK sport.
  • Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer – For the foreign workers or graduate trainees of a multinational company in a foreign country, with a job offer in a UK branch of the same company.
  • Tier 2 Minister of Religion – for the religious workers with a job offer in a religious post in a faith community in the UK.

How to apply for a Tier 2 Dependent visa?

Depending on whether you are in the UK at the time of application, or outside the UK, Tier 2 Visa holders’ dependents will have to follow a UK visa application process that differs from the other.

Dependents applying from outside the UK

When applying from outside of the UK you have to apply online as well as give biometric information at the visa application centre as part of the application process. If they have been granted a visa, they will need to collect the Biometric Residence Permit within 30 days of their arrival in the UK.

Dependants applying in the UK on their own

Only the spouse or children of a Tier 2 Visa holder are allowed to apply online. If the applicant needs an answer for a shorter period they can always use a priority service, or get a decision on the day of their application at a premium service centre. But for such services, it is required to pay extra fees. The dependents will also have to give their biometrics, fingerprints and photo, at a certain Post Office branch if they applied online, for which a fee of £19.20 has to be paid. This can also be done at a premium service centre if they applied in person.

Can I switch to a Tier 2 Dependent Visa?

If the dependent is already in the UK on another type of visa this allows them to switch to Tier 2 Dependant Visa without having to go back to their country. However, it is important to know that one cannot switch from any type of visitor visa to another type of visa. The UK visa that the dependent is currently holding when applying to switch to Tier 2 Dependant Visa must be some type of working or studying visa, etc.

Required Documents for a Tier 2 Dependent visa

While applying to get to the United Kingdom as the dependent of a Tier 2 Visa, its holder must submit the following documents during their interview:

  • Appointment sheet.
  • Valid passport for 6 months beyond the planned stay, with at least one blank page to be able to affix visa.
  • Application form (in some places only available online application, check that with the UK embassy in your home country).
  • One photograph in colour and size of 45mm high by 35mm wide, taken within the last month. If you want to have the perfect and 100% correct biometric photo as well as save time and money, use our UK Visa Photo Tool.
  • Original birth certificate or marriage certificate (must show the dependent’s relationship to the Tier 2 work visa holder).
  • Previous passports (if you had one).
  • Official translations of every document that is not in English.
  • Tuberculosis screening (if you are from a country from which nationals are required to take a tuberculosis screening).

Before starting to gather the required documents, ask the embassy in your country for a checklist, just to make sure if you submitted all documents correctly. Bear in mind that your documents, including your passport, will remain at the embassy/consulate, during the time your application is being reviewed.

Who can obtain a Tier 2 Dependent Visa?

To be able to bring people with you to the UK, there are a few requirements that the Tier 2 Visa holder must fulfil. Except for the above requirements, the dependents have to meet the specifications below:

  • Ability to pass the general grounds for refusal of a UK visa.
  • You must not intend to remain in the UK when your parent’s visa expires.
  • Capacity to qualify as a family member of a Tier 2 migrant – you have to be a family member of a person who applies along with you or already holds a Tier 2 visa. This means:
    • You’re their partner and they already hold an ILR or British citizenship after having held LR in Tier 2 visa category.
    • You’re their child and they already hold an ILR or British citizenship after having held an LR in Tier 2 visa category.
  • Lawful immigration evidence – you must not have entered or stayed in the UK illegally, i.e. without a visa, or have a history of overstaying. This is important when applying for an extension or settlement permit.
  • Capability to qualify as a partner of a Tier 2 migrant (If you’re applying for a Tier 2 Partner Visa).
  • Age requirement – you and your partner must be at least 18 when you arrive in the UK or when getting the visa.
  • Financial proof – you must have enough money to cover your subsistence costs.
  • Your partner’s immigration status – your partner has to be in any of these situations:
    • Holding a valid Tier 2 visa.
    • Applying with you for a Tier 2 visa as the main applicant.
    • When you apply for a Tier 2 Dependent Visa extension, your partner must be holding a valid ILR in Tier 2 visa category, or British citizenship, after having held an LR in Tier 2 visa category.
  • Genuine relationship evidence – the relationship between you and your partner should be genuine and you must plan to live together for the entire period of stay in the UK. 
  • Married/civil partner key requirements – you must not be in a polygamous marriage/civil partnership with your partner.
  • Unmarried/same-sex relationship key requirements – you and your partner should have been in a relationship same as marriage/civil partnership for at least 2 continual years.
  • Immigration status requirement – you can’t be a previous holder of the following visas:
    • UK visitor visa.
    • Short-term study visa on or after April 2015.
    • Parent of Tier 4 (child) student on or after April 2015.

Tier 2 Children Dependents

When it comes to bringing children to the UK under the Tier 2 Dependent Visa, things are a bit more complicated. The process of the application for children depends on the relationship of their parents. That is why, for a child to qualify for a dependent visa, he or she must meet one of the following:

  • Both parents are in the UK (one of them or both under the Tier 2 Visa), while the underage child is applying to join them from abroad as a dependent
  • The whole family apply for UK visas at the same time (one parent is applying as under the Tier 1 visa, while his/her spouse and children as their dependent)
  • One parent is in the UK, while the other is applying together with the child to join as a dependent from abroad

However, exempt from meeting one of the above rules are the families with one of the following cases:

  • When only one parent is alive
  • When one parent holds the sole responsibility for the child
  • When there are serious or compelling considerations that must be taken into account
  • In either case, documents must be submitted when applying to prove that the applicant is in one of the above-mentioned situations.

Can I work under the Tier 2 Dependent Visa?

If you come to the UK and you have the required age which permits you to work, then you are allowed to take a job according to your qualifications. The only exception is that Tier 2 Dependents are not allowed to work as a doctor in training. 

Also, if you come to the UK as a Tier 2 Spouse Dependent then you are not allowed to switch your visa to a Tier 2 Visa once in the UK, even if you find a job that requires highly skilled persons. You will have to return to your home country and apply from there to be able to obtain a Tier 2 Visa.

Tier 2 Dependent Visa Extension

Every person remaining in the UK as a dependent of a Tier 2 Visa holder, has the right to apply to extend their stay in the UK. The applicant and the Tier 2 visa holder needs to meet the requirements.. You cannot extend your visa if the main Tier 2 Migrant decides to leave the UK when their visa period ends.

Tier 2 Visa Proof of enough funds

You need to show proof that you have an extra £630 available for each dependent that you plan to bring to the UK. If you present a bank statement, the money must have been in your bank account or your dependent’s bank account, for longer than 90 days before the application date. You will not need to show proof of your savings only in case you have a fully approved (A-rated) sponsor or you possess a certificate of sponsorship that states your sponsor will provide each of your dependents with at least £630 per month if they need it.

Tier 2 Dependent UK Visa Activities

These are the main activities you’re allowed to do in the UK as a Tier 2 Dependent:

  • Stay in the UK for as long as the main Tier 2 Migrant legally lives in the UK.
  • Travel outside the UK.
  • Work under some restrictions.
  • Study under certain conditions.
  • Take a postgraduate course.
  • Get married/enter into a civil partnership.
  • Extend the visa.

Tier 2 Dependent UK Visa Forbidden Activities

These are the activities that you are not allowed to perform in the UK as a Tier 2 Dependent:

  • Use the public funds and benefits.
  • Work as a dentist or doctor in training or as a sportsperson.
  • Study in a restricted study field.

Can a Tier 2 Dependent Study in the UK?

As a Tier 2 Dependent, you can study under certain restrictions. This includes being at least 18 of age to be able to study and most likely getting an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate.

Tier 2 Dependent UK Visa

Can a Tier 2 Dependent Visa Holder Apply for Settlement Permit?

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after having lived in the UK for 2 continuous years (if the initial application was made before July 9, 2012) or 5 continuous years (on, or after such date). This applies if the person on whom your stay in the UK relies qualifies for a settlement permit, or has already been settled permanently.

Requirements to Apply for a Settlement Permit as a Tier 2 Dependent

  • Evidence of possessing a valid Tier 2 Dependent Visa.
  • Evidence for having been in the UK for 2 or 5 continuous years.
  • Proof of absences you have made from the UK during the qualifying period of residence.
  • Proof that your parent/partner has a valid Tier 2 visa. Or, they are settled or have become British citizens.

How to take the right photo for a UK Visa?

UK Visas require a photograph, for the application process for Dependents, it is a biometric photo. We are here to help you speed up your process by taking the correct photo at home using our online photo tool

You can download our Photo Mobile App in the AppStore/GooglePlay or use our website Passport Photo Online.

All you have to do is:

  1. Take a photo of yourself with your smartphone.
  2. Upload it to our app after choosing the type of document you are applying for (e.g. UK Visa).
  3. Let the photo tool do the rest! It will change the background, resize the picture and verify if it meets the competent authorities requirements. 


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