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How to Immigrate to the UK as a Family or Student

Immigrating to the UK as a family or student is a vital life decision with many challenges and opportunities. Understanding everything you need to make this move is important and might help streamline the process.

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Immigrate to the UK as a family or student
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Would you like to learn how to immigrate to the UK either as a family or student? If your answer is yes, then we’ve got the best solution for you.

The United Kingdom (UK) is one of the best places to raise a family or acquire a degree due to its rich cultural atmosphere, world-class educational institutions, and diverse economic opportunities.

However, navigating the immigration process can be a daunting task, especially for those emigrating from developing countries or having issues accessing the right information.

This article provides a detailed guide on what is required and the processes involved in immigrating to the UK as a family or student.

How Can You Immigrate to the UK with Your Family?

There’s no set visa that allows you to immigrate to the UK with your family. However, you can achieve this purpose through various means. 

First, you must secure entry clearance to the UK through a work visa, student visa, family visa, asylum and protection visa, etc. 

Once you have entry clearance to the UK, your family members can apply as dependents. A dependent can be a partner, a child under 18, or a child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependent.

Also Read: Canada or the United Kingdom: Which Country Should You Consider Moving to and Why?

Family Immigration to the UK

It’s a difficult situation when you have to live away from your partner or family for a long time. That’s why the UK government developed different family immigration programs to allow people to immigrate with their dependents or reunite with their family members who are British citizens or settled persons.

To enter the UK with a family member, a UK family-based visa is essential. To be eligible for this visa, you or your dependents must be in one of these categories:

  • A spouse, partner, or close relative of a British citizen or settled person
  • A dependent spouse, partner, or close relative of a person who has valid entry clearance in the UK
  • The grandchild of a person who was born in the UK (a British citizen by birth)
  • The family member of a person based in the UK.

With either of these categories, you or your family member can acquire entry clearance to the UK, and the others will tag along as dependents. 

Here are the different types of visas you can choose from based on your relationship with a family member in the UK (your sponsor):

  • Spouse and partner visas
  • Ancestry Visa
  • Dependent Children visa
  • Dependent Adults visa
  • Family Visit Visas
  • EEA Family Permits and the EEA Settlement Scheme Family Permits.

Spouse and Partner Visas

Spouse and partner visas allow married and unmarried people to join their partners in the UK. These visas are categorized into:

  • UK Fiancé Visas/Proposed Civil Partner Visas: This is for those who are engaged but have yet to get married. You can join your proposed partner in the UK and possibly get married there.
  • Spouse Visas: For people married to a British citizen or someone with settled status.
  • Civil Partnership Visas: For civil partners of a British citizen or settled person.
  • Unmarried Partner Visas: For long-term unmarried partners to a British citizen or settled person.

Knowing the category you fall under makes it easier to apply for the right visa to the UK.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a spouse or partner visa, you must be:

  • A spouse, fiancé, civil or unmarried partner of a British citizen or settled person
  • A dependent spouse, fiancé, civil partner, or unmarried partner of a person who has valid entry clearance in the UK.

Also Read: The Most Profitable Small Business Opportunities for Immigrants in the UK

Documentation required for UK Partner or Spouse Visas

The UK government requires you to prove your relationship with your partner. This helps them prevent fraudulent people from moving to the UK under the guise of partnership.

To prove this, you need some of the following documents:

  • Phone logs, emails, chat logs, texts, or any other evidence of conversions you’ve had with your partner
  • Photographs of you together
  • Tickets from events you attended together
  • Bank statements from a joint account
  • Tickets from travels you made together or to visit each other
  • Receipts of gifts you’ve bought each other.
  • Any other documents that prove you’re partners, whether civil, proposed, unmarried, or married.

UK Spouse or Partner Visa Costs

According to the UK government, the cost of a family visa application is

  • £1,846 if you’re applying from outside the UK
  • £1,048 if you’re applying from inside the UK.

For every dependent added to the application, you’d pay £1,846 (outside the UK) or £1.048 (inside the UK).

Other fees you’d be required to pay include:

Healthcare surcharge

For each adult above 18 years of age, it costs:

  • £1,560 if you’re staying for 2 years and 6 months
  • £1,872 if you’re staying for 2 years and 9 months
  • £3120 if you’re staying for over 5 years.

For each child under the age of 18, it costs:

  • £1,175 if they’re staying for 2 years and 6 months
  • £1,410 if they’re staying for 2 years and 9 months.
  • £2,350 if they’re staying for over 5 years.

Ancestry Visa

An ancestry visa is a visa for people who have or had a grandparent who was a British citizen by birth. This visa only allows you to stay in the UK for five years. However, you can use this period to make up for the required timeframe for the Indefinite Leave to Remain (IRL) status.

Also Read: How to Raise Tuition Fast as a U.S. or UK College Student

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for the Ancestry visa, you must:

  • Be a Commonwealth citizen
  • Prove that your relationship with your UK grandparent is real
  • Plan to work once in the UK
  • Apply from outside the UK
  • Be over the age of 17

Documentation required for the Ancestry visa

The documents required for the UK ancestry visa are:

  • A current passport
  • Bank statements proving you have enough money to support yourself in the UK
  • Birth certificate
  • The birth certificate of the parent or grandparent your ancestry claim is based on
  • The marriage certificate of your grandparents (provided only if they were married)
  • Evidence that you plan to work in the UK, such as a job offer or a business plan if you’re self-employed.

UK Ancestry Visa Costs

The application fee for the UK ancestry visa is £637

Other costs, such as healthcare surcharges, also apply here.

Dependent Children visa

Your UK visa doesn’t cover your dependent child. You’d need to make separate applications for them if you want to take them with you to the UK.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Dependent Children visa, you must:

  • Have or apply for entry clearance under the Tier 1 Skilled Worker, Student, or Temporary Work visa categories.
  • Prove you have enough money to support each dependent child without seeking public funds.

Note that a dependent child is:

  • A child under the age of 18
  • A child over 18 if they currently stay in the UK as your dependent.

Documentation required for the UK Dependent Children Visa

The documents you need to take a dependent child along with you to the UK are:

  • The dependent’s passport
  • A photograph taken at a visa application centre.
  • Original birth certificates
  • Proof of income

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Business as a College Student

UK Dependent Children Visa Cost

The UK Dependent Children Visa costs £1,538 and £1,048 for applications made outside and in the UK, respectively, for each dependent child

Other fees involved are:

Health surcharge fees

For each child under the age of 18, it costs:

  • £1,175 if they’re staying for 2 years and 6 months
  • £1,410 if they’re staying for 2 years and 9 months.
  • £2,350 if they’re staying for over 5 years.

Dependent Adults visa

The UK Dependent Adult Visa is a visa that helps you bring an adult relative who needs care to join you in the UK. This visa is a permanent route to residing in the UK, as the holder doesn’t need to extend their visa or apply for settled status. This makes it one of the most competitive and complex routes to the UK.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify to immigrate to the UK through this route, one must:

  • Be an adult above 18 years of age
  • Need special care and assistance to complete everyday tasks due to illness, age, or disability
  • Lack of access to effective care in the country they live in
  • Have a relative who has enough money to support them without sourcing public funds for at least five years from when they arrived in the UK

Documents required for the UK Dependent adult visa

These are the documents you or your dependent adult relative would provide to be considered for this visa:

  • Medical evidence proving their need for special care
  • Evidence that this care can’t be accessed in their current country of residence
  • Evidence that you, as the sponsor, can provide the needed care and support
  • Proof that you, as the sponsor, are a British citizen or possess settled status.

Also Read: 10 Highest Paying Menial Jobs You Can Get with No Degrees in Canada

 UK Dependent Adult Visa Cost

The application cost for the UK dependent visa is £1048 and £3250 for those applying from the UK and outside the UK, respectively.

Additional costs, such as the healthcare surcharge, may also apply. For each adult above 18 years of age, it costs:

  • £1,560 if they’re staying for 2 years and 6 months.
  • £1,872 if they’re staying for 2 years and 9 months.
  • £3120 if they’re staying for more than 5 years.

Family Visit Visas

The UK family visit visa allows you to visit a relative for a short time, not exceeding 6 months. This visa doesn’t permit you to work or conduct business in the UK, and once it expires, you’re expected to return to your country immediately.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this visa, you must:

  • Prove the relationship between you and your sponsor
  • Prove that you can take care of yourself financially in the UK

Documents required for the UK family visit visa are:

  • A valid passport
  • Bank statements or other documents that can prove you have the capacity to provide your needs in the UK
  • Documents proving you have a reason to return to your country once the visa expires

UK Family Visit Visa Cost

The cost of the UK family visit visa depends on the duration of your stay. Here’s a breakdown of the cost:

Visa TypeLength of StayFee
Standard visitor visa6 months£115
Standard visitor visa for medical reasons11 months£200
Standard visitor visa for academics12 months£200
2-year long standard visitor visa6 months maximum per visit£400
5-year long standard visitor visa6 months maximum per visit£771
10-year long standard visitor visa6 months maximum per visit£963

EEA Family Permits and the EEA Settlement Scheme Family Permits

If you’re not a national of a European Economic Area (EEA) but are related to one, either by nuclear or extended family relationship, the EEA family permit allows you to visit the UK for up to 6 months. While the permit is valid, you can work, study, travel home, and return to the UK.

The EEA Settlement Scheme Family Permit, on the other hand, gives you the same access as an EEA family permit. However, you must be a close family member, such as a brother, sister, mother, father, daughter, or son, to your EEA family member living in the UK.

Also Read: A Guide on How to Immigrate to Canada as a Family or Student

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the EEA family permit, you must:

  • Be a non-EEA national
  • Be a brother, sister, mother, father, daughter, son, uncle, aunt, cousin, nephew, or niece to an EEA national living in the UK

To be eligible for the EEA Settlement Scheme Family Permit, you must be:

  • A non-EEA national
  • A brother, sister, father, mother, daughter, or son of an EEA national living in the UK.

Documents required for UK EEA Family Permit

Here are the documents you need to immigrate to the UK on an EEA family permit:

  • A valid passport
  • Proof of your relationship with EEA family relative
  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in the UK.

EEA Family Permit Cost

The EEA family permit and the EEA Settlement Scheme family permit are free.

Student Immigration to the UK

The UK is one of the best study destinations for people worldwide. This is because of its high-quality educational standards, as exemplified in its world-class educational institutions, such as the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, King’s College London, and many others.

Immigrating to the UK as a student is another way to access entry clearance. However, the new policy emanating from the Home Office is that family members of foreigners can no longer tag along as dependents. But there’s an exception. Only foreign students in postgraduate research or government-sponsored scholarships could bring their dependants through the study visas.

To study in the UK, you need a visa that suits your needs. Here are the three options made available by the UK government:

  • The UK Student Visa
  • The Short-Term Study Visa
  • The Child Student Visa

Let’s look at what you need to travel to the UK with any of these visas.

The UK Student Visa

Formerly known as the Tier 4 Visa, the UK Student Visa is a visa that allows international students to stay in the UK throughout their studies.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the UK Student Visa, you must:

  • Be 16 years or older
  • Have an admission offer to study a course from a registered UK educational institution
  • Prove you have enough money to support yourself through school
  • Be able to speak, read, write, and understand English
  • Have consent from your parents if you’re under 18 years of age.

Note: If you’re applying from outside the UK, the earliest you can apply for a visa is 6 months before the start of your course. However, if you’re applying from inside the UK, the earliest you can send in your application is 3 months before the start of your course.

Documents required for the UK Student Visa

The documents you must provide when applying for the UK Student Visa are:

  • A valid passport or other valid travel documentation
  • A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider
  • Proof of funds
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if required)
  • A valid ATAS certificate if your course or nationality requires it
  • Proof of consent from your parents or guardian if you’re under 18
  • Proof of your relationship with your parents or guardian if you’re under 18
  • Your recent tuberculosis test results

UK Student Visa Costs

The cost of the UK Student Visa is:

  • £490 if you’re applying from outside the UK
  • £490 if you’re extending or switching to a student visa from inside the UK.

This fee must be paid for every dependent joining you in the UK.

Short-Term Study Visa

The UK Short-Term Study Visa is for students looking to study English in the UK for six to eleven months.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for this visa, you must:

  • Be 16 years or older
  • Be accepted by an accredited institution to study only English language for a period between six and eleven months
  • Have enough money to support yourself without working or getting help from public funds or have relatives or friends that can support and accommodate you through the course duration
  • Be able to pay for your return or onward journey
  • Have your parents or guardian consent to your study in the UK if you’re under 18.

Documents required for the UK Short-Term Study Visa

To apply for the UK short-term study visa, you need the following documents:

  • A valid passport or other valid travel documentation
  • Proof of funds
  • Evidence you’ve paid for your course or have the money to do so
  • Your tuberculosis test result
  • Proof you have an offer to study English language in an accredited UK institution
  • Consent letter from your parents or guardian if you’re under 18
  • Proof that you have somewhere suitable to live during the duration of your course
  • Contact details of at least one parent or guardian in your country if you’re under 18

The UK Short-Term Visa Cost

You need £200 for the Short-Term Study Visa.

Other fees you may pay are:

The healthcare surcharge of £470 allows you to use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.

Also Read: Top 7 Skills That Will Increase Your Job Opportunities in Canada

The Child Student Visa

If you’re between 4 and 17 years old and want to study at an independent school in the UK, the UK Child Student Visa is a reliable route. It was formerly the Tier 4 (child) student visa.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this visa, you must:

  • Have an unconditional offer of a place on a course from an independent school in the UK
  • Prove you have enough funds to support yourself in the UK
  • Have your parents or guardians consent to study in the UK

Documents required for the UK Child Student Visa

Here are the documents you need to apply for the Child Student Visa:

  • A valid passport or other travel documentation
  • A CAS document from your course provider
  • Written consent from your parent or guardian for your study in the UK
  • Proof of funds
  • Proof of your relationship with your parent or guardian
  • Evidence of the qualifications used to secure admission
  • Your tuberculosis test result
  • Written consent for your application from your financial sponsor if you received sponsorship for your course fees and living expenses in the last 12 months.

The Child Student Visa Cost

The cost of the child student visa is:

  • £490 if you’re applying from outside the UK
  • £490 if you’re extending or switching to a child student visa from inside the UK.

Other charges, such as the healthcare surcharge, also apply.

General Steps for Immigrating to the UK

UK Student Visa

Many UK visa applications require different processes. However, here’s a general application process for family and student visas:

Determine the Visa You Need

The first step in immigrating to the UK as a family or student is determining the visa you need. For the family route, there’s the spouse or partner visa, adult dependent visa, child dependent visa, EEA family permit, and more. There’s the student visa, the child student visa, and the short-term study visa for the study route. You also have other routes, such as the work visa, asylum, and protection.

Identify the one best suited to your needs and qualifications, and find out the major requirements.

Also Read: 7 Firefighter Jobs in Canada with Visa Sponsorship

Prepare the Documents You Need

Prepare the documents needed, ensuring you have everything ready before applying.

The documents include your passport, proof of relationship for family visas, proof of funds, and offer letters from an accredited UK institution (for student visas).

Submit an Application

Once all the documents are ready, submit your application through the official UK government website. Ensure to apply through the right link, considering where you’re applying from, whether inside the UK or outside.

Pay the Application Fee

The application fee is required for successful application completion. Ensure to pay the required application fee and any other fees that may be involved.

After completing the payment and submitting all supporting documents, you can attend a biometric appointment.

Arrange a Biometric Appointment

After submitting your application online, you must submit your fingerprints and photos for identity verification.

Book an appointment with a visa application center and ensure the successful capture of your biometrics. This is essential, as your visa won’t be processed if your identity is not verified.

Attend an Interview

Some visas may require an interview. If you’re invited, honor the invitation and honestly answer any questions they may have for you.  

Wait for a Decision

After the interview is done, the next step is to await the decision on your application. This will usually take about 3 weeks if you’re applying from outside the UK or 8 weeks if you’re applying from inside the UK.

Once your visa is approved, you can prepare and travel to the UK on the date assigned.

Can you bring (immigrate) a family member to the UK on a Student Visa?

Yes, you can bring a family member, mostly your partner or children, to the UK on a student visa. However, to do this, you must be:

  • A government-sponsored student starting a 6 months or more course
  • A full-time student on a postgraduate research that lasts 9 months or longer.

If your postgraduate program starts on or after January 1, 2024, then it must be either:

  • A PhD or other doctorate (RQF level 8)
  • A research-based higher degree.

How do you apply to bring dependents to the UK on your student visa?

Your dependent must apply online using the designated link. They’ll need your application number, known as the Global Web Form (GWF) or Unique Application Number (UAN). This number is available on the emails and letters you get from the Home Office during your application.

They must also complete other application processes, such as making the biometric appointment at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services centre and uploading their documents online.

How do we go about applying for a UK visa as a family?

You can apply for a UK visa as a family by going through the dependent visa route. If you have a valid entry clearance to the UK, your partner and children can apply alongside you as your dependents, enabling you to immigrate as a family unit.

While your partner applies for the spouse or partner visa, your child or children will apply for the dependent child visa.

How much does it cost to apply for dependents on a UK student visa?

Each dependent applying to follow you to the UK on a student visa will pay £490 for their visa. They must also pay the healthcare surcharge fee, which is determined during the application process.

Also Read: 10 Remote Jobs That Pay Better Than the Average American Salary

Conclusion

Immigrating to the UK as a family or student is a vital life decision with many challenges and opportunities. Understanding everything you need to make this move is important and might help streamline the process.

Hopefully, this article has given you a detailed rundown of all you need to immigrate to the UK as a family or student.

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Abby Whitmer is just another college student who acquired a student loan, and that’s why she’s so resourceful in life. She also blogs at different sites about money management. To know more about how to start your Trucking Business check MasterDrive.co.nz.

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