Tier 2 Dependent Visa is for the children and the partners accompanying or joining their family members in the UK who are applying for or already hold a Tier 2 visa.
A Tier 2 Visa is a visa that falls under the Points Based System (PBS), established for foreigners living outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, to come and work in the UK.
Applicants that find themselves in one of the following categories 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 Minister of Religion – For the religious workers with a job offer in a religious post in a faith community in the UK.
- Tier 2 Sportsperson – For sportspeople or sport coaches with a job offer in the sport 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.
Who qualifies as a Tier 2 Dependent?
If a person is residing in the UK under the Tier 2 Visa, or applying for a Tier 2 visa, then they are allowed to bring their dependents to the United Kingdom.
There is a narrow list of who qualifies as a Tier 2 dependent, as follows:
- Unmarried or same-sex partner.
- Child aged under 18 at the time of application.
- Child over 18, if they’re currently in the UK as a dependent.
How to apply for a Tier 2 Dependent visa?
Depending on whether they 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 a dependent applies from outside of UK then they must apply online. They should also give their biometrics at the visa application center as part of the application process.
If they are granted with a visa, they will need to collect the Biometric Residence Permit within 30 days of their arrival in the UK.
Dependents applying in the UK on their own
If the dependent is already in the UK in another type of visa, then they can apply to switch to Tier 2 Dependant Visa, without having to go back to their country. However, keep in mind that one cannot switch from any type of visitor visa to another type of visa. The UK visa that the dependant is currently holding when applying to switch to Tier 2 Dependant Visa must be some type of i.e. working visa, studying visa etc.
Only the spouse or children of a Tier 2 Visa holder are allowed to apply online in such case. 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 center. Of course, for such services one will have to pay extra fees.
The dependents will also have to give their biometrics, fingerprints and photo, at a certain Post Office branches if they applied online, for which a fee of £19.20 has to be paid. This can also be done at a premium service center if they applied in person.
Tier 2 Dependent Visa Eligibility Criteria
There are a few requirements that the Tier 2 Visa holder must fulfill in order to be able to bring people with him to the UK. Aside of the dependents belonging to one of the categories listed above, the other requirements are as listed below:
- Ability to pass the general grounds for refusal of a UK visa.
- 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.
- 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 a LR in Tier 2 visa category.
- Lawful immigration requirement. You must not have entered or stayed in the UK illegally, i.e. without a visa, or have a history of overstaying. This is the key requirement when applying for an extension or settlement permit.
- You must not intend to remain in the UK when your partner’s or parent’s visa expires.
- Financial requirement. You must have the needed money to cover your subsistence costs.
- Capability to qualify as a partner of a Tier 2 migrant (If you’re applying for Tier 2 Partner Visa).
- Age requirement. Both, you and your partner must be at least 18 when you arrive to the UK, or when getting the visa.
- 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 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 a British citizenship, after having held an LR in Tier 2 visa category.
- 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 relationship same as marriage/civil partnership for at least 2 continual years.
- Genuine relationship requirement. The relationship between you and your partner should be genuine and you must plan living together for the entire period of stay in the UK. And, you must not be closely related to each other, in such a way that in the UK marrying each other would be considered illegal.
- Immigration status requirement. You must not be a previous holder of the following visas:
- UK visitor visa.
- Short-term study visa on or after April, 2015.
- Parent of a Tier 4 (child) student on or after April, 2015.
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 most 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 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 process for children depends a lot in 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:
- The whole family is applying 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)
- 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
- 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 which must be taken into account
In either case, documents must be submitted when applying in order to prove that the applicant is in one of the above-mentioned situations.
Required Documents for a Tier 2 Dependent visa
A person applying to get to the United Kingdom as the dependent of a Tier 2 Visa holder, must submit the following documents during their interview with the interviewer:
- Appointment sheet. Proving the applicant has appointed a visa interview.
- Passport. Valid for 6 months beyond the planned stay, with at least one blank page in order to be able to affix visa
- Application form. In some locations you can only apply by making an online application, check that with the UK embassy in your home country. If you can apply online, take the confirmation form with you. If you cannot, fulfill the application form, print it twice, sign them at the end and bring both with you.
- One UK visa photo in color. 45mm high by 35mm wide, taken within the last month and printed to a professional standard.
- Original birth certificate or marriage certificate. It must show dependent’s relationship to principal Tier 2 work visa holder.
- Previous passports. In order to show your previous travel history. If you have more than one, do not staple them. Instead, just tie them with a rubber band.
- Official translations of every document that is not in English
- Tuberculosis screening. If you are from a country the nationals of which are required to take a tuberculosis screening
The embassy or consulate where you are applying holds the right to require extra documents from you or your sponsor. Before starting to gather the required documents ask the embassy in your country for a checklist, just to make sure, because in some countries you might be asked for extra or less documents.
You documents, including your passport will remain at the embassy / consulate, during the time your application is being reviewed.
Tier 2 Dependent Visa Work Eligibility
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.
In addition, 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 UK, even if you find a job that requires highly skilled persons. You will have to return to you home country and apply from there in order 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 needs to meet the requirements, as well as the Tier 2 visa holder. You cannot extend your visa if the main Tier 2 Migrant decides to leave the UK when their visa period ends.
What I Am Allowed To Do with a Tier 2 Dependent Visa?
These are the main activities you’re allowed to perform 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.
What I Am Not Allowed To Do in the UK with a Tier 2 Dependent Visa?
These are the activities you’re not allowed to perform in the UK as a Tier 2 Dependent:
- Use the public funds and benefits.
- Work as a dentist/doctor in training, or as a sportsperson.
- Study in a restricted study field.
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 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 on qualifies for 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 of that your parent/partner has a valid Tier 2 visa. Or, they are settled or have become British citizens.
Can I Study in the UK as a Tier 2 Dependent?
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.