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If you hold a Student visa, you may be able to bring your family to the UK with you as your dependants.

If you hold a Student visa, you may be able to bring your family to the UK with you as your dependants.

The UK Government recently announced changes to the rules about Student visa holders and their dependants so it important that you read this page carefully. If you have any doubts or concerns about the eligibility of your dependants to enter or remain in the UK, then please contact us

If you started your course before 1 January 2024 these new rules will not impact you please read the section below 'students who started a course before 1 January 2024'. 

As a Student visa holder at Royal Holloway, you can have dependants with you in the UK if:

  1. You are studying a full-time course and you are being sponsored (financially) by your national government to study that course; or
  2. You are studying a full-time research-based higher degree (see below)

Find out more about applying to study a Research Degree at Royal Holloway

Subject Course Level Course Type
Classics 7 MA by Research 
Comparative Literature & Cultures 7 MA by Research 
Drama, Theatre & Dance 7 MA by Research
English 7 MA by Research 
European Studies 7 MA by Research 
Film, Television & Digital Production 7 MA by Research 
French 7 MA by Research 
Geography 7 MA by Research 
German & Related Studies 7 MA by Research 
Hispanic Studies 7 MA by Research 
History 7 MA by Research 
Italian 7 MA by Research 
Management 7 MA by Research 
Music 7 MA by Research 
Philosophy 7 MA by Research 
Politics & International Relations 7 MA by Research 
Biological Sciences 7 MSc by Research 
Computer Science 7 MSc by Research 
Earth Sciences 7 MSc by Research 
Economics 7 MSc by Research 
Electronic Engineering 7 MSc by Research 
Geography 7 MSc by Research 
Information Security 7 MSc by Research 
Management 7 MSc by Research 
Mathematics 7 MSc by Research 
Physics 7 MSc by Research 
Politics & International Relations 7 MSc by Research 
Psychology 7 MSc by Research 
Social Work 7 MSc by Research 
Biological Sciences 8 PhD
Classics 8 PhD
Comparative Literature & Cultures 8 PhD
Computer Science 8 PhD
Criminology 8 PhD
Criminology and Sociology 8 PhD
Drama & Theatre Studies 8 PhD
Earth Sciences/Geology 8 PhD
Economics 8 PhD
Electronic Engineering 8 PhD
English 8 PhD
Forensic Psychology 8 PhD
French 8 PhD
Geography 8 PhD
German 8 PhD
Health Studies 8 PhD
History 8 PhD
Information Security 8 PhD
Italian 8 PhD
Law 8 PhD
Management 8 PhD
Mathematics 8 PhD
Media Arts 8 PhD
Music 8 PhD
Philosophy 8 PhD
Physics 8 PhD
Politics 8 PhD
Psychology 8 PhD
Social Sciences 8 PhD
Social Work 8 PhD
Sociology 8 PhD
Spanish 8 PhD
Clinical Psychology 8 Professional Doctorate (DClinPsy)

Your partner and your child can be your dependants. Other relatives cannot enter the UK as a dependant on your Student visa. 

In all cases, you and/or your dependant will need to provide documentary evidence with the visa application to prove this relationship. 


Your partner must meet 1 of the definitions below to qualify as a dependant for the purposes of your Student visa

  • Your husband or wife; or
  • Your civil partner including same-sex or opposite-sex couples who have registered their partnership and who have thereby gained formal legal recognition of their relationship.; or
  • Your unmarried partner or same-sex partner.  In both cases, you need to have been in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for a period of at least two years before you make your visa application.


Child dependants must meet all of the below criteria

  • If your child is applying to come to the UK for the first time, they must be younger than 18 years old when they apply.


  • Your child must not be considered 'independent'. This means
    • they do not have a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner, and
    • they live with you (their parent(s)), except where they are living away from the family home due to education e.g. attending school or university, and
    • they are not employed full-time , and
    • they are wholly or mainly dependent upon their parents for financial support, and
    • they are wholly or mainly dependent upon their parents for emotional support

If your child is over 16 years old when they apply, they will need to provide documentation to demonstrate that they meet this definition of 'dependent'. 

  • Both of the child’s parents must be in, or coming with the child to, the UK. The only exceptions to this requirement are when the child's other parent is dead, or if you (the main applicant for the Student visa) have sole responsibility for the child's upbringing, or if there are other serious or compelling considerations that mean the child should be with you in the UK and you have made suitable arrangements for the child's care. You will need to provide documentary evidence of any of the exceptions listed above. 


Alongside the financial requirement that you must meet as the main applicant, you will need to demonstrate that you (or your partner) have held a further amount for each dependant you wish to bring with you to the UK. The amount you need to show depends on where you will stud your course 

  • Studying at the Central London campus £7,605
  • Studying at the Egham campus £6,120

You can see our full guidance here on meeting the Financial Requirements for Student Visa applications


How to apply?

If your dependants are applying for their visa from outside the UK, then they will need to follow the instructions for making their visa application here

They will need details of your Student visa application i.e. the application number and information from your CAS when they apply. 

If your dependants are already inside the UK then we suggest you contact us for advice on whether they are eligible to apply.


Conditions of the dependant visa

Your dependants will be granted permission to work in the UK. They will be able to undertake full-time employment in most professions with the exception of being unable to work as a professional athlete. 

Your dependants will also be able to study in the UK. This includes children who are of school age. If you need assistance with finding a place at a local school for your children then please contact us. 



If you started your course before 1 January 2024 and you are studying any post-graduate masters course at level 7 then you will also be eligible to bring your dependants to the UK on your Student visa. 

If you started your course before 1 January 2024 and would like assistance in brining your dependants to the UK then we strongly advise that you contact us for further help. 

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