Many migrants come to the UK but leave their dependents back at home. These dependents often want to join their family members in the UK. Luckily, UK immigration rules do allow these dependents to accompany or join the main visa applicant in the UK.
The point-based system (PBS) dependent visa is for the family – e.g. wife or children under 18 years of age – of the main applicant to join them in the UK. Dependents may have different rights given to them when compared to the rights applicable to the main applicant. As a PBS dependent, you need to know the rights you have, entitlement for activities and so on. It is important for you to understand all the factors that apply to you as a PBS dependent. Once you know this, you won’t breach any UK immigration laws and you can also plan properly for your ILR if you decide to make the UK your home. The many variations of rules and requirements for PBS dependents are under paragraph 319 of the Immigration Rules.
What is a Tier 1 or Tier 2 PBS dependent?
A dependent can be:
- Your husband, wife or your unmarried partner
- Your child (if they are below 18 years of age)
- Any children above 18 who came to the UK as a dependent before they turned 18 years old.
Tier 1 and Tier 2 PBS dependents can work full time in the UK without any restriction. After 5 years, they can apply for ILR – although must show evidence of a genuine relationship in the UK. They can study full time, although do need to pay international university fees. They can also access the NHS. However, PBS dependents are not eligible for certain benefits in the UK.
PBS Dependents Maintenance Requirements
You must show that dependents coming to join you in the UK can be supported financially and will not be dependent on public funds in the UK. Each dependent – whether applying with you or separately – must have at least £630 available to them, in addition to the £945 which the main applicant must have to support themself in the UK. You must show documentary evidence that this money has been in your bank account for a minimum of 90 days prior to applying for a PBS visa.
However, you don’t need to show evidence of savings if you have a fully approved A-rated Tier 2 sponsor who provides confirmation of maintenance for dependents.
Tier 1 Dependents applying from outside the UK have to show £1,890 for 90 days, whereas Tier 2 dependents only need to show £630 from outside or inside the UK.
If your dependents apply from outside the UK, they can apply online. If your partner and/or child apply from within the UK to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they are already in the UK, they can ask to use the priority service and get a same day decision at the premium service centre. If you have children while you are in the UK, you can apply to receive permission for your children to stay in the UK.