Partners and children of migrant workers and students
This page explains how the family members of migrant workers and students can apply to come to the UK.
Family members of migrants under the points-based system
If you are the partner or dependent child under 18 of a migrant who is in or coming to the UK under most categories of the points-based system, you can apply for a visa to join them here. Before you apply, you must read the policy guidance for points-based system dependants, which you can download from the right side of this page.
Family members of migrant workers in other immigration categories
If you are the partner or dependent child under 18 of a migrant who is in or coming to the UK in most work categories outside the points-based system, you can apply for a visa to join them here.
The migrant worker will need to prove that they can support you and themselves without needing state benefits or other public funds. You will need to show that:
- you intend to live with the migrant worker during their stay, and your relationship is genuine (not a 'marriage of convenience'), if you are their partner; or
- you have not formed an independent family unit and are not leading an independent life, if you are their child aged under 18.
How to apply from outside the UK
Depending on the country where you live, you might need to make your application online or using one of our application forms:
- VAF10, if you are the dependant of a migrant under the points-based system
- VAF2, if you are the dependant of a migrant in a different category
You can download these application forms and their guidance notes from the right side of this page.
As part of your application, you will need to enrol your fingerprints and facial image (known as 'biometric information') at a visa application centre.
Select your country in our country finder to find out:
- how to apply in your country (including how to apply online);
- the location of our visa application centres;
- how long we generally take to process visa applications; and
- how your documents will be returned to you.
If your application is successful, you can find information about what will happen at the border (including customs requirements) in the Customs and travel information section.
Should you apply online or complete an application form on paper?
If you are applying for a visa from the following countries, you should apply using our online application system, Visa4UK:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- British Virgin Islands
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
- Central African Republic
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dominican Republic
- East Timor
- Equatorial Guinea
- French Guiana
- Guinea Bissau
- Hong Kong
- Ivory Coast
- Marshall Islands
- New Zealand
- Palestinian Authority
- Papua New Guinea
- Russian Federation
- Samoa and Western Samoa
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Vincent and Grenadine
- St Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos
- Vatican City
- Western Sahara
If you are applying for a visa from the following countries, you should apply by printing out an application form and completing it by hand:
- North Korea
If you are applying for a visa from the following countries, you can choose whether to apply using our online application system or by printing off the application form and completing it by hand:
- Sri Lanka
What is the date of your application if you are applying from outside the UK?
The date of your application is the date when your application fee is paid to us. This will be the date shown on your payment receipt, which depends on how you paid for your visa application - for example, at a visa application centre or online.
Processing times - applications made outside the UK
The time required to process your visa will depend on the country where you are making your application.
Our Visa services section lists our recent processing times for different application types in each country around the world.
Applying from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
The Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney) and the Isle of Man have their own immigration laws and policies. For immigration control, we consider that these islands are outside the UK.
If you are living in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, and the island authorities have given you permission to enter or stay there (also known as 'entry clearance' or 'leave to remain'), you cannot apply directly from the island for permission to enter the UK.
To apply for permission to enter the UK, you have 2 options:
- you can return to the country where you are normally resident (your 'home country') and apply from there for a visa to enter the UK; or
- if your permission to stay on the island is still current, and if UK immigration law allows you to 'switch' from your current immigration category on the island into this category, you can travel to the UK and apply from here. We will treat your current permission to stay as if it had been given by the UK authorities. You must apply to switch before your current permission to stay on the island expires. See the Common Travel Area page on our website for more information.
You may need to apply for a visa before you come to the UK from the islands. For more information, see section 2 of our Immigration directorate instructions, Chapter 1.
Visas for employment outside the points-based system
- VAF2 application form - employment outside the points-based system PDF 178KB opens in a new window
- VAF2-8B guidance notes PDF 139KB opens in a new window
Dependant visa under the points-based system
- VAF10 application form - points-based system dependant PDF 98KB opens in a new window
- VAF10 guidance notes PDF 83KB opens in a new window
- Policy guidance on dependants of points-based system migrantsPDF 405KB opens in a new window