The Tier 2 Dependant Visa - can I bring my family to the UK?

  • April 10, 2020

As an overseas doctor, arranging both a Tier 2 visa and dependent visa can be challenging.

If you are intending to relocate with dependants you may be concerned as to whether you can bring your family with you, and at what stage this is possible? In this blog we outline the UK legislation rules in relation to your entry on a Tier 2 Visa, considering the following:

Tier 2 Dependant Visa:

Firstly, it is important to revisit the Tier 2 Visa briefly, as this is the most likely route to the UK for IMGs. The Tier 2 General visa is a UK work visa issued to highly skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

As a holder of Tier 2 General Visa, you will be permitted to bring dependents to the UK on a Tier 2 Dependent Visa. It can be used when applying for or already holding a Tier 2 visa.

Who qualifies as a Tier 2 Dependent?

Doctors residing in the UK under the Tier 2 Visa, or applying for a Tier 2 visa, are allowed to bring their dependents to the UK. There is a narrow list of who qualifies as a Tier 2 dependent, and is as follows:

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried or same-sex partner
  • Children aged under 18 at the time of application
  • Child over 18, if they’re currently in the UK as a dependent

Please note there can be a range of scenarios that affect eligibility for dependants, we recommend checking here before starting your application.

Evidence of Personal Savings:

As a requirement, you need to show proof that you have an extra £630 available for each dependent that you plan to bring to the UK (in addition to the £945 you are required to support yourself financially). If you present a bank statement to this effect, the money must 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 if you have:

  • a fully approved (A-rated) sponsor
  • you possess a certificate of sponsorship that states your sponsor will provide each of your dependents with at least £630 per month should they need it

Documents must be submitted when applying in order to prove dependants falls under one of the above-mentioned criteria.

Required Documents for a Tier 2 Dependent visa:

A person applying to enter the UK as a dependent of a Tier 2 Visa holder, must submit the following documents during their Visa application interview:

  • Appointment sheet

Confirming dependant’s T2 visa appointment. 

  • Passport

Valid for 6 months beyond the relocation date and must have at least one blank page in order to be able to affix visa.

  • Application form

Some locations only allow online applications - check with the UK embassy in your home country. If you can apply online, take the confirmation form with you to your appointment. 

  • One UK visa photo in colour

Ensure these are 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

These are needed to show previous travel history. 

  • Translations of every document not in English

These must be official translations.

  • Tuberculosis screening

If you are from a listed country, you will need to provide a Tuberculosis Testing Clearance Certificate – read our blog for more information.

Document requirements vary depending on your country of residence, so you want to make sure before submitting your application. We advise you ask the embassy in your country of residence for a checklist before gathering the required documents. 

Please note, your documents, including your passport, will remain at the embassy or consulate, during the time your application is being reviewed.

Can dependants work on a Tier 2 Dependent Visa? 

Yes. 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, they will need to complete their own Tier 2 Visa if planning to work as a doctor in the UK. 

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 your home country and apply from there in order to be able to obtain a Tier 2 Visa.

Can you extend the Tier 2 Dependent Visa? 

Yes. 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. 

What are you permitted 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 certain restrictions
  • Study under certain conditions
  • Take a postgraduate course
  • Get married or enter into a civil partnership
  • Extend the visa

What are you not permitted 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

How much will this cost me?

There are two costs to consider throughout this process:

  • your visa application fees with the home office

The exact fee for dependants will vary depending on whether or not your own Tier 2 visa falls under the national shortage list or not. This list can be found here.

  • immigration health surcharge

The surcharge is applicable every year of your visa at a cost of £400 (this can be checked using the government calculator here)

It is important to know, from the moment you pay the IHS surcharge you will be granted access to NHS healthcare services, free of charge.

Visa application costs below:

Up to 3 years – non-shortage occupation

Who’s applying

Fee (outside UK)

Fee for extending or switching (in the UK)




All dependents

£610 per person

£704 per person

You as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia




Up to 3 years – shortage occupation

Who’s applying

Fee (outside UK)

Fee for extending or switching (in the UK)




All dependents

£464 per person

£464 per person

You as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia



Once the dependant visa application is successful, what happens next?

First things first, congratulations! You are now just a few steps away from completing your journey to the UK and can now firm up your relocation plans, putting into action your relocation checklist. Request your relocation checklist here.

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