If you want your family or friends to stay or visit you while you are studying at Bath, email student immigration at student-immigration-advice@bath.ac.uk. One of our advisors will help you to find out:

  • if you are a dependant, or if any of your family or friends should be classed as dependants
  • which visa types your family and friends need, and how to apply
  • what evidence you or your family need to provide in the application

The University also provides information about the support available for family members of international students.

Bringing your family to live with you in the UK (Tier 4 dependant visa)

If you are a full-time Tier 4 student visa holder, you can have family with you in the UK as a dependant if:

  • you are government sponsored and your course is longer than six months
  • you are studying a postgraduate course of nine months or longer
  • you are applying for/have a Tier 4 Doctorate Extension Scheme visa

You must already have your Tier 4 visa, or you and your dependants must apply at the same time and in the same country.

You are not allowed to bring your family members with you if you are on a part-time Tier 4 student visa.

Documents your dependants must provide

For Tier 4 dependant visa applications, you must provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel document
  • two UK passport sized photos

Read the UK government's detailed guidance for dependants to find out how much money you will need, and which other documents you must provide.

Financial evidence for dependant applications

For a Tier 4 dependant visa application, you will need to show £680 per person per month, for up to nine months (maximum of £6,120 per dependant). This amount must be held in the account for 28 days before the date of the application. For example, if you are applying for two dependants to join you, and your course is one year or longer in length you will need to show £680 x 9 for each dependant: £12,240 in total.

If you are applying at the same time as your dependant, you need to show this financial requirement on top of the financial requirements for your own Tier 4 visa application.

If you are financially sponsored for your studies, and your sponsor is also paying for your dependant family members to live in the UK, the sponsorship letter must be on official letter headed paper or stationery of the organisation of the official financial sponsor which must have the official stamp of that organisation and contain the following details:

  • your name and your dependants name
  • the name and contact details of your official financial sponsor
  • date
  • the length of sponsorship
  • the amount of money the sponsor is giving to you or a statement that your official financial sponsor will cover all of your fees and livings costs and the living costs for your dependants

If the financial sponsorship only covers part of your dependants living costs, you must provide documents to show the remaining maintenance requirement.

Evidence of your relationship

If you are applying to extend your Tier 4 dependant visa, you do not need to provide any evidence of your relationship to the main visa holder.

If you are applying for a dependant visa for the first time, you will need to provide one of the following forms of evidence to prove your relationship to the main visa holder.

Partners (including spouses and civil partners)

You must provide a marriage or civil partner certificate.

Relationship akin to marriage/civil partnership for a period of at least two years

Where you are applying as a Tier 4 dependant where you are not married or in a civil partnership with them, you will need to provide documents to show that you have been living in a relationship akin to marriage/civil partnership for a period of at least two years – documents should therefore cover the whole of this period. Documents will only be accepted where they are from official sources such as utility bills or NHS registration.

Children

You must provide a full birth certificate showing both parents names.

If you have ‘sole responsibility’ for your child, you must provide evidence of this (for example a divorce or death certificate, a letter from an employer, or evidence that returning home would have a disproportionate effect on the child). You are strongly advised to apply for their visa(s) at the same time as your own before leaving home.

If your child is 16 or over, they also need to show that they are not living an independent life in the UK. In order to apply as a child of a Tier 4 student, you must normally be under the age of 18 on the date of application. Please speak to an adviser if you have a dependant who is over the age of 16 or 18.

Inviting your family and friends to visit

If your family or friends want to visit you for a short stay in the UK, they’ll need a Standard Visitor Visa. This type of visa is suitable for coming to see graduation ceremonies, or other short visits. Certain nationals (see Appendix 2) must get a visa before they leave home, but some people can ask for permission when they arrive in the UK.

You can find a full list of documents required for visitor visa applications at UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

If your family or friends have to apply from their home country, you should register online. Then you can request a letter from the University that proves your status as a full-time student, and gives details of who you are inviting. After three working days you can collect this letter from the Student Services Centre in 4 West.

When you have all of these documents, your family member or friend should apply on the government's website.

Health insurance

If a family member or friend is visiting you in the UK, they should buy private healthcare insurance. This will help them to avoid incurring significant costs if they need to use the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

What your visitor can and can't do with a Standard Visitor Visa

Your visitor can:

  • visit for six months
  • study in the UK for up to 30 days (as long as this is not their main reason for coming)

Your visitor can't:

  • get free medical treatment on the NHS
  • get private medical treatment
  • work
  • extend the visa or switch to another type of visa
  • do paid or unpaid work
  • live in the UK for long periods of time, by visiting often
  • claim public funds
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of their marriage or civil partnership

Standard Visitor Visa checklist

Your visitor/s will need to present the following documents for their visitor visa application (and they should carry copies in their hand luggage when travelling, to present when they arrive).

  • a letter from the University proving your status as a full-time student and details of who you’re inviting
  • a personal letter of invitation written by you, and addressed to your visitors
  • copies of your passport pages
  • copies of your bank statements or sponsors' letters (optional, but we recommend this if you are funding the visit yourself)
  • proof of accommodation, such as a copy of your tenancy contract, or a hotel reservation

Your visitors will also need to present the following for their visitor visa application:

  • evidence of their intention to return home, such as details of business or study commitments
  • proof of their salary or financial independence
  • a return ticket, or enough money to buy one
  • the application fee of £87