Complete guide on UK skilled worker dependent visa

 



Dependant visa application is for those who want to join their spouse or parent for a move to the UK. If your spouse or parent is applying or already has permission on the Skilled Worker route to undertake an eligible job role in the UK, and you are looking to accompany or join them, you will need to apply for a  Dependant visa. Skilled worker visa is also called the Tier 2 visa.

This article explains  who is eligible to apply as a Skilled Worker Dependant, and detail the requirements to be met and the process to make the application to the UK Home Office.

Who is Eligible to apply for UK dependent visa

1. husband, wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner

2. children under the age of 18 – this includes children who were born in the UK during the Skilled Workers visa holder’s stay

3. children over the age of 18 if currently in the UK dependent on the Skilled Worker visa holder

A dependent child or partner can apply for a Skilled Worker dependent visa at any time before the Skilled Worker visa expires or when extending or switching their own visa.


How to prove you are a dependant

In order to apply for a UK Skilled Worker dependent visa, you will need to prove that you and your partner:

• are in a civil partnership or marriage (this must be legally recognised in the UK), or

• if you are unmarried, have been living together in a relationship for a period of at least 2 years.

• Where a child of the Skilled Worker visa holder is under the age of 18, they will simply be classed as a dependent child. Where a child of a Skilled Worker visa holder is 18 years or over, their application for a dependent visa must include proof that they:

i. live with the Skilled Worker visa holder (except they are in boarding school, college, or university on a full-time basis)

ii. are not married or in a civil partnership

iii. have no children

iv. will continue to be financially supported by the Skilled Worker visa holder

Children may also apply for a Skilled Worker dependent visa if any of these conditions apply:

• Both parents are applying for entry clearance at the same time

• Both parents are already in the UK, and the child is applying to join them

• One parent is already in the UK, and the other parent is applying for entry clearance to join them along with the child.


Requirements for UK skilled work dependent visa

According to the skilled worker dependent visa work eligibility UK guidance, applicants must meet the below requirements:

1. meet the relationship requirements (as outlined above)

2. intend to live with their UK sponsor while their visa is valid

3. the Skilled Worker visa holder must have some leave to stay remaining on their visa

4. have suitable accommodation in the UK

5. have sufficient money to support themselves while in the UK without accessing public funds. The breakdown of the required fund is as follows:

£285 - for a partner

£315 - for one child

£200 - for each additional child

To understand this better, assuming the skilled work visa holder will be joined by a partner and two children, they will need to show fund evidence of £285+£315+£200 = £800 in their application to the home office. But this may be waved if the work visa holder has been in the UK for a year and above. Alternatively, this can be waved if skilled worker visa holder company has stated in the certificate of sponsorship issued to provide support for them in the first month of their stay.


How to apply for a Skilled Worker dependent visa UK?

Applications for a Skilled Worker dependent visa can be made from outside or inside the UK.

If applying for a Skilled Worker dependent visa from outside the UK, you will need to:

• Complete the online application form for the dependants. Each family member will need to submit a separate application and include the Skilled Worker visa holder’s Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN). This will ensure that all applications are linked together - especially to the main applicant or the skilled worker visa holder.

• Pay any application fees (including the application fee, biometric fee, and immigration healthcare surcharge)

• Book a biometric appointment at a local visa application centre (VAC)

• Attend the biometric appointment (to have fingerprints scanned and a photo taken)

• Wait for a decision


If applying for a Skilled Worker dependent visa from inside the UK, you will need to:

• Apply online to extend or switch to a Skilled Worker visa as a dependant. Each application should include the main visa holder’s Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN). This will ensure that all applications are linked together with the main applicant or visa holder.

• Pay any application fees (including the application fee, biometric fee, and immigration healthcare surcharge)

• Book a biometric appointment at a local UKVCAS centre (if required)

• Attend the biometric appointment (to have fingerprints scanned and a photo taken)

• Wait for a decision

If the application is approved, the dependents will receive leave to remain dated to the end of the main visa holder’s date. This means that if you need to extend your visas, you will do this at the same time. The one main difference that you may have if you come to the UK separately is if you are looking to settle. If the Skilled Worker visa holder has been here longer, they will have the option to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain before their dependents. This usually isn’t an issue, as, after 5 years of stay in the UK, the dependents will also be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.


Documents required for UK Skilled Worker Dependent visa application

Some of the documents you may need to include in a Skilled Worker dependent visa application include:


• The applicant’s passport or another form of ID

• Evidence of the relationship between the applicant and the main visa holder (e.g. birth certificate or marriage certificate)

• Evidence that the main visa holder has a valid Skilled Worker visa at the time of application

• Where a child is 18 or over, evidence that they are dependent on the main visa holder, including:

a bank statement

credit card bills

driving licence

NHS registration document

an official letter from their university or college

Evidence of sufficient support funds (e.g. bank statement)

Skilled worker dependent visa cost

Skilled Worker dependent visa costs have 3 elements - skilled worker dependent visa application fee, biometric fee, and immigration healthcare surcharge (to cover the cost of using the National Health Service in the UK). The breakdown of Skill Worker dependent visa fees is as follows:

Application fee ( duration of up to 3 years)

Applying from outside the UK - £625


Applying from inside the UK -£719


Job on Shortage Occupation List - £479


Application fee (duration of more than 3 years)

Outside the UK - £1,235 per person


Within the UK - £1,423 per person


Job on short occupation list - £943


Biometric fee - £19.20 per person


Immigration healthcare surcharge -

£624 per person per year (£470 for children).


How long does it take to process a UK Skilled Worker dependent visa?

Applications made outside the UK are normally processed within 3 weeks, while those made in the UK typically take up to 8 weeks.

If you want it faster, you may be able to use the priority service for an additional fee of £500 for a decision within 5 working days, or the super-priority service for an additional fee of £800 for a decision within 1 working day.


What a Skilled Worker dependent can do and cannot do?

Skilled Worker's dependants will be permitted to live in the UK as long as  the main visa holder remains here. Skilled Worker dependent visa holders can also study and access the National Health Service while in the UK. They cannot, however, access public funds (e.g. benefits).

Skilled Worker dependents are able to work while in the UK. There are few restrictions meaning that dependents can typically work for any employer and in any type of role.


Can dependent visa holder apply for ILR?

Skilled Worker dependent visa holders are normally eligible to apply for ILR after being in the UK for 5 years. As long as they meet the eligibility criteria for ILR, they will be able to make an application to settle in the UK. Once approved, the holder will no longer be under immigration control in the UK and can even apply to become a British citizen after 12 months.


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By Olushola Samuel



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