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Inviting your family to stay

Welcoming your family to Northern Ireland!

If you are a non-EEA/EU/Swiss student who is married or in a civil partnership and you are coming to the UK for more than 9 months to do a postgraduate degree programme or if you are a government sponsored student studying for six months or more, you will usually be able to bring your spouse (husband or wife) or civil partner and any children under the age of 18 as your dependants.

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Inviting your family to stay: for more than six months

You must be able to demonstrate to UKVI that you can support your family financially without having to rely on UK state support.

If you are studying a course of less than 12 months, or if your course is undergraduate or pre-degree, you are not allowed to bring your family using the PBS dependent route.

A certificate of marriage, or other proof of your marital or civil partnership status, is required. Your family will be permitted to stay in the UK only for as long as your taught course or research programme continues.

If they have been given leave to remain for a period of 12 months or more, then your dependants can work without applying for permission (providing they are over 16 years old). They do not require a work permit in these circumstances.

Your family member can find full information about applying as a Tier 4 (Dependant), including guidance and a link to the application form on the Tier 4 pages of the UK Visas & Immigration website.

If your family member is unsure about any specific part of the application form, you should send through their query to and our team will do our best to help them.

Visas & Immigration

V&I Webpage

International Student Support

ISS Webpage