Can my family come to the UK on a dependant visa if I apply for a skilled worker visa?
Immigration solicitors are getting enquiries from UK employers and skilled migrant workers on the new skilled worker visaintroduced as part of the points-based Immigration system to replace the Tier 2 (General) visa. In this blog we look at the rules on bringing your family with you to the UK if you apply for a skilled worker visa.
UK Immigration solicitors
If you have questions about dependant visas and the skilled worker visa or your UK work visa options the immigration solicitors can help you. Call the friendly specialist immigration team at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online. Appointments can be arranged via video call, Skype or telephone.
Can a family member join a skilled worker visa holder in the UK?
A skilled worker visa is a visa under the UK points-based Immigration system. Therefore, the dependant visa for points-based visas applies to the skilled worker visa enabling family members to apply for a dependant visa to join the skilled worker in the UK.
When must a dependant apply for a dependant visa?
If a skilled migrant worker is applying for a skilled worker visa then a dependant can apply for a dependant visa either:
- At the same time the skilled migrant worker applies for their skilled worker visa. The skilled worker can't apply for their work visa until their sponsoring employer has provided them with a certificate of sponsorship to enable them to apply for their work visa
- After the skilled worker has secured their skilled worker visa. However, the dependant visa will not last for longer than the length of the skilled worker visa.
Who is the main visa applicant?
In the Immigration rules you will see reference to the main visa applicant. The main visa applicant is the skilled worker applying for their skilled worker visa and the success of the dependant visa application is wholly contingent on the success of the skilled worker visa application.
Can you apply for a dependant visa with other work and business points-based Immigration visas?
Dependant visas aren’t confined to skilled worker visa applications. Therefore, if after taking specialist Immigration legal advice, you find that you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for a skilled worker visa there may be alternative entry clearance options for you that will still enable your family members to apply for dependant visas.
To secure a points-based dependant visa the main visa applicant must be applying for a points-based visa such as:
- An investor visa
- A start-up visa
- An innovator visa
- A global talent visa
- A health and care worker visa
- A sole representative visa.
Who qualifies as a dependant for a points-based dependant visa?
To apply for a dependant visa, a dependant must be:
- A husband or wife
- A civil partner
- An unmarried partner but the relationship must be an established one – at least two years in a cohabiting relationship
- A child who is unmarried and under the age of eighteen and who is not independent at the date of the dependant visa application. (If you are not sure whether an older child would be classed as ‘independent’ as they are working then it’s best to take legal advice before the dependant visa application is made).
The main visa applicant is referred to as the sponsor of the dependant applying for the dependant visa. Immigration solicitors say that this can get a bit confusing for visa applicants as the skilled worker visa applicant also needs a sponsor in the form of a sponsoring employer who holds a Home Office issued sponsor licence.
What is the definition of a child for a points-based dependant visa?
Nowadays family relationships can be complicated and UK Immigration rules recognise this by saying that a dependant visaapplicant child can be the child of the main visa applicant or the child of the main visa applicant’s partner.
A child is defined as a young person under the age of eighteen but the child can be over the age of eighteen if they have previously been granted leave as the family member of a points-based visa applicant. In addition, the child must meet all the following eligibility criteria:
- Both parents must already be lawfully present in the UK on a relevant visa or must be applying for a relevant visa at the same time as the child’s dependant visa application or
- One parent must already be lawfully present in the UK and the other parent is applying for a relevant visa at the same time as the child’s dependant visa application unless one of these exceptions applies:
- You are the child applicant’s sole surviving parent or
- You have sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing or
- There are serious or compelling family or other considerations that make it desirable not to refuse the dependant visa application and suitable arrangements have been made in the UK for the child’s care.
What can you do in the UK on a points-based dependant visa?
If a dependant is granted a dependant visa then it not only gives them entry clearance to the UK but it also means that they can:
- Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain once they meet the eligibility criteria and residence requirement for an indefinite leave to remain application.
What a dependant can't do is claim public benefits in the UK or work as a professional sportsperson, doctor or dentist. As a dependant can't claim benefits the skilled migrant worker, as the main visa applicant, must show that they meet the maintenance requirement to support their dependant whilst they are in the UK on a dependant visa.
What is the maintenance requirement for a dependant of a skilled worker visa holder?
The maintenance requirement amount depends on who the dependant is. The maintenance requirement figures are currently:
- £285 for your husband, wife or partner
- £315 for your first child dependant
- £200 for the second and any additional child dependant.
In addition, the main visa applicant for the skilled worker visa will need their own maintenance requirement of £1,270 for their skilled worker visa application.
A maintenance requirement fund has to be money that was available for at least twenty-eight days and the maintenance requirement funds must have been available within thirty-one days of the visa application. However, the skilled worker visa applicant and dependant visa applicants don’t need to meet the maintenance requirement if the sponsoring employer provides a certification on the skilled worker visa applicant’s certificate of sponsorship.
What documents do you need for a points-based dependant visa application?
The documents needed for a dependant visa depend on your particular family and personal circumstances. To avoid an application being refused or delayed it’s best to check what paperwork you need to produce by asking a specialist immigration solicitor.
How long can you stay in the UK on a points-based dependant visa?
How long you can stay in the UK on a points-based dependant visa depends on whether you are the partner or spouse of the main visa applicant or you are a dependent child of the skilled worker visa holder.
A spouse or partner of the skilled migrant worker will get a dependant visa that lasts as long as the skilled worker’s visa. A child dependant can stay during the visa period of the parent whose visa expires first.
A dependant on a dependant visa can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK if the skilled worker visa holder has already secured Indefinite Leave to Remain or is making an ILR application and the other eligibility criteria for an ILR application are met, such as the five-year residence requirement.
How can a UK Immigration solicitor help with a points-based dependant visa application?
Applying for a dependant visa can be a complicated process because of the complex Immigration rules surrounding the eligibility criteria and evidence required to support a dependant visa application. Anyone wanting to secure a skilled worker visa as the main visa applicant will want to ensure that their family can join them in the UK on dependant visas without worrying that their visa applications may be refused or delayed. Specialist immigration solicitors can help you with your application to make sure that it is presented in a way that gives you the best prospect of quickly and easily securing your skilled worker visa and the dependant visas that you need for your family.
UK Immigration solicitors
OTS Solicitors are experts in immigration law and can help you with your work visa and skilled worker visa application as well as dependant visa applications. Our friendly specialist immigration solicitors can answer your questions and ensure that your application is processed as efficiently and as quickly as possible. For the best advice on your work visa options and the dependant visa call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form. Appointments are available through video conference, Skype or by telephone appointment.