Starting from January 1 2024, alterations to the UK Student Visa regulations mean that international students will no longer have the option to bring their dependant partner or children to the UK, unless they are enrolled in a PhD or postgraduate research programme.
This recent regulation follows the alteration that came into effect on July 17 2023, which denies students the ability to switch their visa to a Work Route visa unless they have completed their course and have an employment start date that falls after the completion of their studies. Additionally, individuals pursuing a PhD must have engaged with their studies for a minimum of 24 months before transitioning to a work visa, such as the Skilled Work visa.
What does this mean for those currently on a Student Dependant visa?
As long as the main student visa holder started their studies before January 1 2024, you will be able to extend your dependant visa for as long as their visa remains valid. The new rules only impact courses that commence after January 1.
Switching to a Post-Study Work visa (PSW)
If you are planning to switch to a PSW, also known as a UK Graduate visa, your partner and children will be able to apply for a dependant visa to remain with you in the UK. This is only possible if your partner and children have been living with you in the UK as your dependants while you have been studying.
Switching from a Dependant visa to a Work visa
If you are living in the UK on a Student Dependant visa, you will still be able to switch to a Work visa, but you must meet the criteria for the Work visa you are applying for. By switching from a Student Dependant visa to a UK Work visa, you will gain permission to remain in the UK in your own right and not based on the immigration status of your partner or parent. The only exception is parents of children on student visas who are not permitted to switch to a Skilled Worker visa.
If you deferred your offer to study from September 2023 to January 2024, the new rules will apply, preventing you from bringing your dependants.
How Barings Law can assist
As the landscape of UK immigration laws undergoes substantial changes, we’re here to support you in every possible way.
Whether you are seeking clarification on visa requirements, need guidance in transitioning to a work visa, or want further understanding of the implications for dependants, our dedicated experts at Barings Law are here to provide assistance and clarity. We believe in everyone’s ability to pursue their dreams, and we’re committed to ensuring that the complexities of these changes don’t dissuade you.