Dependants (Visitor visas)

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A non UK/Irish national coming to the UK for a short period of time to visit a family member or friend, can apply for a standard visitor visa. This visa is valid up to 6 months. When filling in the visa application, please select the main reason for your visit as being 'Tourism (including visiting family and friends).

If the visitor is intending to move to the UK to join the family member, they must apply for a different type of visitor visa which will be connected to the main applicant's visa.

More information can be found, and the visa application can be submitted, on the Home Office Standard visitor visa website.

Academic visitors coming to the UK for up to 12 months may bring dependants for the whole duration of their visa. Each dependant can apply for their visa at the same time as the applicant, or after the main applicant's visa has been granted.

The dependant's visa will be connected to the main applicant's visa and have the same expiry date.


Visa application process

Each dependant joining an academic visitor visa holder in the UK will need to submit their own visa application. To apply, please the Home Office Standard visitor visa website.

When submitting the visa application, please remember to select the main reason for your visit as being 'Academic visit' (including teaching, exchange and visiting as a dependant of an academic visitor).

Once the application has been completed, the applicant will need to pay the combined visa application and biometric enrolment fee. When the visa application, biometric enrolment have been paid, two PDF documents are generated: the completed application form and a supporting evidence checklist.


Book a biometrics appointment

Once they have submitted their application, the applicant should be automatically directed to book a biometrics appointment at a Visa Application Centre in their country of residence. At this appointment, the applicant will enrol their biometrics (photographs and fingerprints), and submit their documents.

The exact process may differ depending on country, so applicants are encouraged to check the Home Office guidance on how to apply for a UK visa in their country of residence.


Entry clearance visa

Once the visa application has been granted, the Home Office will notify the applicant of this. The applicant will then receive an entry clearance vignette (visa sticker) in their passport as well as a decision letter. This vignette contains details of the visa applicant, the type of visit and a 'valid from' and 'expiry date'. It is important to make arrangement to enter the UK before the expiry date of the vignette. 

The validity of the vignette depends on the duration of the visit:


  • Coming for 6 months (or less): Where a visitor is coming to the UK up to 6 months, the vignette should be valid for the whole period.
  • Coming for over 6 months: Where a visitor is coming to the UK for a period of over 6 months, they will receive an entry vignette valid for 30 days.

    In this case the visitor should receive a letter stating the full dates for which the visa has been granted, as well as the address of the Post Office from which their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) can be collected, and the date from which their BRP should be available for collection. Visa holders coming for over 6 months need to present their passport, visa sticker, and decision letter when collecting their BRP. An applicant must collect their BRP within 10 days, and could face a financial penalty and/or have their visa curtailed if they do not.


Visa conditions

Where an individual is coming to the UK as a dependant of an Academic visitor, they hold the same visa conditions as a tourist visa holder. The visa holder cannot undertake any paid or unpaid work, cannot be enrolled on a course or undertake any activities which would need a separate visa. Please see the Visitor visa types for more information. Any other questions about the visa conditions should be sent to the Staff Immigration team. The Contact us pages contain information about who to get in touch with.


Please note that children coming  as dependants of an Academic visitor, may be enrolled in a UK state school. Please see the University Welcome Service pages on Childcare and Schooling for more information.

Contact us

Medical Sciences / Humanities / GLAM / UAS / Continuing Education

Angelina Pelova, Email: 

Paul Deeble, Email:


MPLS / Social Sciences / Colleges

Lyn Davis, Email:

Richard Birt, Email:




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