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Skilled Worker Dependent Visa Application Guide

The UK Skilled Worker visa is for individuals who have an offer to work in the UK in an eligible role from an approved sponsor. In this Skilled Worker Dependent Visa application guide we explore the most frequently asked questions on how a Skilled Worker can bring their dependents to the UK.

Who is a Dependent of a Skilled Worker?

You must either be the dependent partner or child of the person who is applying at the same time or has already been granted a Skilled Worker visa.

Dependent partners

Partners must be over the age of 18 at the date of application. The partner and Skilled Worker must be:

  • Married; or
  • In a civil partnership; or
  • Have lived together for at least two years before the date of application. This should normally have been completed immediately prior to the application date, but the Home Office guidance indicates that there may be situations where this is not the case e.g. where the couple live separately due to work commitments or caring responsibilities.

You must also demonstrate that you are in a genuine and subsisting relationship with each other and that you intend to live together during the Skilled Worker’s stay in the UK. If the genuineness of your relationship is doubted, you may be asked to attend an interview.

Dependent children

Children must be under the age of 18 at the date of their first application. If they are over 16, they must not be leading an independent life. Examples of living an independent life include not living with the Skilled Worker, being financially independent, and being married or in a civil partnership. If the child is over the age of 18 at the age that they are eligible for an extension of the visa, this will not impact their chance of being granted. 

The child’s other parent must be applying at the same time or already have permission to remain in the UK on a route other than as a Visitor. The only exceptions to this are if:

  • The Skilled Worker is the only surviving parent; or
  • The other parent is British citizen or has Indefinite Leave to remain and is resident in the UK;
  • The Skilled Worker has sole responsibility for the child; or
  • There are serious and compelling reasons in favour of granting the child permission.

Sole responsibility is a very high threshold to meet. Please see our article here for more information.

You must also show that there are suitable care and accommodation arrangements for the child in the UK that meets the relevant UK legislation and regulations. 

What Funds are Required for a Skilled Worker Dependent Application?

Unless you are applying for permission to stay and have been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer by the date of application, you will need to meet the maintenance requirements.

You must show that for at least 28 days (ending within 31 days of the application) you have held funds of:

  •  £285 for a dependent partner; and
  • £315 for the first dependent child; and
  • £200 for any other dependent child.

If the Skilled Worker is applying at the same time as the dependent applicant(s), this amount is in addition to the £1,270 maintenance funds they must demonstrate to show they can support themself.

The funds must be held in bank account(s) belonging to either the Skilled Worker and/or the dependent applicant(s). Alternatively, this requirement can be met if the Skilled Worker’s sponsor certifies that they will maintain and accommodate the dependants up to the end of their first month of permission.

When Do Dependants of Skilled Workers Need Criminal Record Checks?

If the Skilled Worker is sponsored for a job listed in paragraph SW 16.1 of Appendix Skilled Worker, the dependent partner must provide a criminal record check from any country they have been present in since the age of 18 for 12 months or more (whether continuously or in total) in the 10 years before the application. The only exception to this is where the dependent partner can give a satisfactory explanation of why they are unable to obtain a criminal record certificate from the country.

Paragraph SW16.1 covers a wide variety of jobs including medical practitioners, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, social workers, teachers, fitness instructors and human resources officers. These occupation codes also cover related roles; see the list here for a more detailed breakdown.

Can Dependants of Skilled Workers Make Their First Application From Inside the UK?

You may apply from inside the UK if on the date of application you hold a valid visa for any route other than:

  • Visitor; 
  • Short-term student; 
  • Parent of a Child Student; 
  • Seasonal Worker; 
  • Domestic Worker in a Private Household; 
  • Outside the Immigration Rules.

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a Skilled Worker Dependent Visa?

The application fee depends on how long you apply to stay in the UK, and whether you apply from within or outside of the UK.

Applications outside the UK (per applicant):

  • Up to 3 years = £610 
  • Over 3 years = £1,220 

Applications inside the UK (per applicant):

  • Up to 3 years = £704 
  • Over 3 years = £1,408 

However, if the Skilled Worker’s job is a shortage occupation, the fees reduce to £464 for up to 3 years, and £928 for over 3 years.

You will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. This will allow you to access the NHS during your time in the UK and usually costs £624 per year.

How Long Will It Take for My Dependent of a Skilled Worker Visa Application to Be Decided?

The website currently states that the average decision time for applications from outside of the UK is 3 weeks from the date of providing biometric information, whilst applications from inside the UK take up to 8 weeks.

Can Skilled Worker Dependants Settle In the UK?

Dependants of Skilled Workers are eligible to apply for settlement after they complete 5 years of continuous residence in the UK on this route. However, at the point of application for settlement, the Skilled Worker must also:

  • Be applying and granted settlement at the same time as the dependant;
  • Have been granted settlement in the UK while holding permission as a Skilled Worker;
  • Have been granted settlement in the UK while holding permission as a Skilled Worker and now become a British citizen.

Dependants aged between 18 to 65 will also need to meet the English Language and Life in the UK requirements. See our article here for more information on settlement as a Skilled Worker Dependent.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice and assistance in relation to an application as the dependant of a Skilled Worker please contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or via the enquiry form below.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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