Can I bring my family to the UK on a work visa?

Family walking through the mountains in the UK

If you are looking to bring your family members to the UK, or you hope to join your family in the UK, then this article will explore your options. Several visas allow family members to join the main applicant in the UK, they are known as “dependants”. You don’t have to be a permanent resident or have an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK to bring your family members. The cost for each dependant is £1846 as of January 2024.

TOurist Visa

The Standard Visitor visa allows you to live with your family in the UK for up to 6 months, you might be able to extend this further depending on the circumstances. Although you will not be able to work directly on this visa, you can volunteer for a charity organisation for up to 30 days. You can attend trading fairs to promote your business along with conferences, meetings and interviews. The visa costs £100 and you must be able to support yourself and dependants financially.

Eligible Work Visas

Below are the eligible work visas that allow dependants to live and work in the UK along with the main applicant. Dependants over 18 can work full time in any profession throughout with no restrictions. The length of time allowed to stay is the same as the main applicants work visa. You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself.

Family and Partners Visas

Eligible Family Members

young girl sitting on a hill in Scotland

Family VISAS as a Permanent Resident or Citizen

The Family Visa will vary depending on the type of relationship you have with the new permanent resident or citizen, this will affect the duration you can stay or which documents you need to apply with. There are several requirements needed when submitting the application, including a valid passport, age and evidence of a minimum knowledge of the English language. After living in the UK for 5 years, a dependant will be allowed to apply for citizenship themselves.

Spouse, Partner or Fiancé

  • Over 18
  • Be in a genuine relationship
  • Intend to live together in the UK
  • You must prove that you can speak, read, write and understand English. To do this, you must pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT).

For married couples and civil partnerships an original certificate is required to prove your relationship. If you are unmarried, you can use documents such as tenancy agreements showing you both lived at the same address or have owned the same house for at least two years. You can also use joint bank accounts or registration at the same doctors or dentists depending on the country.

To prove you meet the financial requirements you can use payslips, bank statements, an employment contract or a P60 to prove your income.


Children under the age of 18 can apply for a Family Visa to live with the parents in the UK, but they both have to be a British citizen or a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain. If your planning on joining with just one parent they have to take sole responsibility for raising the child. You can apply for this visa as the parent or as the child online.

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