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PBS Dependant Visa (Do You Qualify?)

Can you apply for a PBS dependant visa?

The following guidance provides an overview of the immigration options available to family members of a migrant in the UK applying for, or having been granted, leave to remain under the Points Based System (PBS).

Who can apply?

An individual can apply for limited leave to remain as a PBS dependant if they fall into one of the following categories:

  • The family member of a person with, or applying for, leave under Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 of the Points Based System.
  • The spouse or partner of a person with indefinite leave to remain, or British Citizenship, who last held leave in Tier 1, 2 or 5 of the Points Based System and who does not yet qualify for indefinite leave to remain.
  • The child of a person with indefinite leave to remain, or British Citizenship, who last held leave in Tier 1, 2 or 5 of the Points Based System, where their other parent does not yet qualify for indefinite leave to remain and they last held leave as a PBS dependant.

Limited leave to remain for a PBS dependant partner

A PBS dependant partner can include spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner. To qualify for entry clearance or leave to remain, the PBS dependant partner must meet the following requirements:

  • Both the dependant and main applicant must be aged 18 or over on the date they are due to arrive in the UK.
  • Any previous marriage or civil partnership, or similar relationship, between the PBS dependant and another person must have permanently broken down.
  • The marriage or civil partnership, or relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership, must be genuine and subsisting at the time the application is made.
  • You both intend to live with the other as their spouse or civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner throughout the dependant applicants’ stay in the UK.
  • Unless the main applicant/visa holder is a Tier 1 (Investor/Exceptional Talent) Migrant, either you or your partner must show that you have sufficient funds to support you for the entire duration of your stay in the UK. The level of funds will vary depending on which visa your partner is applying for/holding.

Where you are applying as an unmarried or same-sex partner, you will also need to show that you have been living in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for a period of at least two years.

Further, you must not be so closely related that you would be prohibited from marrying each other or entering into a civil partnership in the UK.

Limited leave to remain for a PBS dependant child

A PBS dependant child can include your own child, or your partner’s child. To qualify for entry clearance or leave to remain, the PBS dependant child must meet the following requirements:

  • Be under the age of 18 on the date of application. If aged 18 or over, they must have previously been granted leave as the family member of a PBS migrant, or someone applying at the same time for leave as a PBS migrant.
  • Both parents must be lawfully present in the UK, other than as visitors, or being granted entry clearance or leave to remain at the same time as the applicant.
  • Alternatively, one parent must be lawfully present in the UK where the other is being granted entry clearance or leave to remain at the same time as the applicant, unless:
    • You are the applicant’s sole surviving parent, or
    • You have, and have had, sole responsibility for the applicant’s upbringing, or
    • There are serious or compelling family or other considerations that would make it desirable not to refuse the application, and suitable arrangements have been made in the UK for the applicant’s care.
  • Unless you are a Tier 1 (Investor/Exceptional Talent) Migrant, you must show sufficient funds to support the PBS dependant child during their stay in the UK.

A PBS dependant will not be considered a child family member where they fall into any one of the following categories:

  • They are married or in a civil partnership.
  • They have formed an independent family unit, for example, living with their partner or have children of their own.
  • They are living an independent life, for example, in full-time employment, financially independent or living away from home, unless this relates to schooling.

Indefinite leave to remain 

As a PBS dependant partner, you may qualify for indefinite leave to remain if you have been granted leave as such, and your partner satisfies the following conditions:

  • They are at the same time being granted indefinite leave to remain as a relevant PBS migrant.
  • You already have indefinite leave to remain as a relevant PBS migrant.
  • You have become a British Citizen where prior to that you held indefinite leave to remain as a relevant PBS migrant.

You and the main visa holder must have been living together in the UK in a marriage or civil partnership, or in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership, for at least five years at the date of the application.

Further, you must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the English language and about life in the United Kingdom. This is known as the KoLL requirement, ie; knowledge of language and life in the UK.

Indefinite leave to remain for a PBS dependant child

A PBS dependant child can qualify for indefinite leave to remain as your child, or your partner’s child, and either you or your partner satisfy the following conditions:

  • You, or your partner, are at the same time as the applicant being granted indefinite leave to remain as a relevant PBS migrant or partner of a PBS migrant.
  • You, or your partner, already have indefinite leave to remain as a relevant PBS migrant or partner of a PBS migrant.

The child must have, or have last been granted, leave as the child of or have been born in the UK to, the relevant PBS migrant, or the partner of a PBS migrant, who is being granted indefinite leave to remain.

Further, the PBS dependant child must not now be married or in a civil partnership, must not have formed an independent family unit, and must not be leading an independent life.

If the applicant is under the age of 18 at the date on which the application is made, they not need to demonstrate the KoLL requirement.

Period of grant for a PBS dependant

For a PBS dependant partner, leave will be granted in line with the expiry date of the main visa applicant/holder’s own leave, as the PBS migrant, except where indefinite leave to remain has been granted. In these cases, the PBS dependant will be granted a period of three years leave.

An application for further leave may then be made if required to take the PBS dependant up to the applicable qualifying period for indefinite leave to remain.

For a PBS dependant child, leave will be granted in line with a period which expires on the same day as the leave granted to the parent whose leave expires first.

Alternatively, where both parents have, or are at the same time being granted, indefinite leave to remain, or have since become British citizens, leave to remain will be granted to the applicant for a period of three years.

If the PBS migrant changes employer or educational institution, requiring them to apply for leave to remain to work or study under a new sponsor, their PBS dependants do not have to apply with them for leave to remain. Instead they can remain in the UK until the end of the validity period of their existing PBS dependant leave.

If, on the other hand, the main visa holder’s permission to stay in the UK is revoked, or they decide to immigrate to a different country, this will affect the leave granted to the PBS dependant and they may also be required to leave.

Do you have a question about the PBS dependant visa?

The rules relating to PBS dependants are complex and often subject to change. With much at stake, being unable to join your partner in the UK on an indefinite basis, it is always best to seek legal advice prior to submitting any application.

DavidsonMorris are specialists in UK immigration, working closely with individuals to provide guidance and support through Home Office applications such as PBS dependant visas. Contact us for advice on your application.

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