What to consider
If you wish to bring family members with you to Cambridge whilst you study, you will need to consider not only the financial implications but also your accommodation and any childcare, and schooling needs.
You will need to obtain the consent of your College, and supply evidence of additional financial support, if you wish to bring dependants to Cambridge. Graduate Admissions provides more information. There is also a Cambridge Guide for Student Parents.
UK Immigration Policy
Bringing your Family when you are studying
The UK Government’s immigration policy places some restrictions and conditions on dependants. Since July 2011, the Government will not allow your dependants to apply for a visa if you are studying:
- at undergraduate level; or
- on a Master's level course that lasts less than twelve months, unless you are a new government-sponsored student following a course which lasts longer than six months
This means family members of students on the following Cambridge courses will not be able to apply for leave as Tier 4 dependants:
- all undergraduate programmes at NQF Level 6;
- graduate programmes lasting less than 12 months (e.g. PGCE, many MPhil programmes and the Diploma in Economics) - see the graduate fees and funding webpages for details of course lengths (check the grey column in the appropriate document);
- certificates (e.g. Certificate in Theology for Ministry - NQF4)
Further details and advice on bringing your family:
- UKBA: Adult Students - Tier 4 (General) 'Can your bring your family?'
The UK Government has rules for babies born in the UK and the provisions for family members of students who have recently been studying in the UK.
If your partner is not coming to the UK with you, but you wish to bring your children as your dependants, the Government only allows this in exceptional circumstances. In their application as your dependant you will have to evidence the 'serious and compelling' reasons why the child should be with you in the UK and that you have made suitable arrangements for the child's care.
Bringing your family to interview
If you are coming to the UK to attend an interview at College, and you normally require a visa to enter the UK, then we understand that you should apply as a General Visitor (if you are over the age of 18) or Child Visitor (if you are under 18 years old). The process of obtaining the visa depends on your visa status. Therefore:
- If you hold a passport from a country outside the European Economic Area and you are a visa national (someone who requires a visitor visa before travelling to the UK), you must apply before leaving for the UK;
- If you hold a passport from outside the European Economic Area and you are not a visa national, then you can seek permission to enter as a visitor on arrival in the UK.
The College inviting you to interview will provide you with a letter confirming the details of the interview (e.g. dates) and any other arrangements (e.g. accommodation). Since the College is not inviting any accompanying adult, the College is not required to provide any letter of support for any accompanying adult. We suggest this should come from the parent/guardian, possibly in liaison with the school if a teacher is accompanying you.
If you are under 18 years and travelling to the UK without an adult, then you also require:
- Consent from your parent/guardian for you to travel to the UK; and
- Evidence that suitable living arrangements have been made for the stay in the UK; and
- Contact details of your parent/guardian in your home country.
If you are under 18 years, and travelling with an adult, you must identify this adult when applying for your visa. The adult must be over the age of 18. The adult's name will appear on the visa. If you subsequently arrive in the UK without that adult, you will be refused entry. You can identify up to two adults, as long as your parent or guardian has given their consent (permission). Your visa is only valid if you travel with at least one of the adults identified on their visa.