Firstly we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! We hope that you are all now settled into your course and are getting accustomed to the changeable British weather! Some of you may have returned to your home country over the holidays whilst others may have had family to visit or be planning this for the future.
Moving to a new country and living on your own can be a little daunting, to say the least. You may have never lived on your own before or you might not have lived in another country before. Whatever your situation, we can totally understand why you may miss your family (or equally why you may be loving the time away!)
We remember when we first moved away to university. As exciting as it was to have all that freedom, the reality of doing your own cooking and laundry definitely kicked in sooner rather than later! The first day I tried to do my own laundry I stood in front of the machine for 15 minutes trying to figure out which button would switch it on (I’m sure I got a few odd looks).
You may be in the process of applying to Cranfield or already settled in here. You now may be wondering if you can bring your family over. This may be the perfect opportunity to experience a new culture together and make some wonderful memories!
Your family photo album will be the envy of everyone back home. You can look back and reminisce about the day you stood outside Buckingham Palace waiting for the Queen (yes, we have done that many times and were equally disappointed not to see her), or even just spending the day having a picnic in a quiet, tranquil park. All these new memories are possible.
It may seem a little silly but the UKVI have a very limited definition of what they class as dependents for the purpose of a Tier 4 student. So the only family that you can have stay with you is your partner and/or children. (Yes, you now have an official excuse to tell your mum when she keeps asking you why she can’t live at university with you!)
Of course there are some financial requirements which you must also fulfill before bringing your family over. For example, you must have £680 per dependent per month for a maximum of nine months. This is calculated up until your visa expiry date so ask us if you’re not sure how many months you’ll need to show. Also, this money must be held in theirs or your account for at least 28 consecutive days up to the date of your closing balance.
However, if an independent organisation or company is giving you money to cover your course fees and living costs you may want to ask them if they are able to also cover the full maintenance costs of your family. If they are prepared to do this, then they will need to provide a letter confirming this.
If your family and friends would like to come visit you for your birthday or maybe just for a holiday this is also possible. You won’t need a Tier 4 dependent visa if it’s for a short visit for less than 6 months.
This is definitely a good opportunity to see all your family and show them around the UK (they will be very impressed when you navigate the tubes and trains like a pro!) They will need to make a visitor’s visa application from outside the UK. You can provide them with a letter of invitation confirming the dates they will be visiting you and your relationship to them. If you will be providing them with money and accommodation you will need to specify this and ensure that your landlord allows guests!
If you have any questions or need some help please remember you can always contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or come and see us in Building 45.