As growing number of migrants apply for the point based system, the need to understand how dependants can join their partners in the UK is important. In addition to partners joining, children can also apply to enter the UK or extend their leave to remain. The term PBS is widely used in the immigration policy framework, and is referred to the “point based system” migrant.
Following the new introduction of further immigration categories, this application route covers migrants granted leave to remain under Appendix W of the immigration rules.
Not all dependants fit in with the PBS dependant’s category, so you need to make sure you apply for a visa for your dependant under the correct policy.
The categories of PBS Dependants
Lets first look at the type of categories that this policy applies to before we turn to the requirements of the visa application as a PBS Dependant.
If the main migrant holds or is applying for a visa under the Tier 1, 2, 4 or 5 of the point based system, then you would be eligible to apply for the dependant visa.
Where the main grant have acquired British nationality or indefinite leave to remain but held previous leave under the point based system, you would be eligible to continue applying or extending your leave to remain. If you have not held previous dependency visa, you may not be eligible unless exemption applies or you’re under the transitional requirements.
Where children under the age of 18 years apply to extend, they can continue to benefit from the policy if they have held previous leave to remain as a PBS Dependant. If the adult children do not meet the policy, they may qualify for leave to remain outside of the immigration rules and this is based on case by case basis only.
Applying for the PBS Dependant Visa for Partners
When you or your partner considers applying for the dependant visa, there are certain requirements to be met at the date of application. In all immigration application, your dependant would be asked to demonstrate that they do not fall for general grounds of refusal. A number of immigration applications are refused based on a person’s conduct and character.
Both you and your partner must be aged 18 years or older at the date of leave being granted as a PBS Dependant. Evidences related to your relationship must be provided and will need to meet the strict guidelines of a relationship being genuine and subsisting relationship. There must be the intention to live together as partners when you arrive in the UK.
If the application is based on un-married partner route, then you will need to demonstrate that you have lived together for 2 years akin to marriage. This must be prior to the date of application.
It is expected that you meet the financial maintenance requirements at the date of application unless the main migrant is a Tier 1 Investor, Tier 1 Exceptional Talent or Global Talent visa holder.
Further to this, there are additional requirements to be met if the PBS migrant holds a Tier 4 General visa. If the PBS migrant holds a student visa, then they must be on a government sponsored study for more than 6 months, on a doctorate extension or studying a master’s degree with a University, whereby the course is more than 9 months. In all other cases, PBS Dependants cannot join the PBS migrant if they do not meet the above requirements.
Where a PBS migrant intends to switch into the PBS Dependant visa, they may be permitted to do so however must meet the specified requirements outlined in the immigration policy. There are some restrictions of switching from the UK that are imposed depending on the visa category you hold.
In respect to the costs of the application, this would depend on the country of application and also the immigration health surcharge is required to be paid. You will also be expected to pay for your biometric details and also for the use of the service centres, both available in the UK and outside of the UK.
Children of PBS Migrants
You can bring your dependants to the UK if they are under the age of 18 years. They must not fall for general grounds of refusal. When applying for a child to either join or extend their leave to remain, the parent must be both present in the UK unless one of the parents hold sole parental rights or that there are serious & compelling grounds.
Further to this, the child must not be living an independent life, is not married and is not leading an independent life, meaning, they must be financially dependent on their parent, who are in the UK.
PBS Dependants to meet the maintenance requirements
The immigration policy sets out the requirements for dependants to meet the financial maintenance which is part of their immigration application. The purpose behind is to demonstrate that the PBS Dependant can be supported financially adequately in the UK.
Depending on the PBS migrant’s legal stay in the UK, the maintenance requirements would be determined including how long the PBS migrant have also lived in the UK. For example, a Tier 1 migrant will require to show for each dependant a cash saving if £1,890 for a period of 90 days whereas a Tier 2 dependant will need to show only £630. It is important that you check the requirements of the financial maintenance at the date of application, to avoid a visa refusal.
There are exception policies applied for the maintenance requirements; however these changes over time and you will need to check this prior to the application being lodged.
If PBS Dependant Visa is refused
Where the visa is refused, there will be a right to challenge against a decision. The purpose of challenging the decision is to identify case working errors made by the Home Office.
If you have been refused your dependant visa, you can email us a copy of the decision to email@example.com or you can call us on 0207 237 3388 to discuss the refusal. We will check on the grounds of refusal and will advise you whether there are merits to challenge the decision or re-apply for the visa.
Indefinite leave to remain as a PBS Dependant
A PBS Dependant can apply for indefinite leave to remain once you have completed 5 years of continuous residency. There are separate requirements for partners and children when applying for indefinite leave to remain.
First of all, as a partner of a PBS migrant, you must demonstrate that you and the PBS migrant are in a genuine and subsisting relationship. You will need to provide evidences that you and your partner have lived together during the last 5 years period & have the intention to live together permanently as husband & wife in the UK.
Further to this, the knowledge of life requirements would need to be met unless you meet some of the exemption requirements. In addition to this, you will need to prove that in the last 5 years, absences does not exceed more than 180 days in each of the 12 months during the qualifying periods. When applying for indefinite leave to remain, you must not fall for refusal under general grounds of refusal.
Now moving to a child dependant applying for indefinite leave to remain, the child would be applying for settled status either at the same time as the PBS migrant or when both parents are settled in the UK. For example, if one the parent is settled i.e. the PBS migrant but not the other parent as they have not completed their 5 years residency, the child cannot apply until he or she applies with that parent at the same time for their indefinite leave to remain.
Where the child is aged 18 years and over at the date of the indefinite leave to remain application, the knowledge of life requirements must be met. If the child is aged over 16 years at the date of application, evidences of their financial dependency and that they live at the same household are required to be evident at the date of application.
In all cases, the PBS Dependant must demonstrate that they have adequate accommodation and meet the financial adequacy test at the date of application.
Taking legal advice on the PBS Dependant Visa
We at ICS Legal will provide guidance and correct advice on how to apply for the PBS Dependant visa. The visa requirements will need to be met at the date of application to avoid a visa refusal.
You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.