In this post, I will answer all your questions about dependent visas. I will also share tips on how you can apply to be a dependent in the UK. If you are interested in applying for a student/skilled worker visa from Nigeria, and you need to bring your spouse along, this post will provide a guide for the steps you need to take from the beginning to the end. My name is Susan, welcome to my blog.


Who can be a Dependent?

Planning your travel plans from the onset really prepares you for the task ahead. One of the important parts about migrating is the question of whether or not you will be bringing your spouse and children along. So if you plan to leave the country to become either a student or a skilled worker – whatever visa you are on, your spouse/children can come along with you via a dependent visa. The UK has made it easy for families to stay together using a dependent visa. 

How do you apply for a Dependent visa?

Like most visa applications, you need to go through the right process. Dependent visa application process really starts and ends with the main applicant visa application process. This means a dependent is tethered to the person who is either the student or the skilled worker. Most dependents begin their own application after the main applicant’s visa has been approved while others apply alongside their spouses. I went with the former. This gave me ample time to start applying for mine, figure out how to quit my job, pack up our lives in Nigeria. I know of couples who came to the country together, so it really depends on your decision as a couple.

What are the steps to take to get a Dependent visa?

 I categorised the steps into two: the preliminary stage and final stage.

Let’s start with the preliminary stage. 

The preliminary stage is when you get your medicals sorted out. The UK government requests for a negative tuberculosis result for anyone coming to the country, so as a dependent you will need to get this test done at an organization called IOM (International Organization for Migration). 

IOM is the recognised place for you to get this test done, and if tested negative, you will be issued a certificate. If tested positive for tuberculosis, they will discuss treatment options and advice to come back for the test. Once given this certificate, you can move to the final stage. 

The final stage

This involves applying for the visa. To do this, you can visit the UKVI website and follow the instructions or you can hire a travel agent to do it on your behalf. Please note that you cannot change the application once submitted so ensure you don’t make any mistakes.

Afterwards, you print out your application form and your documents alongside your tuberculosis certificate to an office called TLS.

TLS contact is sort of a middleman between you the applicant and the UK Home Office where a decision is being made on visa applications. The TLS office collects certain documents from you and informs you when a decision is made on your application. TLS offers self-service or assisted service for the submission of the document. Assisted service means they are the ones to help you scan and upload the documents, while self-service means you must have scanned and uploaded it yourself before your appointment date. Assisted service cost 11,700 Naira extra. 

TLS is located in Lagos and Abuja. There are two locations in Lagos; one at Ikeja and the other at Victoria Island. The difference between the one in Ikeja and the one in VI is the fees. VI requires you to pay a fee of 55 Pounds while Ikeja is free of charge. Book an appointment on their website before going. It will save you the stress of being turned away at the gate. 

Documents required of a dependent to bring to TLS?

  • TLS Appointment letter
  • Visa Application form 
  • A printed checklist
  • Nigerian Passport
  • A printed copy of your bank statement containing your Proof of fund
  • IHS (Immigration Health Surcharge) payment receipt 
  • Main applicant’s admission offer letter photocopy
  • Photocopy CAS letter of the main applicant
  • A copy of main applicant’s Passport 
  • Tuberculosis Certificate
  • A copy of main applicant’s handwritten consent letter 
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Change of name documents 
  • Proof of relationship (wedding pictures, chats history etc)

How much does it cost to apply for a Dependent visa?

A brief breakdown of the cost if you are going through the standard route i.e excluding extra costs at the TLS for fees at the VI centre.

  • TLS – for my application, I paid a total of 20,500 Naira which covered the cost of sms alert, assisted service, courier return of my passport and visa application result.
  • VISA APPLICATION – for a standard visa, it costs 489 USD
  • IHS – this costs 990 USD
  • IOM – 57,800 Naira 

TOTAL ESTIMATE (244500+495000+57,800+20,5000) = 817,800 Naira minus inflation, Proof of fund to sustain your stay in the UK and miscellaneous. 

The process can be quite draining financially and mentally, but I really hope you have a hitch-free visa application process. Please drop a comment below if you like this sort of content, and what other posts I can make to help you in your application process. 

To watch a video instead, click the link below.

Thanks for reading, bye!

My first day in the Uk


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