This page contains useful advice for international students who have children, either already in the UK, who want to join you in the UK or who are born in the UK. The sections below give information about immigration, money, childcare and changes to your studies you may find helpful to read.
As an international student, your children can join you in the UK as your dependants if you meet certain criteria. These are set out in detail in the UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) guidance on Dependants. The advice differs according to whether your dependants are already in the UK or outside of the UK, what type of immigration permission you have and what level and length of course you are studying, so it is important for you to read the relevant sections that apply to you carefully.
If your dependants are allowed to come to the UK, the UKCISA guidance gives advice on:
- how your dependants can apply to come to the UK
- how much money you need to show for each dependant as part of an immigration application
- whether your dependants can work
- schooling for your children
- babies born in the UK
Planning your funding
We have information on our website to help you with planning your funding before you start a programme of studies.
If you are here with Tier 4 immigration permission, you are not eligible for UK welfare benefits. This is because Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission has a prohibition on claiming public funds (such as Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit). This means you will need to ensure you have enough money for yourself and your dependants to cover all of your and their living costs for the duration of your course as well as paying your tuition fees.
You can use our online budgeting resources, including a spreadsheet you can personalise, to help you calculate how much money you will need for you and your dependants whilst you are undertaking your studies. This includes a helpful list of pre-arrival and average costs for main expenses such as food, travel and accommodation. There is more information about the cost of living in London on our international money pages.
Help from QMUL
As we explain in our Financial options during your studies webpage, there is very little financial help available to international students once they start their course. However, if you experience an emergency or unexpected financial hardship, you may be able to apply to the QMUL Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) for some limited financial assistance. Contact a Welfare Adviser if you need advice about applying to FAF.
Also, if there is a temporary disruption to your usual source of funding, you may be able to apply to QMUL Bursaries Office for a short term loan until your funding resumes. To apply for a short term loan, contact the Student Enquiry Centre, Ground Floor, Queens Building.
We have written a Childcare advice guide which gives information on:
- What type of childcare do you need?
- Registered childcare
- What to look for
- The Westfield Nursery
- Childcare in your local area
- Paying for childcare
- External Support and guidance for parents
Changes to your studies
International students are expected to engage with their studies whilst in the UK as a condition of their immigration permission. If you become pregnant or experience pregnancy related health issues or childcare issues, you might need to consider taking time out from your studies.
As we explain in our Resitting, Interrupting, Leaving your course advice guide, if you need to interrupt your studies for more than 60 days and you have Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission, you would not be able to stay in the UK during an interruption, so you would need to return to your home country. Your dependants would also need to return home with you. Our Home Office reporting and curtailment webpage sets out the administrative procedures that QMUL and the Home Office must follow and what you need to do if you interrupt your studies.
If you need to interrupt your studies for more than 60 days and you have Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission, you would not be able to stay in the UK during an interruption, so you would need to return to your home country. Your dependants would also need to return home with you. Our Home Office reporting and curtailment webpage sets out the administrative procedures that QMUL and the Home Office must follow and what you need to do if you interrupt your studies.If you are receiving sponsorship from your government, another international organisation or QMUL, check your agreement for any terms and conditions relating to interruptions of study and how your funding will be affected. If you anticipate needing a small absence from your studies, you may be able to take this as annual leave rather than an interruption of study, which would enable you to stay in the UK and not have to return to your home country. Contact the Research Degrees Office for advice about your options.