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Bringing your family to the UK

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Find out information on bringing your family to the UK

If you decide to bring your family with you while you study at Royal Holloway, we’ll do our best to support you.


  • We have a limited number of flats and houses for postgraduate students with families.
  • Rents for this accommodation vary from about £6,000 a year for a one-bedroom couple’s flat to about £10,000 a year for a house. You’ll also have to pay for gas, electricity, water and telephone bills.
  • For more information, see our postgraduate accommodation pages. If you’re interested, we recommend you apply as early as possible.
  • Due to the shortage of Royal Holloway accommodation, most families live in private rented accommodation locally.  Prices fluctuate but rent for a two bedroom flat will be around £1,436 a month. Rent for a three-bedroom house will be about £1,882 a month. You can check average rent prices in the area where you want to live here.
  • We can’t actively help you find private sector accommodation. However, you’ll find lots of useful resources and information here.

Council tax

  • You’ll be exempt from paying council tax (this covers local services such as refuse collections etc) if you’re studying full-time.
  • This exemption applies from the day your course starts. Some local authorities may charge council tax for the period between your arrival in the UK and the day your course starts.
  • You won’t have to pay council tax during the holidays. But if you’ve finished your course and are waiting to start another, you may be charged council tax during this period.
  • To find out more, see the council tax section of the UK government’s website.


  • If your children are aged between 5 and 16, they can attend state primary and secondary schools for free. However, they must be in the UK as your dependants.
  • Schools may sometimes refuse to admit your child if they have no places or consider that your child’s stay in the UK will be too short.
  • To find out more, see:
  • Schools admissions - a general guide from the UK government aimed at all UK residents.
  • A guide to schooling in England - for people new to the UK.

Childcare and nurseries

  • Childcare for pre-school children includes nurseries, crèches and childminders. You can find further information on the Surrey County Council website. (Royal Holloway is located in Surrey).
  • Students' children enjoy priority places at Englefield Green Nursery and Preschool, the on-campus nursery managed by Bright Horizons.
  • Be aware that childcare in the London area is expensive. For details of average childcare costs, see here.
  • Our Sports Centre offers childcare for children aged from five, during school holidays and half-term breaks.

Employment for spouses

  • Your spouse’s ability to work in the UK will depend on their nationality and, in some cases, on the length of your degree.
  • If your spouse is a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA), they can work in the UK.
  • Spouses of other nationalities are normally eligible to work only if you’re enrolled on a course for 12 months or more.
  • There are some restrictions to the type of work your spouse can do. See the UKCISA website for details.

General tips

  • We recommend that you arrive first so you can make the necessary arrangements for housing and schooling, and that your family arrive later.
  • If your spouse and children are arriving in the country separately from you, make sure they have a photocopy of the page in your passport showing your name and other details and the page showing your student visa.
  • See here for information on family visas.

Student Services Centre

Our Student Services Centre can help with non-academic related enquiries eg college cards, enrolment and graduation.

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