What are the Immigration Rules for Adult Dependent Relatives?
There are more opportunities than ever to live in another country, whether joining other family members, working, or studying. While there are clear benefits to being able to live in other parts of the world, this can leave families somewhat separated, and this can be a problem if we ever need care. Thankfully, under the UK’s immigration system, it is possible to secure an Adult Dependent Relative visa, enabling overseas relatives to be cared for by close family members living in the UK in certain circumstances. This article will explain the purpose of the Adult Dependent Relative visa, the eligibility rules, and how to apply.
Who can benefit from the Adult Dependent Relative visa?
The Adult Dependent Relative visa is intended to allow UK citizens and permanent residents to care for a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter who lives outside the UK. For example, if you migrated to the UK from another country and have settled here permanently, you may be able to bring a close family member from your home country to assist you with your care needs due to illness, disability, or age.
The Adult Dependent Relative visa allows holders to remain indefinitely without a need to extend or settled if the UK based family member is a British or Irish national or has permanent residence in the UK.
What are the eligibility rules for the Adult Dependent Relative visa?
The main eligibility rules for the Adult Dependent Relative visa centre around the genuine need for care and the relationship between the overseas applicant and the person based in the UK, as follows:
Applicants for the Adult Dependent Relative visa must be either the parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter of a person living in the UK. The UK based family member must fit into one of the following categories in order to secure an Adult Dependent Relative visa:
- be a British or Irish citizen
- have settled in the UK – e.g. have indefinite leave to remain, settled status, or proof of permanent residence
- be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein and have the pre-settled status
- have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
As part of the application process for the Adult Dependent Relative visa, the evidence must be provided that there is a genuine need for care and that all the following apply:
- the person coming to the UK needs long-term care for everyday personal and household tasks due to illness, disability or age
- the care need is not available or affordable in the applicant’s home country
- the family member based in the UK is able to provide the necessary support, accommodation and care for you without claiming public funds for at least five years
In addition, the person coming to the UK to be cared for must be 18 years of age or over.
The income requirements are set out in Appendix FM Section 1.7
How do I apply for the Adult Dependent Relative visa?
The application process for the Adult Dependent Relative visa is completed online on the UK Home Office website. You will also need to complete form Appendix 1 (VAF 4A July 2012): family settlement and family reunion.
The information you will need to provide with your application will depend on the circumstances, the nature of the relationship between the applicant and the UK based person, and the care needs, and may include:
- Evidence of the relationship between the applicant and the sponsor – e.g. a birth or adoption certificate
- Evidence that, as a result of age, illness or disability, the applicant requires long-term personal care from a health professional – e.g. a detailed medical report
- Evidence that the applicant cannot find the required level of care in their home country – e.g. a letter from a central or local health authority, a local authority, or
- a doctor or other health professional in the country or private provider explaining why care is not available, and/or an explanation of why care is not affordable in the applicant’s home country.
- Evidence of sufficient maintenance funds and accommodation in the UK – this may include:
- original bank statements covering the last six months
- other evidence of income – such as payslips, income from savings, shares,
- bonds – covering the last six months
- relevant information on outgoings, for example, Council Tax, utilities, and on
- support for anyone else who is dependent on the sponsor
- a copy of a mortgage or tenancy agreement showing ownership or occupancy
- of a property
- planned care arrangements for the applicant in the UK (which can involve other family members in the UK) and the cost of these (which must be met by the sponsor, without undertakings of third party support)
It is important to understand that Adult Dependent Relative visas are only issued in limited circumstances where all the above eligibility rules are met. This is why it is so important to provide plenty of evidence to support the application and to make it clear that there is a genuine need to come to the UK to be cared for by a close relative.
Applying for an Adult Dependent Relative visa can take time and requires careful attention when providing the evidence required by the Home Office. If you are not eligible for an Adult Dependent Relative visa, it still may be possible to apply if there are exceptional circumstances that would allow the ECHR Article 8 right to respect for private and family life to be engaged. An experienced immigration solicitor in London will be able to advise you which is the most suitable path to consider. This will depend on the strength of the family ties and the age, health, and vulnerability of the applicant.