Adult dependant Relative Visa

A broad definition of an adult dependant is an adult (18 years and above) who needs assistance to carry out their normal activities. Such an individual is not able to do anything and/or live normally all by themselves. From a general point of view, an adult dependant may be “anyone”, however from a UK immigration point of view, the definitions of an adult dependant is limited to “an adult who as a result of age, illness or disability, they require a level of long-term personal care that can only be provided in the UK by their relative in the UK and without recourse to public funds.

This visa route cannot be switched into i.e. the Home Office will not accept applications from within the country. Hence, in technical terms it is referred “Entry Clearance as an Adult Dependant Relative” Once in the UK, they would be able to extend their visa in line with that of their sponsor.

The immigration rules on Adult Dependent Relatives (ADR Rules) came in force in July 2012. It is designed to allow elderly parent and grandparents of residents and British nationals to be able to join their family in the UK.

Based on the new rules, the adult dependent who is the applicant must: –

  1. Require long-term personal care: – Such care must be as a result of the dependent’s old age, illness or disability. Personal care refers personal grooming and day to day activities including washing, dressing and cooking. The inclusion of ‘long term’ means that the adult dependent would need such care for an indefinite period.
  2. Care can only be provided physically by the sponsor: – The dependant must not be able to obtain such care (long term and personal) even with the financial support of the sponsor in the dependant’s country of residence and no other person in the dependant’s country of residence can provide such care and support. It may also be that the cost of getting someone else to provide such support is not affordable.
  3. Have access to adequate maintenance (funds) and accommodation: – In the application, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that the sponsor is able to adequately provide for them with regards to their accommodation and maintenance without recourse to public funds. In most cases, the sponsor would have to sign a 5-year undertaking to this effect.
  4. Have no pending criminal conviction: – It is important that in the last seven years, the applicant has not been sentenced or convicted of any crime.

Entry Clearance for Adult dependants under the age of 65 years’ old

Subject to what is said below, where the adult dependant relative is under the age of 65 years and living alone, they would need to show that there are “exceptional compassionate circumstances” in which they cannot continue to live in their current country of residence. The meaning of “exceptional compassionate circumstance” is rather subjective would be dependent on the facts and circumstances of each particular case.

The definition of what an exceptional and compassionate circumstance is dependent on the entry clearance officer and the judge in the event of an appeal. Such level of subjectivity has been a major drawback to this rule; making it a difficult requirement to satisfy.

In practical terms, applicants may need to demonstrate that they are facing a life threatening vulnerability and there is no one to care for them in their country of origin or that the cost of caring for them in their home country is unaffordable.

The concept of exceptional and compassionate circumstance may also relate to dependants above the age of 65 as well. However, this application would depend on the facts and circumstances of each particular case as well as at the discretion of the Entry Clearance Officer.

Evidence Required for an adult dependant Relative Visa

  1. Evidence of family relationship: – Proof to show that the applicant is related to the sponsor.
  2. Evidence to show that the applicant requires long-term personal care.
  3. Evidence to show that even with the financial support of the sponsor, the applicant is not able to have access to adequate care.
  4. Applicant must show details of previous care arrangement and why that care is no longer available.
  5. Where the change of situation is as a result of the applicant’s recent inability to continue to afford care in the home country, proof of this must be demonstrated in the application.

It is important to mention here that if application is made without adequate evidence, it will be refused and most appeals are likely to be unsuccessful for the same reason.

Reports have highlighted the unfairness and injustice that have plagued this rule as it has only served to inflict harm on the children and relatives of the potential applicants. It is therefore important that enough care is taken when making this application. Only 34 visas were issued under this category between 1st November 2012 to 30th September 2013 (Freedom of information request response on the 8th of April 2014).

Surrinder Singh and the Adult Dependant relative Visa

Summarily, the Surrinder Singh route is popular among British nationals looking to bring in their relatives to the UK where under the current rules may not permit. Essentially, this rule allows the Home Office’s immigration rules (especially bothering on net migration) to be overruled in favour of European Rules.

The Surrinder Singh rule simply means that the right for a person moving among EU member states should also include a right to return. It is common sense that if you are allowing me to go out, there is an implied permission to return, except of course otherwise stated.

The question that this readily brings to mind therefore is, “Does the Surrinder Singh apply to Adult Dependent Relatives?” The answer is an emphatic, Yes! A situation where a British national moves to an EEA member state to live, work or study and meets certain requirements, that British person can come back to the UK together with his family members in accordance with the EU free movement law.

Adult Relative Dependant Visa Lawyers London

If you need assistance with applying for your immigration visa status or have had a refusal, contact one of our London-based lawyers for a free initial assessment. We will help you to decide what your options are and once you understand your options, will offer you a tailor-made service for the process. Contact us on 020 3540 7770 or e-mail us at

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