Bringing your adult dependent relative to the UK

July 3 , 2017
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July 3 , 2017

Bringing your adult dependent relative to the UK

Bringing your adult dependent relative to the UK

If you are settled in the UK and wish in bringing an adult dependant relative into the UK especially an elderly parent, to take care of them, you may be frustrated to find how difficult this is to achieve.  The number of Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visas, also known as elderly dependent visas, issued in the UK is decidedly low.  Securing the services of a good specialist immigration solicitor will help you achieve the best possible outcome.

Adult dependant relatives -facts and figures

 The ADR Rules, which came into effect in July 2012, brought in tougher and more stringently enforced entry criteria in bringing an adult dependant relative into the UK, as part of the government’s overall changes to the UK’s family migration policy.  Figures show that only 34 ADR visas were granted in the year following the rule changes.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants[1] has stated that the ADR rules are “unnecessarily harsh, causing families suffering and anxiety, and are rationally disconnected from the government’s policy on family values”.  However, the recent decision of President McCloskey coming out of the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) has shed a glimmer of hope on the interpretation of the draconian requirements of the immigration rules, with an application on human rights grounds.

The eligibility criteria for an ADR visa

 In simple terms, to be eligible for an adult dependent relative (ADR) visa, when applying adult dependant relative must be dependent on a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter of someone living permanently in the UK.  The applicant must prove the following criteria:

  • they need long term care to do everyday personal and household tasks, because of age, illness or disability;
  • that the care required is not available or affordable in the country they currently live in;
  • that the person in the UK sponsoring the application will be able to support, accommodate and care for the applicant without claiming public funds for at least five years; and
  • be over 18 years old and a close relative of the person sponsoring their application who must also be over 18 and either a British citizen, a person present and settled in the UK or someone with refugee leave or humanitarian protection.

It is possible to seek entry clearance into the UK under an adult dependent relative (ADR) visa as a couple.

Interpretation of the thresholds

 The criteria are not easy to meet and have been referred to as “a ban masquerading as a rule”.  In practice, the thresholds are exceedingly high and entry clearance officers stringently enforce the rules.

Long term care for every day personal and household tasks

Unless the applicant requires long term personal care with everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing and dressing, the application will fall at the first hurdle.  The unreported case of Osman v ECO [OA/18244/2012] gave useful guidance on how these rules should be interpreted.

Senior Immigration Judge (SIJ) Craig stated that “everyday tasks includes mobility and as a matter of common sense, to include the ability to leave one’s home and interact with the world outside engaging in everyday living activities.”  SIJ Craig also stated “the need is for “personal” care, in other words, care provided by another person.  The personal care must be required long term rather than on a temporary or transient basis.  And further, the provision of care must be necessary in order that an individual may perform “everyday tasks”.”

In Osman SIJ Craig concluded that an adult dependent relative (ADR) visa should be granted to the applicant as she suffered from schizophrenia and mental health conditions, making her a prisoner in her own home.  Even if adequate personal and medical care were available in her home country, the carers would be “like a stranger” to the applicant and therefore “adequate care” could only properly be provided by a close family member.

Available care in the country of origin

Adult dependent relative (ADR) visa applications have been refused if a paid carer was available in the applicant’s home country, and the carer could be paid for by the applicant’s relative in the UK.  This hurdle appears virtually impossible to clear as most sponsors who are able to afford to maintain and accommodate their dependent relatives in the UK for the next five years, will find it hard to prove that they cannot afford to provide for the cost of that care in their relative’s country of origin.

In practice therefore, it is usually necessary to prove that the “required level of care” is not available in the applicant’s country of origin and that there is no one there who can reasonably provide it.

An appeal on Human Rights grounds

 The recent case of Dasgupta (error of law – proportionality – correct approach) [2016] UKUT 28 (IAC) has given a glimmer of hope to ADR applicants based on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article 8 is the right to respect for private and family life and could be used as grounds for appeal against an adverse ADR visa application in “exceptional circumstances”.  The scope of protection afforded by Article 8 was found to be flexible by President McCloskey and in this case allowed for an appeal outside the Immigration Rules.


 Making an application in bringing adult dependent relative to the UK is notoriously difficult.  With the current government intending to clamp down further on immigration controls, the “unnecessarily harsh” adult dependent relative (ADR) rules look set to remain.  Article 8 may however provide some assistance to people struggling to bring dependent family members to join them in the UK.  What is essential when considering an adult dependent relative (ADR) visa application, is the knowledge and experience of an immigration solicitor.  Professional legal advice from the outset of your case is crucial to obtaining the best possible outcome for your circumstances, from a very difficult, technical and tightly regulated area of law.

 Saracens Solicitors is a full service legal firm based in the West End of London.  Our immigration department can assist you on all aspects relating to bringing your adult dependent relative to the UK.  Please contact our immigration team on 020 3588 3500 for advice.


[1] Joint Council for the Welfare Of Immigrants


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