About Us
Firm History & Expertise
City Legal is a multi award winning law firm specialising in UK Immigration Law, Wills & Estate Planning, Global Citizenship as well as providing Business, Education and HR Consultancy to both individual and corporate clients around the world.
Our Team
Meet the experts behind our success.
Accreditations & Awards
Check our credibility and reliability.
Reviews & Testimonials
View our client feedback from all sources.
Join our multi award-winning team.
Knowledge Hub
Quick and Easy access for relevant sources.
See informative videos on legal areas we cover.
See visual presentation of key information.
Digital information on different practice areas.
View engaging online events & presentations.
Get more Insights on our firm and services.
Learn more on recent events and latest updates.
Listen to our audio version of blog anywhere.
Success Stories
Get a more understanding of our past experience.
View All
HGV Food Drivers: Eligibility & Conditions
Temporary Visa Scheme for HGV Drivers & Poultry Workers
Immigration Rule Changes September 2021
Right to work checks changes from 01 September 2021
EU Settlement Scheme Deadline Fast Approaching.
Contact Us
Call Us
Speak with our award-winning team on 0330 058 3929 to learn more. Available Monday - Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Request a Call Back
Choose a convenient time and we will get in touch to discuss your enquiry. Available Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Chat with Us
Our expert legal team is available to answer your questions. Available Monday – Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Email Us
Please send us an email to enquiries@citylegalservices.co.uk and we will be in touch to discuss your legal matter.
22 Peterborough Road, Harrow, London, HA1 2BQ
Client Area
Client Portal
City Legal offer clients a dedicated portal to view and manage their transactions, accept estimates, pay invoices and get client account statements.
Manage Appointments
Already booked a Consultation? Log-in to your Appointment Dashboard and change or manage your bookings to suit your availability.
Document Management
Our clients can securely view, share and comment on documents online at any time via our dedicated document management portal linked to your matter.
Pay Legal Fees
We offer an online payment facility to our clients for the payment of Legal Fees or Client Invoices online by credit or debit card at no additional cost.
Book an Appointment

Alternatives to the Adult Dependant Relatives Visa

Alternatives to the “illusional” Elderly Depedant Relatives Settlement Visa

In my line of work as a UK Immigration Adviser, I have been receiving numerous phone calls from people who wish to know whether and how they can sponsor their elderly non-EEA parents and grandparents to come and reside with them in the UK. Since the level of confusion regarding the relevant rules and requirements is evident, I thought it would be a good topic to cover in my blog today.

The Adult Dependant Relatives  Visa (ADR) category allows British citizens and persons present and settled in the UK to make a visa application for their elderly parents and grand-parents to join them in the UK. However, whereas under the rules before July 2012 one could apply for immediate settlement in the UK if he or she was over the age of 65, wholly or mainly financially dependent on the sponsoring relative and could meet the standard of maintenance and accommodation requirements, the rules in place since July 2012 have not only removed any option for immediate settlement, but also introduced far more strenuous eligibility criteria, effectively rendering the  elderly dependant relative immigration  route all but impossible to fulfil  in practice.

Only  34 adult dependent relative settlement visas were issued  under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules Between 1 November 2012 to 30 September 2013*(According to Home Office record Freedom of Information request response – 8 April 2014)

 The current test requires the UK sponsor to sign a five-year undertaking to maintain and accommodate the parent or grandparent without recourse to public funds.

Relevant Immigration Directorate Instructions provide that the parent or grandparent must be unable to perform even the simplest everyday tasks such as cooking, dressing and washing, essentially limiting EDR visa to those applicants whose health is so bad that they are incapacitated, and unable to do anything. Also, even if a parent or grandparent meets the medical threshold, if the UK based sponsor has sufficient funds to sign the 5 year sponsorship undertaking to care for the applicant in the UK, this will in almost all cases mean that there is sufficient money to pay for private care in the parents’ country of residence, should no other relative be available to care for them there. Given that there is virtually no country in the world today where such care (for example paying a nurse, house keeper or care home) is wholly unavailable, an application would therefore fail in 99% of cases.

 What are my alternative options, then?

What I am really trying to make clear to you is that it is practically impossible to make a successful elderly dependant relatives application: the rules require an applicant to be virtually on their death bed, with no form of assistance whatsoever from relatives or private care providers before they can apply. It is unfortunate that the Government is depriving migrant children of interaction with their parents and grand-parents, preventing significant bonds from flourishing and also inhibiting them from learning about their culture, heritage and background.

There are, however, viable alternatives to the Adult Dependant Relative  visa that can be pursued, potentially saving money, time and heartache for families.

Option One: Applying for a Multi-Entry Family Visitor Visa

I have advised many of my clients to make an application for a multi-entry visa for their parents or grandparents to join them in the UK as an alternative to the Adult Dependant Relative visa route. Many people do not realise that, aside from the general 6 month visitor visa, there are also options of applying for a 2, 5 and 10 year multiple entry visitor visa available for those persons who wish to visit the UK on a regular basis. This visa does, however, only allow your parent or grandparent to spend a maximum of 6 months out of any 12 months in the UK, but they do not need to stay in the country for the full six month period – they can, for example, come for a period of one or two months, return to their country, come again for two months etc, as long they do not stay in the UK for more than 6 months in any of the 12 months.

It is imperative for you to speak to an experienced Legal Adviser before you make any form of application. In many cases I see people first attempt to make an Adult Dependant Relative  visa application and only upon refusal they contact me, then becoming aware of the multi-entry visitor visa option. The unfortunate fact is, however, that often by having made an unsuccessful Adult Dependant Relative settlement visa application first, the applicant has effectively jeopardized any future visitor visa applications. This is because an important part of such applications is to satisfy the entry clearance officer that the applicant does not intend to remain in the UK beyond the validity of the visitor visa and will return to his or her country of origin upon expiry. Having made an unsuccessful application for Adult Dependant Relative  visa previously, clearly outlining the intention to settle in UK permanently can undermine the applicant’s credibility (that they intend to return before the end of six months), with a refusal decision therefore all the more likely.

Option Two: Pursuing the ‘Surinder Singh’ (European Free Movement) Route

Alternatively,  an experienced and knowledgeable immigration solicitor can also advise you on whether you, as a British citizen, may be able to avail yourself of the ‘Surinder Singh’ route to bringing your adult dependant relative to join you in the UK under the more forgiving EU Free Movement rules. Generally a British national cannot be treated as an EU national for the purposes of immigration laws, meaning that it is the domestic Immigration Rules that apply to you as opposed to the EU Free Movement laws.

However,  the Surinder Singh  principle concerns the rights of residence of non-EEA family members (including parents and grandparents) of EU citizens who return to their country of origin, upon having spent time in another Member State. In this case, the ECJ ruled that where an EU national goes to another EU country to exercise his treaty rights, he shall be treated as a Union citizen on his return to his country of origin. This would therefore mean that when that individual wishes to sponsor his parent and grandparent to join him in the UK, it will be EU law that shall apply rather than domestic immigration rules.

Where European law applies to you, inviting non-EEA family members to the UK is a much, much easier undertaking as the above mentioned criteria will not apply to you whatsoever. Please contact us if you wish to know more about this route.

Off course, as I realise, the above options are far from ideal as it may be not practical to expect an elderly parent who needs someone to care for them become a frequent flyer (not to mention that the cost would be enough to make some bankrupt). The EU route may also not be suitable for many who can not up and leave to go to another EU state, given that they have jobs and their immediate family (spouse and children) here in the UK.

We, at City Legal, believe all is not lost and migrant families should continue putting pressure on the government to come up with a more family friendly way to deal with immigration. It is ridiculous to expect to benefit from a specialist doctor from India but expect them to not have a family! Sorry, but highly skilled migrant workers and their families come as a package, we can’t have one without the other.

Disclaimer: No material or information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should always seek appropriate professional advice to resolve their Legal Matters.
About the Author

  Editorial Team

The editorial team is a group of team members at City Legal, focusing on the same area of law, contributing together to publish articles on our website and social media platforms.

One comment on “Alternatives to the Adult Dependant Relatives Visa”

  1. Unfortunately I was one of those who applied ADR visa and failed. Now I felt I have no way to help my mother to come and visit me in the UK again. I don’t know if there is actually a visit visa being granted after ADR visa failed? If the situation is completely changed ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram