Adult Dependent Relative - Visa Requirements

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There are separate, more generous, rules for dependent parents (and grandparents) of EEA nationals with settled or pre-settled status and EEA nationals who naturalised as British citizens.
UK Immigration
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Adult Dependent Relative - relationship requirement

Adult dependent relative can be:

  • the parent or grandparent
  • the child over the age of 18 or
  • the brother or sister

of the UK-based sponsor.

The UK-based sponsor has to be either:

  • a British citizen or an Irish citizen resident in the UK;
  • a person with indefinite leave to remain in the UK;
  • a person with protection status;
  • an EEA national with limited leave (pre-settled status)

There are separate, more generous, rules for dependent parents (and grandparents) of EEA nationals with settled or pre-settled status and EEA nationals who naturalised as British citizens. There are also separate rules for dependent children over the age of 18 of EEA nationals resident in the UK under the EU settlement scheme. 

Dependency requirement for the Adult Dependent Relative visa

The applicant must require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks due to age, illness or disability and that care must be either not available or not affordable in the country where the applicant lives.

Everyday tasks are not defined but generally include washing, dressing and cooking, walking and other physical tasks. A need for medical treatment (as apposed to personal care) is not normally a basis for an adult dependent relative visa since there is a visitor visa option for the purpose of receiving medical treatment in the UK

The required care is unavailable if there is no person in the country where the applicant lives who can reasonably provide such care. If the care is unaffordable, it has to be unaffordable even with the financial help from the sponsor.

If the applicant is the sponsor's parent or grandparent, they should not be in a subsisting relationship with a partner, other than with the other parent or grandparent of the sponsor. 

If the applicant is a parent or grandparent of the sponsor and is in a relationship with the other parent or grandparent, both parents have to apply for entry clearance at the same time. 

Psychological and emotional needs in Adult Dependent Relative visa context

Emotional needs cannot be be disregarded and have to be taken on board just as much as needs that arise from illness or a physical problem. 

It may be easier to prove that emotional needs cannot be met with the help of paid care. However, the level of psychological needs is more difficult to document. Care needs have to be real and objective, not attributable to a preference or a whim of the applicant. It is not uncommon that applications based on psychological needs are refused by the Home Office but the refusals may be overturned by an immigration tribunal on appeal.

Evidence required in support of the application

The applicant's difficulties in performing everyday tasks have to be confirmed by an independent doctor and, where available, a social worker or psychologist. There may be physical or emotional needs that have to be assessed professionally. The applicant has to demonstrate that the required level of care is not realistically accessible.

Here is a list of issues to address in your evidence:

  • Evidence of relationship with the sponsor (birth certificates and marriage certificates proving the relationship).
  • Independent medical evidence and, where possible, evidence from a local authority or a social worker of the type of care required and the reason why it is not available.
  • If the required care is not affordable – evidence of its cost and financial means of the applicant and the sponsor.
  • Evidence of any previous care arrangements and reasons why they are no longer adequate, not available or not affordable.
  • Evidence of the care arrangements in the UK, their cost and how the sponsor will cover this cost.
  • Evidence of the sponsor's financial position and the sponsor's ability to provide their adult dependent relative with accommodation and maintenance without recourse to public funds.
  • Evidence of the sponsor's employment income or savings must cover at least six months immediately before the application.
  • The sponsor's income from self-employment must be shown for the last full financial year before the date of the application.
  • A signed undertaking from the sponsor to maintain their dependent relative(s) for five years without recourse to public funds.

Duration and conditions of entry clearance

A successful applicant is issued with indefinite leave to enter which is the same thing as indefinite leave to remain.

If the sponsor has limited leave to remain in the UK, their adult dependent relative will receive leave to enter with the expiry date matching the expiry date of the sponsor's permission to remain.

No conditions are attached to indefinite leave to enter.

If leave to enter is granted for a limited period, there is a condition of no recourse to public funds. Work is permitted.

Adult dependent relatives are eligible to apply for naturalisation after five years of residence.

Risks associated with the application for the Adult Dependent Relative visa

A large proportion of Adult Dependent Relative visa applications is refused. This is because there is a considerable degree of discretion in the decision-making process and because of a generally hostile presumption in relation to this type of applications.

The adverse consequences of a refusal of and ADR application is not only the financial loss and psychological trauma of refusal after some long months of waiting. It is also the risk of not being admitted to the UK as a visitor in the future.

There is no legal provision to this effect, but in practice subsequent applications for entry clearance as a visitor may be refused on the ground that the applicant is not a genuine visitor. It is very difficult to challenge these refusals as there is no right of appeal to an immigration tribunal against a refusal of a visitor visa.

Dependent parents of EEA nationals

Dependent parents and grandparents of EEA nationals resident in the UK with settled or pre-settled status have an advantage in that their dependent parents may apply to join them under a separate part of the Immigration Rules – Appendix EU (Family Permit).

They have to apply for entry clearance from abroad and demonstrate that they are dependent on the EEA citizen or their spouse or civil partner on the date of the application.

"Dependent" under this rule means that "having regard to their financial and social conditions, or health, the applicant cannot meet their essential living needs (in whole or in part) without the financial support of the sponsor."

Thus, there is no requirement to demonstrate personal care needs and financial dependency on the date of the application is sufficient. There is no need to determine the reasons for that dependence.

It is nevertheless recommended to demonstrate that such dependence existed for at least six months, unless there was an event or change of circumstances that was the cause of the dependence more recently.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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