Adult Dependent Relative Visa

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Adult Dependent Relative Visa

Adult dependent relative visa is the route for parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters or children over the age of 18 of persons settled in the UK either as British citizens or with indefinite leave to remain or holding refugee status.

This route was hit hard by the hostile environment, making it extremely difficult to make a successful application.


Requirements under the Immigration Rules

The applicant has to demonstrate that due to age, illness or disability they require “long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks, such as washing, dressing and cooking and that the required care is unavailable or unaffordable in the country where they live even with the help of the UK-based sponsor.

There is a horrendous provision stipulating that if the applicant is the sponsor’s parent or grandparent they must not be in a subsisting relationship with a partner unless that partner is also the sponsor’s parent or grandparent and is applying for entry clearance at the same time.

The sponsor has to make a written undertaking confirming that they would provide maintenance, accommodation and care for their adult dependent relative without recourse to public funds for a period of five years.

Required level of care in the country where the applicant lives

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.

Arguably, it may be possible to demonstrate that the applicant’s emotional needs cannot be met by paid care and if there are no other relatives in the country where the applicant normally lives it would be unreasonable for the Home Office to expect the UK based sponsor to leave the UK in order to care for their disabled relative abroad.

Evidence required in support of the application

  • Evidence of relationship with the sponsor.
  • Independent medical evidence and, where possible, local authority evidence 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 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 dependent relative with accommodation and maintenance 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.

Initially, the applicant receives a vignette (a sticker) in the passport which allows them to travel to the UK in 30 days after the vignette is issued. Once in the UK, the applicant has to collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP card) from the local post office or as arranged during the application process.

If the sponsor is the UK as a refugee or under humanitarian protection, their adult dependent relative is granted limited leave to enter which would expire at the same time as leave of their UK sponsor.

Risks associated with the application for indefinite leave to enter as an Adult Dependent Relative

The risk of refusal of this application is very high and the worst past of it is that the applicant will most likely be denied a visitor visa ever after the application. This is not part of the law, but how hostile environment operates.

The most common ground for refusal is that adequate care is available in the country of origin. From the point of view of the Home Office, this can be paid care arranged and paid for by the UK based sponsor.

There is a major difficulty with challenging unfair refusals in that the applicant faces the first hurdle in establishing that there is an established “family life” between the UK based sponsor and the applicant. This is a more difficult hurdle than it seems as hostile environment consistently encroaches on the scope of protection afforded by the Human Rights Act. The stance now accepted by UK courts is that normal emotional ties between a parent and an adult child are not sufficient to engage protection of Article 8 ECHR.

Where “family life” exists would depend on a variety of factors, including the age, health, vulnerability of the applicant, the closeness and previous history of the family, the applicant’s dependence on the financial and emotional support provided by the UK based sponsor, as well as cultural traditions of the country where the applicant lives. The burden of proof is on the applicant to demonstrate that “family life” exists and the application falls within the ambit of Article 8 ECHR. This would be the first step in order to establish the right of appeal in case of an unfair refusal.


The application for the adult dependent relative visa has to be made from outside the UK, normally from the applicant’s country of habitual residence. The application is made online and the supporting documents are uploaded on the government portal after the application is submitted.

There is no requirement to provide the original documents with the application, although the Home Office reserves the right to request the original documents.

The applicant will be required to attend the entry clearance office to submit their biometric information.

The application fee is £3250 per applicant unless the sponsor is a refugee in the UK. For dependants of refugees the application fee is £388.

There should be no immigration health surcharge but due to a glitch in the application system you may not be able to submit the application without paying the IHS first. If it happens, you should be eligible for a refund.



Last updated on August 26, 2020

Last updated on August 26, 2020

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