This week we received the amazing news that our client’s (“the Applicant”) Adult Dependent Relative Visa had been granted. The UK Adult Dependent Relative Visa is a notoriously difficult visa to be granted since the Home Office introduced more stringent requirements for the visa in 2012. However, our Immigration Team and Solicitors prepared the application and accompanying legal representations as thoroughly and persuasively as possible in order to give it the greatest chance of success.
The Case for an Adult Dependent Relative Visa
The Applicant is a Ukrainian national and over the age of 65. Due to traumatic events in her life which led to a stroke and subsequent health issues, the Applicant decided to apply for the Adult Dependent Relative Visa to join her family in the UK. This is so that she could come to the UK and her daughter, a British citizen, could provide her with the long-term personal care that she requires. In our initial consultation, our specialist Immigration Solicitors assessed the Applicant’s circumstances and judged whether her she would meet the stringent requirements for the Adult Dependent Relative Visa. The Applicant was also advised on the likelihood of success with this type of application and that the introduction of the new Immigration Rules in 2012 meant that it was likely that the application would be refused and possibly granted on appeal.
Why is it so difficult to get an Adult Dependent Relative Visa?
In a December 2016 Home Office review, it found that prior to July 2012; there was an average of 2,325 Adult Dependent Relative Visas that were granted per year. However, at the date of this Home Office review, this figure had significantly dropped to an average of 162 per year which also includes successful appeal decisions. This is because, from July 2012, the Home Office introduced new stringent requirements for Adult Dependent Relative Visas. The main aim was said to reduce burdens on the UK taxpayer in respect of significant NHS and social care costs, but the changes also had other implications, however, this was introduced whilst Theresa May was Home Secretary. During this period, Mrs May’s ambition was to create a hostile immigration environment in the UK in order to significantly reduce the UK’s net migration figure. As a result, family migration was heavily affected.
For instance, the UK’s old Immigration Rules, under section 1(4) of the Immigration Act 1971, allowed Applicants to submit their Adult Dependent Relative Visa application from within the UK whilst on a visitor visa. Figures from March 2011 demonstrate that of the 2,325 Adult Dependent Relative Visas that were granted, an overwhelming majority of them were made in country. Further, there was an expectation of settlement in the UK for a parent or grandparent aged 65 or over where they were financially dependent on their UK Sponsor, subject to the provision by the Sponsor of a 5-year undertaking that they could maintain and accommodate the Applicant without access to public funds. Yet, this was to come to an abrupt end with the instruction of the UK’s new Immigration Rules and stringent requirements.
What are the Requirements for the Adult Dependent Relative Visa?
Since July 2012, the requirements that need to be satisfied in order to be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain as an Adult Dependent Relative are outlined in section E-ECDR 2.1 to 2.5 of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. Some of the main requirements for an Adult Dependent Relative Visa are that:
- the Applicant must be aged 18 years or over;
- the Applicant must be the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, or child of the UK Sponsor;
- the Sponsor must be aged 18 years or over and either be:
i. a British citizen in the UK; or
ii. present and settled in the UK; or
iii. in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection
- the Applicant, as a result of age, illness or disability, requires long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks;
- the Applicant must be unable, even with the practical and financial support of the Sponsor, to obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living because it is either not available and there is no person in that country who can reasonably provide it or because it is unaffordable.
Significant Adult Dependent Relative Visa Case: Britcits v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 368
There is a lack of case law on the interpretation of the new Adult Dependent Relative Visa rules since 2012. The most prominent case, however, is that of Britcits v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 368. Britcits (“the Appellant”) is a charity in the UK which represents the interests of Adult Dependent Relative Visa Applicants and Sponsors who have been affected by the change in the Immigration Rules on family migration.
The Appellant argued that the July 2012 Immigration Rules are unlawful for 3 main reasons and that the new rules are far from straightforward and are designed for the application to fail.
“If the UK citizen can afford to accommodate and provide the necessary care for the parent, then the citizen will virtually always be able to purchase the provision of such care by a home-help, housekeeper, nurse, carer or care or nursing home”.
It was also submitted by the Appellant’s representative that there was no acknowledgement of the psychological and emotional needs of a parent and which cannot be relied on by a paid carer.
Whilst the Court of Appeal dismissed the challenge by the Appellant, the Judge did find that the rules could be interpreted more generously. In particular, it held that the question of whether care can “reasonably” be provided allows for arguments about the emotional needs of the relative in question. The latest Home Office Guidance for Adult Dependent Relative visas takes this into consideration.
Using Legal Representation to apply for an Adult Dependent Relative Visa
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to make an Adult Dependent Relative Visa application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your Adult Dependent Relative Visa application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Adult Dependent Relative Visa application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful Adult Dependent Relative Visa Applications
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your Adult Dependent Relative Visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Adult Dependent Relative Visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful Adult Dependent Relative Visa applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.