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Making an Adult Dependent Relative Application


Making an Adult Dependent Relative claim under Appendix FM is notoriously difficult. Appendix FM was implemented on 9th July 2012 and lists a number of extremely difficult restrictions for bringing Adult Dependent Relatives to the UK. In recent years the rate for grants, including following reviews by the Entry Clearance Manager and appeals, showed that around 19% of applications were ultimately granted. In 2015 the success rate fell to 11.1%

For comparison around 44% of asylum applications were granted and even in those refused, around 45% of appeals were allowed. These figures alone show that the Adult Dependent Relative route is a difficult visa path to go down.


What is the Adult Dependent Relative Route?

To qualify, the applicant must be either the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son or daughter of the Sponsor in the UK.  They must be 18 years old or over, as must the Sponsor in the UK.  If the applicant is the parent or grandparent of the Sponsor, then they cannot be in a subsisting relationship with a partner unless they too are applying for entry clearance.

In the majority of cases, the Adult Dependent Relative applicant will be an elderly person with age-related health issues who requires day to day assistance. In less frequent cases, the applicant may be a younger person with a serious medical condition or disability who needs daily assistance.

The route becomes more specific and can cause more problems for applicants with E-ECDR.2.4. and 2.5. Article 2.4 specifies: The applicant or, if the applicant and their partner are the sponsor’s parents or grandparents, the applicant’s partner, must as a result of age, illness or disability require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks.


What does the Home Office mean by long-term personal care?

The Home Office defines ‘long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks’ in their guidance, stating that this includes dressing, cooking and washing. The rules suggest that the applicant must be incapable of doing these tasks themselves. This becomes more tricky when combined with 2.5: 

The applicant or, if the applicant and their partner are the sponsor’s parents or grandparents, the applicant’s partner, must be unable, even with the practical and financial help of the sponsor, to obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living, because-

(a) it is not available and there is no person in that country who can reasonably provide it; or

(b) it is not affordable.

This is much more difficult to achieve as it is unlikely that nursing care, or assistance with washing, cooking or dressing is not available in any country. Combined, these two rules make qualifying for the Adult Dependent Relative route very difficult.

It is a rare case that applicants would be able to show that healthcare is unaffordable in their home country in comparison to the UK. Further, Adult Dependent Relative applications grounded on an absence of the required medical care in the country of origin will also, in the vast majority of cases, be difficult to make out.


What documents are needed as part of an Adult Dependent Relative application?

Whether the individual is an older person whose health has deteriorated, or a younger person who requires daily care due to an illness, an Adult Dependent Relative application will need to be supported by a good standard of documentary evidence. This would likely include evidence from an appropriate medical practitioner as well as any other relevant sources that could support the application. The evidence will need to prove that the applicant requires daily care and cannot access that care in their own country, for example, medical treatment is not available or too expensive. Or, the sponsor is having to frequently travel between countries in order to care for the Adult Dependent Relative.

For applicants who want to sponsor an Adult Dependent Relative, you will need to collate the evidence together as part of your application. Gathering this evidence is a difficult part of the process and having the sufficient amount which is required by the Home Office is often where applicants fail. Because of the difficulties of this process, it is highly advised that you seek the assistance of a lawyer in putting together the required evidence to support your application.


How long can an Adult Dependent Relative stay in the UK?

If successful in their application, Adult Dependent Relatives will be granted, in most cases, indefinite leave to enter the UK. This means the individual can settle in the UK with their sponsor.


What costs are involved with the Adult Dependent Relative route?

Even after taking the above obstacles into consideration, the visa application fee or an adult dependent relative is very expensive, currently £3,250 – unless the sponsor is a Refugee/holder of Humanitarian Protection, in which case it sits much lower at £388. With a large number of Adult Dependent Relative applications being denied, it’s very important to consult a lawyer before beginning the process.


Understanding Case Law

The Adult Dependent Relative Rules is considered a particularly cruel Immigration Rule. Many, countries culturally have children that care for their parents and this reduces the availability of care homes, and services in those countries. In Britcits  [2017] EWCA Civ 368 the legality of the Immigration Rule was challenged on the basis of the near impossibility of the Immigration Rule.  The Rule was found to be lawful.   

Subsequently, in Ribeli [2018] EWCA Civ 611 the Court of Appeal looked at the Adult Dependent Relative route. In respect of the Rule, it was stated that the test now imposed by the Rules is “rigorous and demanding”. If the test was not met, then there were no grounds to allow under the Rules as the Sponsor could go out and live with the Appellant.


Can you appeal if an Adult Dependent Relative application is refused?

If you are unsuccessful in your Adult Dependent Relative application, you may have the right to appeal to the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal. In this instance, the refusal decision will be considered by an immigration judge. In the instance of appealing this decision, it is highly advised that you seek the assistance of a lawyer.


Are there other visa route options?

The position for EEA National family members to arrive in the United Kingdom is considerably more relaxed in comparison, and applications are also free. There are two types of Family Permits:

1) EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit;

2) EEA Family Permit.

In many cases, it is worth consulting a lawyer to understand whether an alternative visa route may offer more success for you and your family.


How can Westkin help?

It is notoriously difficult to qualify for the Adult Dependent Relative route. One important point to remember when making an Adult Dependent Relative application is that a refusal is, first of all, a likely outcome and secondly, it is likely to damage any future applications for the adult dependent relative to come to the UK as a visitor. This is because the Entry Clearance Officer is likely to state that the visitor applied to settle in the UK, therefore lacks the intention to return to their home country and is not a genuine visitor. This can leave the relative more ostracised than before they applied.


It is essential to consult a lawyer in your Adult Dependent Relative application. We can help to advise you on the difficulties of the process and help you to take the steps towards the best outcome for you and your relatives.

Don’t delay, Westkin offers the best immigration law advice at a competitive price.

Westkin Associates


5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
United Kingdom
0207 118 4546


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