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Sponsor my parents or an Adult Dependant Relative visa for the UK

You can sponsor your parents or adult relatives to come and live with you in the UK permanently.

In 2012 the family immigration rules had a bit of a shake-up and, in the process, they became a lot stricter and a lot more onerous. 

This was very strongly the case with the Adult Dependant Relative visa: this is a visa which potentially enables relatives of qualifying people who are not partners or minor children to apply to come to the UK. The new rules were so draconian that it seems fair to say that the Home Office had decided that it was not right that such relatives could be sponsored other than in exceptional circumstances.

It is important to understand that these are rules under the UK immigration rules: the EEA immigration rules are separate and different. 

Applicants under the UK immigration rules can only apply from outside the UK and the following criteria must be met:

  • The applicant must be a parent or grandparent (both parents or both grandparents may be able to apply), a sibling or an adult child. In all cases the applicant must be at least 18 years old. 
  • The sponsor must be a British citizen, settled in the UK, or hold Refugee or Humanitarian Protection status and they must be in a position to provide accommodation and sufficient financial support for the applicant

So far so good, but now comes the difficult part. To quote the rule precisely, the applicant must as a result of age, illness or disability require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks” and, furthermore, 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.”

So there we are. And not only are the rules obviously difficult to meet. The visa application fee is very expensive, currently £3,250 – unless the sponsor is a Refugee/holder of Humanitarian Protection, in which case it is a rather more reasonable £388.

If the application is successful the leave granted will be either indefinite leave to enter (ie settlement) or, in the case of a sponsor who holds Refugee or Humanitarian Protection status, limited leave. And if the application is unsuccessful there is the right of appeal to the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal, in which situation the refusal decision is scrutinised by an immigration judge. 

In many cases the applicant may be an elderly person with age-related health issues but this is not necessarily so: a younger person with a serious medical condition or disability might potentially qualify. But in all cases the applicant needs a good standard of documentary evidence to support their application. 

Good-quality medical evidence from an appropriate medical practitioner is essential to prove the medical issues. But evidence may need to come from other sources to prove some of the other aspects: for example to prove that a certain medical treatment is not available or is prohibitively expensive. Such evidence might come from an authoritative source in the applicant’s country of residence or from wider sources. 

If you want to sponsor an adult relative under these rules you need to collate the evidence together carefully. The difficulty with this application is not, as in some cases, the intricacy of the rules: it is getting the right evidence of sufficient quality.

It is worth bearing in mind that the rate of refusal for this visa is high, and you might therefore want to consider instructing a good lawyer to assist you.

We are GSN Immigration Ltd; Immigration Lawyers, Advisers and Consultants in London.

We are a Law firm accredited by the OISC at Level 3, the highest level. We provide UK Visa & Immigration advice to clients in London, the UK and all over the world.



Oliver Westmoreland

OISC Level 3 Immigration Lawyer

13 Responses

  1. Nisha

    My parents are in the UK on a visit visa and their visa is expiring on 24th Aug and they are scared to travel due to coronavirus situation, my husband and i want them to stay here long term please advise

    1. admin

      Hello Nisha,
      Your parents can apply outside the Immigration rules to switch within the UK. The Home Secretary has announced that those applicants who would normally apply for this visa from their home country can now switch within the UK provided they are meeting the requirements of this visa. Prepare a good case and you should be fine, if not sure about any aspect of the case give us a call and we can guide you.

  2. Ava


    I am planning to apply for this visa for my mother but her tourist visa expires on the 22nd of October 2020.Can we apply for the visa ahead of time or can we only apply when the current tourist visa expires? Thanks!

    1. admin

      The normal rule is that a dependant relative visa must be applied for from outside the UK. But because of coronavirus the Home Office created some concessions for some people, including those who were in the UK on visitor leave and who could not get back home and would thus become overstayers when their leave expired. Such people were exceptionally allowed to make their visa application inside the UK. However, at the time of writing this concession only lasts until 31 August 2020 and your mother’s leave expires after this date, so she will not be able to take advantage of this. It is not certain that this concession will be extended beyond 31 August and, if it is not, then your mother might have to return home and submit the visa application from there. So you or your adviser will need to keep an eye on Home Office policies about this as they develop next month.

  3. Jagruti

    my son is on tyre 4 Visa for 4 years to pursue an undergraduate course in the UK university.
    his father age 50 and i , his mother, age 53 , can we apply for the dependent visa?

    1. admin

      Hello Jagruti, Thank you for your query. As your son is on a Tier 4 Student Visa he is unable to sponsor his parents as his Dependents. Adult dependent visa sponsor has to be a British Citizen or a Settled Person. However, you can visit him on a visit visa.

  4. saib baig

    I would like to find out if I can apply for my mom to stay perm with us in UK
    I am the only child of my parents and my father passed away 2017
    my mothers age is 68 now and she has a 10 year multiple entry visa granted in 2018
    i have a British passport
    please let me know

    1. admin

      Thank you for your query, we need more information. Can you please call us on 02081506709 and we can do your case assessment and advise.

      1. Ian

        Hey there, I would like to apply for my granddad as a dependent. He is over 65 and he is unable to walk due to multiple accidents. Recently, my grandmom has passed away who was looking after him. Now, he is alone back home. And he really need for emotional and physical support. Unfortunately, i can’t visit him and look after him as i have refugee status in the Uk. So, i would be very grateful if you can explain me the procedure please. Also, is there any financial requirements?

        Im looking forward to hearing from you.

        Many Thanks

        1. admin

          Thank you for your query. We need more details on your matter to be able to advise you and request you to contact our office on 02081506709

        2. admin

          Thank you for your query. These adult dependent visa applications are not very straightforward and we need to speak to discuss case in detail to advise you anything. Please call us on 02081506709 and we will be happy to help.

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