Adult Dependent Relative

What is an Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa?

The Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa route allows overseas adult family members such as parents, grandparents, children or siblings of a British citizen, a person with settled status, a person with limited leave under Appendix EU or a person with protection status, to settle in the UK and be cared for by their UK-based family.

There is a separate route for dependent relatives of BN(O) sponsors.

Applicants of this route must demonstrate that their intensive care needs cannot be satisfied in their home country – this includes proving that care is either unavailable or unaffordable. The threshold for meeting the requirements of the ADR visa route is therefore extremely high.

Statement of Changes HC1160 has separated the Immigration Rules in relation to the ADR visa route from Appendix FM to its own Appendix Adult Dependent Relative. The new changes come into effect from 1st June 2023. Despite the new changes making it clearer which financial evidence is required to prove adequate maintenance and accommodation, there are not many other substantial changes to the rules.

Who is eligible for an Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa?

Applicants for the ADR visa must be aged 18 and over; and must be sponsored by a relative in the UK who is a British citizen, a person with settled status, a person with limited leave under Appendix EU or a person with protection status.

The UK sponsor must have adequate income or savings to maintain the applicant without recourse to public funds.

Most importantly, the applicant must have pre-existing conditions that require long-term care to perform daily activities. The level of care needed must be either unavailable or unaffordable in the applicant’s home country.

Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa requirements

In order to have a strong chance of obtaining an ADR visa, the applicant must satisfy relationship, dependency and financial requirements.

Relationship requirements

  • The applicant must be an adult relative (parent, grandparent, child or sibling) of a UK sponsor;
  • The UK sponsor must be a British citizen, a person with settled status, a person with limited leave under Appendix EU or a person with protection status.

Dependency requirements

  • The applicant must require long-term personal care to perform daily activities (dressing, washing, cooking, etc.) due to old age, illness or disability.
  • If the applicant is a UK sponsor’s parent or grandparent, the applicant must not be in a subsisting relationship with a partner – unless that partner is the UK sponsor’s parent or grandparent and is applying to stay at the same time.
  • The applicant must be unable to obtain the required level of care in their home country because it is either unavailable or unaffordable.

Financial requirements

  • The UK sponsor must be able to adequately maintain and accommodate the applicant without access to public funds. A specific calculation is made, comparing household income with that a similar UK-based family or individual would receive on state benefits.
  • Financial evidence must be provided to demonstrate the UK sponsor’s income/savings/benefits.
    Under Appendix ADR, in force from 1 June 2023, specific requirements exist for sponsors who are self-employed, reliant on savings or who are employed. These cross-refer back to Appendix FM-SE.
  • The UK sponsor must provide a signed declaration confirming that they will be responsible for the applicant’s maintenance, accommodation and care for either 5 years or for the period of leave granted. The rules make clear that – if an applicant receives public funds during the relevant period – the UK government may seek to recover those funds from the sponsor who gave the undertaking.

Human rights arguments

Where an applicant is unable to meet all suitability and eligibility requirements under Appendix ADR, they may nonetheless be granted a visa if the Home Office is satisfied that refusal would result in “unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant or their family”, such as to engage Article 8 ECHR.

How we can help

The threshold for meeting the requirements under the ADR route is extremely high – the rules do not provide clear guidance on what documentary evidence is required to demonstrate dependency, so legal advice is important, and careful preparation of a case is crucial.

Furthermore, as a degree of medical and social care is available in many countries, the ‘unavailability’ of care can be extremely difficult to prove. It is then necessary to consider whether a UK sponsor could fund care in the applicant’s home country, for example, through payment of fees to a carer or nursing home. If that is a viable option, a visa will not be granted. In this regard, arguments around the social and cultural acceptance of receiving paid care, and of the incidence of “elder abuse” in the applicant’s country, may be essential.

At Latitude Law, our expert solicitors can assist with all aspects of an ADR application, including the preparation and submission of your application and assisting with appeals against a refusal. We have experience in securing successful outcomes for our clients despite the extremely low success rate for this route.

Contact Latitude Law

Contact us today to arrange an initial consultation in relation to an ADR application. Call on 0044 161 234 6800 or 0044 207 046 7185, or complete our contact form and we will get back to you shortly.

FAQs about Adult Dependent Relative visas

Can I apply/switch to ADR route inside of the UK?

No, the ADR route is only available to applicants from outside the UK. You will not be able to switch to this route from inside the UK. The Home Office will, however, consider applications from those raising similar arguments from within the UK; this happens on an exceptional basis, with cases being considered outside published Immigration Rules. It is only recommended to do this if the applicant can evidence significant health or care needs.

Can I apply with my partner?

If you are applying as the UK sponsor’s parent or grandparent, you must not be in a subsisting relationship with a partner – unless the partner is also the UK sponsor’s parent or grandparent and is applying at the same time as you.

The current rules within Appendix FM suggest that only one party in an eligible relationship (the couple are the UK sponsor’s parents/grandparents) needs to meet the substantive Adult Dependent Relative eligibility criteria, i.e. daily personal care is needed; such care in home country is unavailable or unaffordable.

This means the couple can both apply under the ADR route although one party is healthy – provided that the healthy party does not provide the care required by the other party.

Can I settle in the UK on the ADR route?

Applicants applying for entry clearance will be granted settlement if the UK sponsor is British or already settled in the UK at the time of application.

However, if the UK sponsor has temporary permission to be in the UK, the applicant will be granted temporary leave in line with the UK sponsor’s leave.

ADRs who are in the UK with temporary leave can apply to settle at the same time as their UK sponsor; their application will be granted following the approval of their UK sponsor’s settlement application. Exceptions apply when ADRs have been involved in a sham marriage; have used false documents or deception; have owed debts to the Home Office or the NHS; or have breached the conditions of their leave. In such cases, the applicant cannot settle until they have completed a continuous qualifying period of 10 years with leave, or five years with leave after the issue came to the attention of the Home Office.

Applications for permission to stay where the UK sponsor is British or settled will be granted for 30 months.

How much does an ADR visa cost?

The application fee is £3,250; no immigration health surcharge is applicable.

How long does the Home Office take to process an ADR application?

It’s currently taking about 24 weeks for an ADR application to be processed.

Will a previous refusal of an ADR visa affect my current visit visa?

Your current visit visa will still be valid following a refusal of an ADR application. However, applicants that have unsuccessfully applied for settlement are at a higher risk of being questioned and interviewed by a border officer when travelling with a visit visa – especially when travelling immediately following the refusal decision.

Upon arrival in the UK, the Border Control Officer may wish to examine whether you are a ‘genuine visitor’. Evidence in relation to your ties to your home country, and intention to leave the UK after your proposed visit should therefore be carefully prepared before travelling.

The same scrutiny will apply to people applying for their next short-term visa (i.e. visit visa) who have previously received a refusal for an ADR application. We therefore strongly advise applicants to consider the implications of a potential refusal before applying as an ADR; and to seek legal advice before doing so.

How do I prove that the care is ‘unavailable’ and ‘unaffordable’?

Independent evidence from a central or a local health authority, or from a doctor or a health professional should be provided to confirm that the required level of care is unavailable. Evidence from government and independent sources, news reports and evidence of relevant policy in your home country should also be provided as part of the supporting evidence.

In such cases where care arrangements were in place, but they are no longer available or affordable, relevant documents should be provided to evidence the change of circumstances.

How do I prove the need for long-term care to perform everyday tasks?

Independent medical evidence from a doctor or a registered health institution in relation to the applicant’s physical and mental condition should be provided to demonstrate the need for long-term care.

Supporting letters from relatives/a previous carer may also be supplied detailing what type of daily tasks the applicant needs assistance for, and the reasons why such care cannot be provided by any person in the applicant’s home country.

Bespoke medical evidence is vital to the success of an ADR application; care must be taken when preparing a case of this kind.

Can I appeal against refusal of an ADR application?

Yes; a right of appeal exists on human rights grounds for such applications. This will continue to be the case when Appendix ADR comes into force from 1st June 2023.

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All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 13/04/2023