Sponsoring adult dependants to join your family in the UK
You would think that the rules on sponsoring adult dependants to join family members living in the UK would be simple and straight forward but that is just not the case. The uncertainty of whether or not a loved one can join you in the UK can result in a lot of stress and anxiety. At OTS Solicitors our specialist Immigration solicitors regularly advise individuals on their options to achieve their dependant’s arrival in the UK. We recognise that when it comes to reuniting family there is nothing more important to get right through top London Immigration solicitor advice.
The news that Meghan Markle’s mother, Doris Ragland, plans to come to live in the UK to join the Duchess of Sussex raises the question of how Ms Ragland could join her USA born daughter in London. Although lots of newspapers have speculated on the timing of her arrival none have considered how Immigration rules can also apply to high profile families. Could top London immigration solicitors secure a visa for her?
OTS Solicitors look at who can enter the UK as an adult dependant under a visa and the relevant rules and regulations.
Definition of dependants
The Immigration rules narrowly explain the definition of adult dependant relatives. The adult dependant must de dependant on:
• Their mother or father;
• Their son or daughter;
• Their sibling;
• Their grandchild.
However the sponsorship of an adult dependant relative (even if within the degree of relationship set out above) is only permitted in very limited circumstances.
Home Office considerations when looking at adult dependency applications
The Home Office considers the following criteria:
• Does the adult dependant receive financial support from the UK based family member;
• What is the health of the visa applicant;
• What are the living conditions overseas of the dependant relative.
Criteria for a UK based adult to sponsor a dependant relative so that they can enter the UK
Under current Immigration rules and regulations, an adult dependent relative cannot be sponsored unless:
• There is a UK sponsor who is settled here or alternatively has British Citizenship; and
• The family relationship between the sponsor and applicant can be proven; and
• The applicant needs long-term care to do every day personal and household tasks as a result of illness, disability or age; and
• The care needed is not available or affordable in the country where the dependant applicant is currently living; and
• The UK sponsor must be over the age of 18;
• The UK sponsor will be able to support, accommodate and care for the visa dependant applicant without having to claim public funds for at least 5 years.
What does long term care for personal and household tasks mean?
The applicant applying for a visa has to show that they require long term personal care. This test has been considered and in essence the applicant must need help with cooking, cleaning, washing and, for example, dressing.
The test goes one stage further though – the care must not be available or affordable in the country where the dependant applicant is currently living. That criteria is very difficult for most applicants to meet as in most countries there is paid for help available. Furthermore the majority of families fail the test that the help is not affordable in the country where the dependant is living as the sponsor cannot say they are too impoverished to fund the help in the applicant’s country when an additional criteria is that the sponsor must be able to afford to pay for the dependant relative in the UK without recourse to claiming from public funds for at least 5 years. The 2 criteria make the test very hard to meet.
What is beyond much doubt is that Ms Ragland will not meet the demanding criteria for a dependant visa to join her daughter in the UK. After all her daughter is not settled in the UK yet and Ms Ragland undoubtedly does not meet the dependency needs criteria. The Duchess of Sussex’s family may be an extreme example of family life but nonetheless if royalty cannot meet the Immigration criteria it goes some way to arguing that perhaps there should be more discretion in looking at individual personal and financial circumstances.
As the bar for sponsoring dependent adults is so high it is all the more important that UK sponsors get top London Immigration law advice on their options and how to best present an application to the Home Office to achieve a visa. With a dependant’s visa the success or failure of the application lies in the details presented by the top Immigration solicitors on both the applicant’s care needs and why those needs cannot be met in their home country, with arguments often being based on primitive facilities or, if the applicant lives in a developed country, that the only care available is very high cost institutionalised care that does not provide dignity or respect for the applicant. Well thought out arguments and detailed research is vital. At OTS Solicitors we pride ourselves on offering bespoke Immigration advice, carefully considering the family circumstances, to give you the best chance at securing a visa and reuniting family.
OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration law matters. The firm is recommended for Immigration law in the Legal 500. OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law. For more information on sponsoring a dependent relative or any alternative aspect of personal or business immigration law please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.