As part of the governments overall changes to the UK’s family migration policy.

The Adult dependent relative rules which came into effect in July 2012, brought with them a tougher and stringently enforced entry criterion. In a leading case, the court of appeal has confirmed that the ADR Rules are rigorous and demanding and hence evidence provided in support of any application under this rule can never be good enough nor sufficient and for this reason the number of ADR visas issued in the UK is categorically low.

The joint council for the welfare of immigrant has stated that the ADR rules are ‘unnecessarily harsh, causing families suffering and anxiety and are rationally disconnected from the government’s policy on family values’.

In simple terms, applicants applying under the ADR rules must be able to demonstrate the following;

  • That they require long term personal care
  • That they are unable to get the long term personal care in their home country due to cost or availability
  • That the person sponsoring them can accommodate and maintain them without public funds for at least 5 years

The first requirement, that the applicant must need long term personal care is subjective and easier to satisfy as Medical reports, doctors’ opinion etc. can be provided to prove that the applicant requires support with everyday tasks such as cooking cleaning washing and dressing.

The stumbling block for applicants is the second and third strands whereby the applicants must demonstrate that their required personal care cannot be obtained in their home country due to availability or cost. There is not a single country that we know which does not have care homes, private hospitals, or paid carers, hence making this hurdle virtually impossible to clear. This is particularly so, when taken together with strand 3 which requires sponsors to undertake to accommodate and maintain their adult dependent relative in the UK for at least 5 years, without recourse to public funds. It would flow from this, that if sponsors are able to provide this undertaking, they will find it hard to categorically prove that long personal care cannot be provided to the Adult dependent relative, due to costs or that they are unable to afford it.

A review of the rules in December 2016 found that the number of visas issued to parents and grandparents dropped from 2325 per year to an average 162 per year after the new rules were introduced. Figures have found that only 34 ADR visas were granted 2016-2017, this figure has only declined further with most visa grants involving an initial refusal followed by an allowed appeal at the courts. The review considered whether the rules were meeting their policy objectives and whether alternative rules might be introduced, the UKVI concluded that the rules would not change.

Evidently, making an application to bring your parent or grandparent to the UK is notoriously difficult, especially given that the intention of the current government is to clamp down further.

A recent case has helped with ADR applicants; the case found that applicants and their sponsors can rely on their Article 8 right to respect for private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights, to overturn a hostile decision in exceptional circumstances. An argument under Article 8 will provide some assistance to people struggling to bring their dependant relatives and their family members to the UK.

Given that ADR visa applications are made in area of law which is rigorous, stringent and technical, it is vital that sound professional legal advice is sought from a knowledgeable and experienced immigration solicitor. Comprehensive legal advice from the initial stage is crucial in obtaining the best possible outcome for the Applicants circumstances.

The immigration department at The Sethi Partnership Solicitors can assist you in aspects of bringing your Adult dependant relative to the UK and all other immigration applications. Contact us on 0208 866 6464 or or


“This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.