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Adult Dependent Visas

You may be eligible for entry clearance into the UK as an Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) if you and your sponsor meet the eligibility criteria and you can prove you have long-term personal care needs that can only be reasonably met by your sponsor in the UK.

For more information on how to apply successfully to the adult dependent relative visa program and to avoid the pitfalls, contact our team of professional London immigration experts today on 0333 305 9375 or chat with us online.

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    What is an Adult Dependent Relative Visa?

    The Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa route was created with the intent to allow adult dependent relatives of certain persons to settle in the UK, provided they meet all the requirements.

    ADRs who meet these requirements are granted immediate settled status if their sponsor has a settled status or is a British citizen.

    ADRs whose sponsors are not yet settled or British citizens (and who instead have limited leave to remain as a refugee, person with humanitarian protection or under Appendix EU) may be granted limited leave in line with their sponsor.

    Once their sponsor applies for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), the ADR can apply for the same. This route can only be taken by an applicant outside the UK, a person cannot switch to this route in the UK.

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    Who can apply for an Adult Dependent Relative visa?

    To qualify to apply, you must have one of the following relationships with your sponsor:

    • Parent aged 18 years or over.
    • Grandparent.
    • A brother or sister aged 18 years or over.
    • A son or daughter aged 18 years or over.

    Also, your sponsor, who must be aged at least 18 years, must be in any of the following:

    • British citizen in the UK.
    • Present and settled in the UK.
    • In the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection status.
    • In the UK with limited leave under Appendix EU.
    • From the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status – they must have started living in the UK before 1 January 2021 (you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.)

    What are the Eligibility Criteria for Adult Dependent Relative Visas?

    Below are the eligibility criteria for an adult dependent relative visa under the UK immigration rules. To qualify for consideration, applicants must:

    • Be outside the UK.
    • Have made a valid application for entry clearance as an adult dependent relative.
    • Not fall for refusal under any of the grounds listed in the Suitability for entry clearance.
    • Meet all the requirements for eligibility for entry clearance as an adult dependent relative.

    In addition, the sponsor of the adult dependent must show evidence that they can be adequately maintained, accommodated and cared for in the UK by the sponsor without recourse to public funds.

    If the applicant’s sponsor is a British Citizen or settled person in the UK, the applicant must provide an undertaking signed by the sponsor.

    The undertaking must confirm that the applicant will have no recourse to public funds and that the sponsor will be responsible for their maintenance, accommodation and care, for a period of 5 years from the date the applicant enters the UK if they are granted indefinite leave to enter.

    The applicant or applicant’s partner, if they are the sponsor’s parent or grandparent, must require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks such as cooking and washing as a result of age, illness or disability.

    Also, the applicant or applicant’s partner, if they are the sponsor’s parents or grandparents, 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 either because it is no longer affordable or there is no one to reasonably provide it.

    How do I apply for the Adult Dependent Relative Visa?

    The first step to applying for the adult dependent relative visa is to gather all necessary documents. The applicant must be outside the UK to apply.


    Also, the applicant must complete Appendix 1 (Form VAF4A) and apply as an adult dependent relative online.

    The required documents include:

    • Proof that the relative can be adequately maintained, accommodated and cared for in the UK by the sponsor. Proof such as planned care arrangements for the applicant in the UK and original bank statements covering the last six months.
    • If already either a British citizen or settled person, the sponsor has to provide a signed undertaking showing that they will be responsible for the applicant’s maintenance, accommodation and care for five years without recourse to public funds.
    • Proof that the applicant is unable to get the required level of care in his or her home country, even with practical and financial support from the sponsor in the UK.
    • The proof may be from a central or local health authority, a local authority, a doctor or another health professional. Applicants must explain if there was a private arrangement and give reasons why the arrangement is no longer available.
    • Proof of family relationship between the applicant and the UK sponsor. This should be in the form of birth or adoption certificates or other similar evidence.
    • Proof that the applicant requires long-term personal care as a result of age, illness or disability. The proof can take the form of independent medical evidence from a doctor or other health professional attesting that the applicant’s physical or mental condition no longer supports performing everyday tasks independently.

    Furthermore, the applicant must provide:

    • All their names.
    • Date of birth.
    • Current passport or other valid travel ID.
    • Copies of the photo page and any visa or entry stamps in their previous passports.
    • Copy of biometric residence permit, if any.
    • Details of any previous immigration applications made.
    • Details of any criminal convictions.
    • National insurance number, if available.
    • Parent’s date of birth and nationality if applying from outside the UK.
    • Tuberculosis test results if coming from a country where it is mandatory to take the test.
    • Certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh.

    Applicants will need to have a blank page in their passports on which to put the visa if they are applying outside the UK. They will also need to give proof of finances and knowledge of English.

    Also, they will need to give details of their spouse or partner. These include:

    • Name.
    • Date of birth.
    • Nationality.
    • Passport details.
    • Right to be in the UK, for example, they’re a British citizen.

    Additionally, the applicant will have to supply the following information regarding their spouse or partner:

    • Any people their partner was previously married to, in a civil partnership with or had children with.
    • Evidence of marriages ending, for example, a divorce certificate.
    • Anyone their partner supports with money, for example, their parents.

    Proof of relationship

    If the applicant is applying as a partner or spouse, he or she will have to give information about:

    • His/her relationship with his/her partner, for example how they met and how often they see each other.
    • How long they’ve lived together – with proof such as council tax bills.
    • Things they pay for together.
    • Whether they are their partner’s carer or not.

    Information on children and previous partners

    Applicants are required to give details of anyone they previously married or had children with, and include evidence of marriages ending, such as a divorce certificate.

    They will also provide details of their children (and their partner’s children if they have any). This information encompasses all children, even if they’re not applying or coming with the applicant.

    Applicants will have to provide the following information:

    • Their names.
    • Their nationalities.
    • Their dates of birth.
    • Their passport details.
    • Who they normally live with.
    • Any other people with parental responsibility for their children, for example, their stepchildren’s other parents.
    • How the applicant is involved in the day-to-day life of the children.
    • Arrangements they have to see the child – for example, if the courts have granted them access.
    • The children’s extended family.
    • Countries the children have visited or lived in.

    Applicants also need to provide information about their life outside the UK. Information required include:

    • Countries outside the UK they have lived or visited.
    • Family and friends in other countries whose nationality they have.

    What does it cost to apply for an Adult Dependent Relative Visa?

    The application fee for an adult dependent relative visa is £3,250. You may need to pay an additional fee to submit your biometric information at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).

    How long does it take to process an Adult Dependent Relative Visa?

    Applications for an Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa usually take at least 12 weeks. If there are requests for additional documents by the Home Office or a need for further clarification, processing might take longer.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers receive assistance on Adult Dependent Visas. Contact us

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      What happens after I apply for the Adult Dependent Relative Visa?

      Applicants will have to provide their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). They will receive specific instructions on how to do this when applying.

      If applicants require their passports or documents urgently, they may be able to request to have them returned. However, they may have to cancel their application depending on the current stage of processing.

      If the applicant’s application is approved, they will get a biometric residence permit and be informed of what they are permitted to do.

      They cannot apply to settle in the UK until they are eligible and they cannot get benefits or public funds for themselves or their dependents.

      How Can London Immigration Lawyers Help?

      Due to the nature of the adult dependent relative visa and the many conditions that both applicants and sponsors have to meet, refusals are not uncommon.

      To ensure your application sails through, you need to explore all possible grounds for refusal and ensure your application is exceptional.

      Our London Immigration Lawyers have the expertise and experience to help you make a strong impression in your application which can lead to a positive outcome, depending on your personal circumstances.

      Contact us today on 0333 305 9375 or chat with us online to get the right answers to your questions and to commence the journey to a strong application or appeal, whichever is your situation.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                If the eligibility criteria for the adult dependent visa are not met, the Home Office can exercise discretion and consider ‘exceptional circumstances’ where there is a human rights aspect to the adult dependent relative visa application.

                The Entry clearance officer must go on to consider, based on the information provided by the applicant, whether there are exceptional circumstances which would render refusal a breach of Article 8.

                A breach will arise if such refusal would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for the applicant, their partner, a relevant child or another family member whose Article 8 rights would be affected by a decision to refuse the application.

                If the requirements of the adult dependent relative (ADR) are not met (and there are no exceptional circumstances as described under paragraph GEN.3.2. of Appendix FM), the application for entry clearance as an ADR will be refused.

                Article 8 protects the right to respect for private and family life. It upholds both statements below:

                • Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
                • There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is under the law and is necessary for a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

                However, the “family life” element of Article 8 is not normally engaged in the relationship between adult family members who are not partners.

                Blood ties or the bonds of concern and affection that ordinarily go with them are, by themselves or together, not enough to constitute family life for the purposes of Article 8.

                To obtain an ILR, you have to meet the requirements which are designed to provide a route to settlement for ADRs of sponsors with refugee status, a person with humanitarian protection or with limited leave under Appendix EU.

                There are many reasons why ADR visa applications and ILRs are refused. These reasons include:

                • Suitability – exclusion by the Secretary of State, deportation order, criminality, non-compliance, medical reasons, false representations, non-payment of fees, and lack of maintenance, accommodation and undertaking.
                • Eligibility – Ingenuine relationship with the sponsor, sponsor holding an ineligible status, applicant not requiring long-term personal care, required level of care available and affordable in the country of the applicant.
                • Financial – Insufficient evidence of adequate maintenance, accommodation and care (for 5 years from the date of intended entry).
                • Others such as disobeying the conditions of an ADR visa, conviction, absence of exceptional circumstances, and refusal of your sponsor’s ILR application.

                If an application is refused, there may be grounds on which this can be challenged, either by way of a review or appeal to the First Tier Tribunal against the refusal of such application. However, it’s always best to seek the expertise of a legal advisor prior to applying for an ADR visa or starting an appeal.