Can I Bring My Family to the UK?

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Can I Bring My Family to the UK?

Living away from loved ones is quite an ordeal as it invites loneliness and the inability to care for them as one would when they are available. The situation is worse if one lives in a different country from their parents, siblings, or kids. If you are in the UK, either on the Indefinite Leave to Remain or as a British Citizen, and your family is far from you, you have probably asked yourself the question, can I bring my family to the UK? 

Your parents and siblings are set to get more employment opportunities and access to high-end health and educational facilities while in the UK than probably in another country. There is also assuredness of security in the UK and many other vital benefits. 

With the drawing factors of having one’s family in the UK being overwhelmingly many, people wonder whether it is easy or even possible. The truth is that it is very probable, although you will have to meet some fundamental requirements before you can have your parents or siblings settled near you. Expert solicitors can be very helpful in meeting the legal demands of this process. Therefore, consider involving them for advice on the best means of settling your family in the UK with minimum challenges.  


If you would like to know what you need to do to guarantee your parents or siblings a place in the UK read this article to find out the fundamental requirements. 


Can I bring My Mother or Father to the UK?

UK Immigration law has been changing over time, and as it stands, it is more challenging to bring a parent to the UK than in the past years. Before 2012, if you were settled in the UK, getting a parent into the country for settlement without as much hassle as possible. All you needed was to secure an Adult Dependent Relative Visa, which aims to facilitate the relocation of relatives of those already in the UK into the country. 


Also, if one could prove that they were financially stable enough to support and accommodate their parents in the UK, bringing them to the country was easy. 


Nonetheless, this changed in 2012 when more stringent immigration measures were introduced. First, one has to be aged above 18 years old. The other fundamental requirements include: 


1. Prove that the parents require Long Term Care


Fulfilling this condition requires one to submit a medical report that proves that their parents are in pertinent need of long-term care. The sponsor must prove that when their parents are away, they cannot do tasks such as cooking, washing, dressing, and other essential duties all by themselves without being offered support. Additionally, the applicant can prove that the parent(s) suffer from a mental condition or schizophrenia, which deprives them of the ability to meet their daily tasks. In that case, they can be granted the visa. Also, the applicant can prove that when the parents are left on their own, they are actually like prisoners, incapable of meeting their basic needs. 

2. Prove that you can support and accommodate the parents

You are also mandated to prove that you can support your parents for at least five years after they relocate without seeking public funds. This provision aims to ensure that the parents do not burden you once they come to the UK. Therefore, proof of financial wellbeing is a prerequisite. 

3. Prove that care is unaffordable or unavailable in the present country

You also need to prove to the immigration officials that the care is not available or affordable where they live. This means that you have to relocate them to the UK to have access to the care with your financial support. Otherwise, suppose the care is available where they are situated at an affordable cost; you don’t need to relocate them. 

Now here’s the catch. If you claim that the care that you intend to provide to your parents is unaffordable where they live, it means that you will be incapable of supporting them even while in the UK. Therefore, you will probably be denied a chance of relocating them on such grounds. Also, suppose you prove that the care is affordable in the UK as well as your parents’ mother country, you also stand being denied an Adult Dependent Relative visa. 

You must be careful about how you argue your case. This is where the expertise of Gulbenkian Andonian solicitors comes in handy. The experts will help contend your case and convince the immigration officials that you are not contradicting yourself in those claims. Otherwise, there is every significant chance that you will be denied a visa on the two conditions. 

For example, they can argue that there is warfare or unrest in your country that predisposes your parents to danger and thus the need to move them into the UK.


Can I bring My Sister or Brother to the UK?

Another compelling concern is whether one can bring a sibling to the UK. Again, like in the above case, they have to meet the primary prerequisite conditions, which are equally demanding. They include:

  • If the sibling is over 18, an application for a dependent relative visa must be made. 
  • The sibling must be ill or in need of personal care available and affordable in the UK but unavailable or unaffordable in their mother country. 
  • You must prove that you can financially support your sibling for at least five years without claiming public funds for support. 
  • In addition, you also need to commit to paying any public funds that are given to your sibling(s) over the period that they would be in the UK.
  • These conditions also apply to a sibling who is below 18 years. 

Can I bring My Nephew or Niece to the UK?

Yes this is also possible. Family members who have permanent residence in the UK (i.e. have permanent residence here or if EU /EEA nationals have settled or pre-settled status here), can under certain conditions, also bring or sponsor their nephews or nieces to come to the UK as dependent family members. For more info, please read our article, can I sponsor my nephew or niece to the UK?

Alternative routes based on the sponsoring family member’s UK immigration situation

If you are a British or Irish citizen or an EU or EEA or Swiss national living in the UK, with settled status, those are crucial qualifications for bringing your family member to live with you in the UK permanently.


If, however, your family member wishes to come here merely to visit you, and your immigration status in the UK is in a category as set out above, or if you have pre-settled status, then a much simpler process of applying for a visit visa is involved. If your family members are visa nationals, they would need to apply for a visit visa from abroad and satisfy the visa officer that their trip is not to remain in the UK permanently but merely to visit you, or if they are not visa nationals, then they would simply take a flight to the UK, and satisfy the immigration officer here at the port of entry, that their trip is merely to visit you and return.


Visitor visas are granted for a maximum period of 6 months and are not extendable unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example, your family member whilst here develops a disease which, unless treated immediately, would prove to be fatal. In these exceptional cases, it is possible to switch to a medical visa for a further six months, provided there is a clear prognosis as to how long the private treatment will last.


As you can see, getting a dependent relative visa is quite an ordeal. You thus have minimal chances of ever bringing your parents or relatives to the UK. Nonetheless, it’s not all gloom if you engage some of the best solicitors in the country. Gulbenkian Andonian is proven in such tasks with a significantly high degree of success where many other law firms have failed. Consider involving them throughout for help as well as receiving updates on the ever-changing legal immigration demands. 

Ask our Expert Legal Team

At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

Whether it is about a complex or straightforward UK immigration issue, buying or selling a property, divorce, employment, corporate matters, making a will, notary services or discussing any legal issue of your choice – Gulbenkian Andonian is here to help!

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    Neither Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors ltd, nor their employees, agents, consultants or assignees, accept any liability based on the contents of written articles which are meant for guidance only and not as legal advice. We advise all readers to take professional advice before acting. If you would like to consult with a professional lawyer or solicitor to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.