The Adult Dependent Relative Visa allows British citizens, individuals holding settled status, or those with refugee leave, humanitarian protection status, or limited leave under Appendix EU, to bring their elderly, ill, or disabled family members to reside with them in the UK. At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we regularly receive enquiries from individuals eager to bring their relatives who require care to the UK and have a track record of success helping many individuals navigate the complexities of securing Adult Dependent Relative visas.
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However, the harsh reality is that even well-prepared applications for the Adult Dependent Relative visa can often face refusal. This is common, and potential applicants should be prepared for the likelihood of an initial refusal if their application has not been prepared properly under the guidance of an immigration solicitor. In this article, our legal experts discuss the appeal process surrounding Adult Dependent Relative Visas and how to navigate it successfully.
Understanding the Eligibility Criteria for an Adult Dependent Relative Visa
The first step in tackling a visa refusal is understanding the eligibility criteria for the Adult Dependent Relative Visa. For a visa application to be successful, the UK-based sponsoring family member must:
- be at least 18 years of age
- be a British citizen or an individual with settled status, refugee status, humanitarian protection, or limited leave to remain under Appendix EU status
- must also be able to confirm that they can accommodate, maintain, and care for the relative in the UK without resorting to public funds.
Moreover, the foreign adult relative being sponsored must fulfil certain criteria such as:
- They must need long-term personal care due to age, illness, or disability;
- The sponsoring relative in the UK must reasonably and adequately provide this care.
- The relative must also be a parent, grandparent, sibling, or child of the sponsor and be above the age of 18.
Finally, the Home Office will consider whether the relative’s presence in the UK is conducive to public welfare. This consideration takes into account factors like criminal history or poor immigration record.
Presenting as Much Evidence as Possible in the Initial Application
To minimise the chances of an Adult Dependent Relative visa application being declined, it’s crucial to make an application under the guidance of an experienced immigration solicitor who can advise you on how best to present your case and its supporting evidence. Ideally, to make a strong application and maximise your chances of success, you should provide the following evidence as support.
Evidence of Relationship: It’s essential to provide proof of the relationship between the sponsor in the UK and the applicant. Documentation such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or other legal documents can be used for this purpose.
Demonstration of Long-Term Care Needs: Simply stating the applicant’s age or providing a medical diagnosis won’t suffice. You need a detailed medical report that clearly explains the applicant’s care needs due to age, illness, or disability, along with the specific assistance required.
Inadequate Care in the Applicant’s Home Country: If an applicant is unable to receive the necessary care in their home country, evidence should be presented to show that despite the sponsor’s practical and financial assistance, they can not get the care they need where they live. Evidence to support this can be provided with a medical or professional report (for example, from a therapist or doctor) that outlines the inadequacy of available care in the individual’s home country. Suppose care was previously provided in the home country. If this is the case, the reasons for its unavailability now need to be clarified. For instance, the applicant’s health may have drastically worsened, leading them to need a higher level of care, or the relative who was providing care may have passed away.
Sponsor’s Ability to Provide Care in the UK: You must prove that the sponsor in the UK can adequately provide for the applicant’s maintenance, accommodation, and care. This could be demonstrated through financial documents, a stable income source, and a suitable living arrangement.
Sponsor’s Undertaking: If the sponsor is a British citizen or has settled status in the UK, an official commitment is required from them. This undertaking should declare that the sponsor will be accountable for the applicant’s maintenance, accommodation, and care for a span of five years without recourse to public funds.
By carefully collecting and presenting this evidence, you can significantly increase the likelihood of the Adult Dependent Relative visa application being accepted.
ADR Refusals – What are the Grounds for Appeal?
If your Adult Dependent Relative Visa application was refused, the first step would be to understand if you have the grounds for an appeal. The refusal letter from the Home Office will provide a detailed explanation of why the application was unsuccessful. It is essential to carefully review this explanation and discuss it with an immigration solicitor, as it will form the basis of the appeal.
Common reasons for refusal include:
- lack of evidence demonstrating long-term personal care needs,
- insufficient proof that the required level of care is unavailable
- unaffordable in the applicant’s home country,
- doubts about the sponsor’s ability to provide adequate maintenance, accommodation, and care in the UK.
Building a Robust Appeal Case
Once the grounds for refusal have been identified, the next step is to build a compelling case for the appeal. This involves gathering as much robust evidence as possible to counteract the reasons for refusal outlined by the Home Office.
For instance, if the application was refused due to insufficient evidence of the applicant’s long-term personal care needs, it would be necessary to provide additional medical reports or testimonies from healthcare professionals. If the Home Office doubted the sponsor’s capacity to provide for the applicant’s needs, financial documentation or proof of suitable accommodation could be used to strengthen the appeal case.
The aim here is to present a well-rounded case that addresses each point of refusal, backed by strong, verifiable evidence. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors can guide you through this process, ensuring that you present the best possible appeal case.
Appealing to the First-tier Tribunal
Should your application for an Adult Dependent Relative Visa be refused, you may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). You will have 28 days from the date of the refusal notification to lodge this appeal.
At the First-tier Tribunal, an independent judge will review the Home Office’s decision to refuse your visa. They will assess the evidence presented in your application during the appeal process and decide whether the original decision was legally sound.
Possible Outcomes and Further Appeals
If your appeal is successful at the First-tier Tribunal, the Home Office can choose to accept the decision or, if they believe an error of law was made, apply for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal.
If your appeal is dismissed at the First-tier Tribunal, then you may also apply for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal within 28 days by enforcing that the First-tier Tribunal has made an error when deciding your case.
If permission to appeal is granted and your case proceeds to the Upper Tribunal, a judge will review the decision of the First-tier Tribunal. If they determine that an error of law was made, they can either set aside the original decision and replace it with their own or send the case back to the First-tier Tribunal for a fresh hearing.
Exceptional Circumstances and Human Rights Claims
There may be grounds to argue exceptional circumstances in certain situations surrounding appeals. This is where the strict eligibility criteria are not met, but the refusal of the visa would lead to harsh consequences for the applicant and would breach the right to respect private and family life, as established under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Applying for an Adult Dependent Relative Visa from within the UK involves making a human rights claim, which is a more complex process than applying from overseas. This underscores the importance of seeking expert legal advice from immigration solicitors at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors before you embark on this route.
Visitor Visas for Adult Dependent Relatives
While some people might consider applying for a visitor visa for their elderly or vulnerable relative as a simpler alternative, this route presents its own set of complications. A visitor visa is a temporary solution and does not lead to permanent residence in the UK, unlike the Adult Dependent Relative Visa.
Moreover, inappropriate use of the visitor visa, such as applying for it with the intention of a long-term stay, can negatively impact the applicant’s immigration record. This could potentially lead to the refusal of future visa applications, including the Adult Dependent Relative Visa, due to a history of inappropriate use of the visitor visa or overstaying the permitted duration.
If an applicant gains entry into the UK using a visitor visa and subsequently attempts to secure an Adult Dependent Relative Visa, the authenticity of their original visitor visa application could be brought into doubt. This is because visitors are expected to leave the UK no later than the date on their visa, so a subsequent application for a visa that grants permanent residence will raise red flags and will result in a refusal.
However, there may also be exceptions in the case if there is a genuine change in circumstances. For instance, if the applicant suffers a severe health setback while in the UK, which requires a higher level of care than they can access in their home country, it may be possible to apply for an Adult Dependent Relative Visa from within the UK.
Seeking Professional Legal Advice
The complicated nature of the Adult Dependent Relative Visa application and appeal process underscores the importance of seeking professional legal advice. Our expert team of immigration lawyers at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors has decades of experience handling these types of cases and can provide valuable guidance and representation.
From making the initial application to fighting your corner if your application is refused and you need to appeal, our team can support you every step of the way. We can help identify potential avenues to ensure that your appeal is a success and guide you through the collection of the necessary evidence needed to make your case as strong as possible. We understand the emotional toll that a visa refusal can take and are dedicated to helping our clients with the utmost professionalism to navigate them through this challenging process; contact us at 0207 269 9590 or through our form below.
If an Adult Dependent Relative Visa application is refused, the sponsor and the applicant have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process can be complex and may require the assistance of a skilled immigration solicitor like one of ours at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors. If you wish to make an appeal, please contact us so we can act on your behalf within 28 days of the refusal notification.
The time for an appeal can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the availability of the tribunal, and whether or not further evidence is required. On average, it can take anywhere from a few months to over a year from the time the appeal is lodged to when a decision is made. Please note it’s recommended to consult with a legal expert or immigration solicitor for specific timelines related to your case.
You can appeal a refusal of an Adult Dependent Relative Visa on several grounds. The most common grounds are:
- Incorrect application of immigration rules: This refers to situations where you believe the Home Office has incorrectly applied or interpreted the immigration rules in your case.
- Breach of Human Rights: This is applicable if you believe the refusal infringes upon your or your relative’s Human Rights. For example, you may argue that the decision breaches your right to family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Yes, you can present new evidence during the appeal process. In fact, providing additional compelling evidence can often be crucial in successfully overturning a visa refusal. This can include more comprehensive medical reports, further proof of relationship, or additional documentation showing that the necessary care cannot be provided in the applicant’s home country. It’s important, however, to ensure that this new evidence is relevant and strengthens your case. A legal professional can provide guidance on what types of evidence may be helpful for your specific case.
This is generally discouraged because the Home Office may question the basis for the visitor visa application due to the fact that visitors are expected to leave the UK at the end of their stay. Moreover, there may be further consequences for future visa applications if an individual overstays or misuses a visitor visa.
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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.
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Dr Bernard Andonian – the Co-Founder of Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, is an experienced Immigration Solicitor, former Judge, and recipient of a PhD in Law from the University of West London. He has over four decades of experience practising UK Immigration, Human Rights and Civil Litigation Law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.