The Home Office has reviewed the Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) rules and the impact of the changes made to these rules in 2012.
The ADR rules allow a non-EEA adult relative of either a British citizen, or a person settled, or a person with refugee status, to settle in the UK. Under the old rules, an applicant for ADR had to be the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son, daughter, aunt or uncle of the relative in the UK. If the applicant was the parent or grandparent, aged 65 or over and was financially dependent on their UK relative, they would be granted settlement provided the relative gave a five-year undertaking that they could accommodate the applicant. The other relations could be granted settlement in exceptional compassionate circumstances.
These rules were changed in 2012 to reduce the financial burden on the taxpayer. An applicant must be the parent, grandparent, brother, sister, son or daughter of the relative in the UK, so no longer includes uncles and aunts. The applicant must also demonstrate that because of age, illness or disability, they require long-term personal care that can only be provided in the UK by their relative here. This requires proof that, even with the help of the relative in the UK, they are unable to obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living, because no-one in the country can reasonably provide it or because the care is not affordable.
The change in the ADR rules caused a significant decrease in the number of relatives granted a settlement visa, from 2,665 grants in 2010 to 50 in 2015, and a refusal rate of 89%. The main reason for this refusal rate is that if a relative can provide an applicant with the finances that will deliver the ‘required level of care’ in the applicant’s own country then the requirements of the rules will not be met. As ‘personal care’ is also defined widely, including cooking and cleaning, it is almost impossible to prove that no one in the home country can provide such care and indeed arguments have been made that a carer can simply be employed. The new rules in practice also require an applicant to be extremely frail before they can be considered, and entail a large amount of evidence gathering, including from local authorities and medical experts. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration called the ADR route ‘effectively closed’.
If you require advice on this area of law, please contact us.