In recent years, it has become extremely difficult for elderly non-EU relatives to meet the Immigration Rules relating to Adult Dependent Relatives (‘ADR’). The recently published Court of Appeal case of Britcits v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 368 has helped to clarify the rules and may lead to more successful applications in the future.
The ADR rules are designed for adult relatives who wish to be cared for in the UK by a relative who is settled and has sufficient resources. Qualifying under this category of the rules was made considerably more difficult when new requirements were introduced in 2012. These required that the applicant must, inter alia:
- require long-term personal care to perform every day tasks; and
- be unable to obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living because it is not available and there is no one in the country who can reasonably provide it or or because it is not affordable.
As a result of the tightening of the rules, there has been a significant reduction in the number of applicants who meet the requirements. Britcits challenged the legality of the rules on a variety of grounds.
The court found the rules to be lawful, but also offered some much needed clarification.
Firstly, the court held that insufficient attention had been given to the terms ‘required level’ and ‘reasonably provide’ when considering whether or not care was available in the applicant’s home country. The court found that consideration should be given towards the accessibility and geographical location of the provision of care as well as the standard of care. This allows applicants to claim that the logistical arrangements of care, or the quality of care, in the applicant’s home country is unreasonable, which may help convince the decision maker that the applicant qualifies under the requirements.
Secondly, the court held that the emotional and psychological requirements of the applicant can be considered. These requirements would have to be verified by medical evidence. This would allow the applicant to argue that they qualify under the ADR rules as the care they need may not be reasonably available, or to the required level, given their specific requirements.
Although these rules remain hard to satisfy, the greater clarity this case has provided may be able to produce more successful applications.