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Adult dependent relatives: JCWI survey


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When the Immigration Rules for families were changed in July 2012, it was the minimum income threshold that rightly attracted the most attention. It has caused huge misery and has divided many loving families, sometimes separating children from parents. It is particularly harsh because the income threshold is set so far in excess of the national minimum wage that many working families simply cannot afford to live together in the UK: no matter how many hours they work, they will never, ever qualify. It is heartbreaking.

Less attention has been paid to an equally severe change to the rules on ‘adult dependent relatives’: normally, the foreign national elderly parents of a settled person or naturalised British citizen. JCWI logoThe rules are now so tough that it is thought only a handful, if that, of cases have succeeded since the new rules were introduced. Applicants face a Catch-22 style barrier, where they have to show adequate maintenance and accommodation in the UK (reasonably enough) but also have to show that they “must as a result of age, illness or disability require long- term personal care to perform everyday tasks” and that they cannot, even with the practical and financial help of the sponsor, obtain the required care in their country of origin because it is not available or it is not affordable. If there is sufficient money to care for the person in the UK, there will almost always be sufficient money to pay for private carers abroad.

Children generally want to care for their parents in their old age. That is simply not possible under these immigration rules. It causes unimaginable distress, something we immigration lawyers witness first hand.

If your firm has been involved in any adult dependent relative applications under the new rules in force since July 2012, JCWI is very keen to hear from you and would be grateful if you could complete this short survey:

[contact-form to=’adr@jcwi.org.uk’ subject=’Free Movement survey’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’My firm has made Adult Dependent Relative settlement visa applications’ type=’checkbox’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Have you had any Adult Dependent Relative visas been granted?’ type=’radio’ required=’1′ options=’Yes,No’/][contact-field label=’I am happy to be contacted by JCWI for further information’ type=’radio’ required=’1′ options=’Yes,No’/][contact-field label=’Any further information (not required)’ type=’textarea’/][/contact-form]
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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.


4 Responses

  1. Seems no one cares about British citizen elderly pensioners with NON EU spouses who the same rules have separated. Respectable tax paying home owning British citizens who can afford to support their spouse. Many have medical problems and need their spouse – they are just left to fend for themselves as best they can. Their only relief a lonely early death!

  2. My son and his family live in London. He recently has become a British citizen (while retaining his American citizenship); his wife is a French citizen. They own two flats in an Edwardian building in Muswell Hill; one of the flats comes vacant in mid 2014.
    I am a retired professor, 72 years old, and live alone in Vermont. I also suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic degenerative illness. It isn’t apt to improve.
    Were I to come to London, a migration that both my son and I desire, I would be financially solvent and not in need of British public funds.
    The grounds for migration would be the help my son could provide as I age as well as the important emotional benefit of living near my family, which includes my grandchildren.
    Currently I am co-supervisor of a Ph.D. candidate at Cambridge University. I am a friend of The Globe out of my love of Shakespeare. It is devastating to not be able to join my family as I age, an inexplicably harsh reality.

    1. You may well be able to benefit from EU law as the family member of your son’s wife. See the Citizens Directive definition of family member at Article 2: “the dependent direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner“.

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