Has Britain closed its doors to elderly dependant relatives?
25th July 2012
Yes, the elderly dependant relative immigration category is now closed. Well, that is not strictly true, but it may as well be as the threshold to make an application under the new rules has been set so high that it is difficult to imagine circumstances where it would still apply in practice.
In order for British Citizens or non-EEA nationals with permanent residence in the UK to bring their elderly parent over to live with them, for example, they would now need to prove that:
- Their parent requires “long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks”; and
- Even with their practical and financial help, their parent is unable to “obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living, because (a) it is not available and there is no person in that country who can reasonably provide it; or (b) it is not affordable”
They would also still have to meet the usual requirement to demonstrate that they can accommodate them and finance them without any recourse to public funds.
As a consequence of the new requirements, should the sponsor earn a reasonable salary, they can afford to pay for care in their parent’s country of residence. If the sponsor does not earn a reasonable salary, they will not be able to prove that they can support their elderly parent without recourse to public funds. So, regardless of your personal financial circumstances, it is unlikely that you will be able to bring your elderly parent over to live with you in the UK. Equally, if your parent happens to live in the western world, it is even more unlikely that you could bring them in.
It would seem unnecessary to limit an application category to this extent in which the sponsor signs an undertaking confirming that their parent will have no recourse to public funds while in the UK and that they, as sponsors, will be responsible for their maintenance, accommodation and care, for a period of 5 years. Would it not be better to keep the old rules and work on better enforcement of these undertakings?
Do contact us if you are affected by the changes to the elderly dependent immigration category and you would like further advice.