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Successful Human Rights claim: Elderly parent visa UK
Successful Human Rights claim: Elderly parent visa UK

Successful Human Rights claim: Elderly parent visa UK

By Eylem Kara

Eylem Kara is a Paralegal in the Immigration Department. Full of promise and imbued with determination and passion for helping clients, she has an extremely bright future ahead of her. Studying at Regent’s University, Coventry University, BPP Law School and the University of Law, she also already has years of experience under her belt. She is a rising star in the industry, and extremely knowledgeable in immigration law.

For those who have elderly parents residing abroad, having the ability to spend time with their aging parents and make sure that their later years are spent in comfort and relative health is a priority. It is therefore quite often that we receive enquiries in respect of elderly parent visas for the UK.

For the majority of those who have left parents in their countries of origin, life is often split between the UK and their home country in an attempt to spend as much time with their parents and ensure their wellbeing. In most cases, however, visiting a parent overseas is not an easy task for someone with active work and social life in the UK. It’s near impossible to find time between work commitments, children’s school schedules and other daily issues. Therefore, more often than not, having the parent in the UK is the more reasonable solution.

The one route that is designed specifically for adult dependents, the UK adult dependent visa route, is notoriously difficult to meet. In the past decade, the UK government has for this reason, tightened the rules around the adult dependent relative visa so much that it’s near impossible to qualify for.

What are the requirements for the UK adult dependent visa?

On the face of it, the requirements to be met for the UK adult dependent visa are relatively simple:

  1. The applicant must be over the age of 18;
  2. Be related to the UK sponsor as parent, grandparent, sibling or adult child;
  3. The sponsor must be at least 18 years old and present and settled in the UK;
  4. The applicant must, as a result of old age or illness require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks;
  5. The applicant, even with the practical and financial help of the sponsor, must be unable to obtain the required level of care in their country of residence, because it’s either not available or not affordable.

Many, reading the above requirements, might feel that they are straight-forward enough and every elderly parent, in particular those with health conditions, meet these; if for no other reason, than the fact that the love and emotional support the elderly people need to live happy and fulfilling lives, cannot be offered by any external helper.

Unfortunately, the reality is quite different, and, in most cases, the Home Office will readily disregard the emotional well-being of the families, the need of the elderly for a secure and loving environment they have grown accustomed to. This has led to a great number of refusals for adult dependent relative visas and made a lot of people wary of applying for such a visa, in particular considering that following such a refusal, the Home Office usually also refuses any subsequent visit visa or even cancels existing ones. This means the only option that families have in spending time with their loved ones, is either to abandon their lives and move to their country of origin or to put themselves under huge pressure of constant travel, juggling the UK commitments with those in their home countries.

It is, therefore, no surprise that a lot of families chose to not apply for adult dependent visa and rely on visit visas instead, to have their parents with them in the UK for part of the year.

What are the visit visa requirements for elderly parents in the UK?

There is no specific route for the elderly parents to come to the UK on a visit visa and they can use the standard visitor visa for this purpose. However, there is some specificity to keep in mind when making a visit visa application.

In general, the following requirements must be met for a successful visit visa application:

  1. Not have an adverse immigration (overstaying, bans etc) or criminality history;
  2. Not intend to defacto reside in the UK through frequent and lengthy stays;
  3. Be able to support yourself;
  4. Be able to pay for return journey; and
  5. Be a genuine visitor.

For those with children in the UK, demonstrating that they are able to support themselves while in the UK and pay their journey back, will normally not present any challenges. The requirement to prove they are genuine visitors and do not intend to reside in the UK can be a bit trickier. As the adult relatives are seen as a liability by the Home Office, it is often the case that the visiting parent will need to prove strong ties with their country of origin, to be able to receive the visa. This can be quite stressful and implies a lot of hassle, due to which, we normally advise that for cases with previous visits and strong chances of success, an application is made for a long term visit visa, for instance 5 or even 10 years one, to allow your parent visit you every year without any added stress.

The allowable presence in the UK in any given 12-month period is 180 days, therefore the families need to be very careful in how they are arranging these visits.

But what happens, if while visiting the UK, the elderly parent experiences physical and/or mental wellbeing deterioration?

Can I apply for a UK leave to remain for my elderly parent from the UK?

Unfortunately, it is not a rare occasion that after years of the visit visa arrangement working, upon one particular visit, the family starts to notice that their parent is no longer the active, independent person they had known their entire lives. The decline in older age can happen quite suddenly and sadly, the pandemic, the lockdowns and the isolation have all contributed to our parents aging suddenly much faster. Therefore, many families found themselves in a situation, where during the visit of their elderly parent, they discover a number of new health challenges and even ones that have subsequently made impossible for them to return to their home country.

Since the first UK lockdown, we have received a tremendous number of enquiries from worrying family members. They wisely sought legal advice from our expert team who have guided them throughout the application process.

So, is there a way to get a leave for your elderly parent who is not able to return to their home country and live independently anymore? The good news is that there is such a possibility and will need to rely on human rights grounds.

Leave to Remain in the UK as the adult parent of a British or settled person is a complex matter, that has to account for number of variables and address many legal issues. As a firm, we can proudly claim to be true specialists in human rights applications based on physical and emotional needs of the elderly parents. We have prepared a number of cases which had successful outcomes at the initial application stage.

Below, we have presented two such success stories of applications for Leave to Remain in the UK under compelling and compassionate circumstances as a dependant parent of settled adult children in the UK, as well as on the basis of her private and family life in the UK. If you are in a similar situation, you can contact our specialist immigration team.

Case 1: Successful elderly parent visa application based on physical and emotional needs of the parent.

Our client had entered the UK with a visit visa on many occasions since 2011. Just before the first lockdown in 2020, our client had lost her lifelong partner. She had a very difficult time dealing with the loss, all the while facing isolation imposed by the lockdowns and the pandemic. Her two daughters, who both live and work in the UK with their own families, had done their best to support their mother via the modern means of communications during these difficult times. It unfortunately was not sufficient, and they often felt helpless and frustrated over their inability to truly be there for their mother.  

As soon as the lockdown was lifted in the summer 2020, the sisters planned for their mother to visit them in the UK for several months. The sole purpose of her visit on this occasion was to help recover from the loss of her partner. She managed to get to the UK in the autumn of 2020, just before the second and thirds lockdowns in the UK. Regrettably, upon her arrival, the daughters realised that her mental and physical health was much worse than they had thought. During her stay in the UK, even though she had the support of her family, her health only got worse. The passing of our client’s partner meant that she lost her only available carer back home, leaving her alone and isolated while her daughters had a settled life in the UK.

The daughters realised, that our client had become completely dependent on them due to her existing care needs. She was unable to cover her personal day-to-day tasks and was physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially dependent on her daughters. Her worsened condition had meant she was unable to return to her home, where she would be isolated and left to live alone, ultimately leading to suffering and even death. Following the advice and continuous guidance of our Immigration Lawyers, our client was able to compile the necessary evidence required. As a team, we then put together strong representations to argue our client’s case.

Due to tireless efforts of our immigration team, our client received her leave to remain in the UK and is able to live in the UK under the care of her daughters.

Case 2: Successful elderly parent visa application based on physical and emotional needs of both the parent and the adult child.

It is not always the case that the elderly parents need their children more than the adult children need their parents. In life, we can have circumstances, in which even though we are adults, with independent lives, we find ourselves in need of love and care from our parents once more.

We have recently dealt with one such case, for our client, who was a law-abiding visitor of the UK. She had made more than 10 visits to see her only daughter who was living and working in the UK as a British national. Our client’s return ticket was booked for just before the first national UK lockdown. Unfortunately, our client had a particularly difficult time on her last visit as her only family member and child was diagnosed with a rare health problem. As a result of this, our client’s own health also deteriorated, and she had to be monitored for symptoms of mental health issues. Our client and her daughter did not have any other family member as her spouse had passed away years ago and she only had one child, and her daughter had no family of her own.  Their dependency on each other was to a significant degree. 

Our client therefore was in a situation of seeing herself become her daughter’s only emotional support, while her daughter was battling a serious health issue, all the while also needing the emotional comfort of having her daughter close by, being able to support and care for her to the best of her abilities.

Due to their health problems and linked complications, we applied for Leave to Remain in the UK on our client’s behalf, arguing that they relied on each other for emotional support and it would have been cruel and against their human rights to deprive them of the only support they had in such difficult times.

With our guidance, our client was able to collate relevant supporting evidence. We further prepared detailed representations, explaining why our client was unable to return to her home country permanently and how her human rights and those of her daughter would be affected if she is refused leave to remain in the UK.

Our client did not meet the Immigration Rules for Leave to Remain on the basis of family life. We therefore relied on the grounds of Article 8 of European Human Rights, with emphasis on the right to private and family life. We evidenced that there were compassionate circumstances in our client’s case. As a result of the outstanding application prepared by our Immigration Lawyers, our client’s application was granted by the Home Office. Our client received Leave to Remain on private life rules, under the 10-year route.

Of course, due to the complexity of such applications, there was a chance that the application could have been refused. In such scenarios, we have a consultation with our client to discuss the refusal reasons and merits in challenging the decision by way of an appeal to have the matter heard by an Immigration Judge. As the Home Office rarely applies the discretion vested in them for such matters, it is important to present the strongest application possible in the first go.

So, how do we manage to get these remarkable results?

As always mentioned in our posts and to our clients personally, it is significantly important to prepare an exceptional application, with all the essential information and evidence available for the Home Office. When our client contacts us with an enquiry for their parent, it saves them time and money as we analyse the Immigration Rules, Human Rights grounds and caselaw to review our client’s circumstances and eligibility. If we believe our client has strong grounds for application, we advise them on the requirements and risks associated, to make sure a clear and transparent picture of all possible scenarios are demonstrated. We are always honest and transparent with our client, so they have a clear picture of their case.

If you wish to submit an application or have been refused Leave to Remain application, contact us today to discuss your options.

Please call us on 020 3372 5125 or get an online consultation





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