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Can I Bring My Parents to the UK Permanently?

Can I Bring My Parents to the UK Permanently?

Feb 08, 2024
Last Updated on May 21, 2024

Your parents cared for you in your youth, so it’s only natural to want to return the favour when they reach old age. If you are currently living in the UK and want to know about the process of bringing your parents to the UK as your dependents, this article is for you.

According to the Migration Observatory, between 2009 and 2022, there were around 38,000 family reunion visas issued every year. This has remained steady over the years. While it might be a popular route for reuniting families, it isn’t typically a cheap route.

The family reunion category includes children moving to live with their parents, partners joining their spouses, and parents joining their children. In this guide, we will explore the ins and outs of this visa category and how you can increase your chances of success to reunite your family.

What is the best route to bring your parents to the UK?

The first option would be to bring your parent’s to the UK on a standard visitor visa. By choosing a multi-entry visa, they would be able to return to the UK regularly to visit you. The 10-year standard visitor visa will allow your parents to stay for up to 6 months per visit and will cost £963 each

This is a great option if you just want to be able to see your parents more regularly, but they will continue living in their home nation. It’s important not to use this visa route to allow your parents to live in the UK permanently, as this is not permitted in this visa category.

If your parents would like to relocate permanently, the family reunion visa route might be more suitable. In order to be eligible for this route, you have to demonstrate that your parent needs to be cared for and that you will be the care provider.

This route is referred to by the Home Office as “Apply as an adult dependant relative visa”.

Family visas explained

The Family Visa category has come under fire in recent immigration changes due to fear that this category has been abused. The family visa allows individuals with the right to live, work or study in the UK to bring their family members with them.

Examples of this would be a PhD student who would like to bring their spouse with them when they relocate to a UK university. Another example would be an overseas parent with a child that is currently settled in the UK. If they would like to move to the UK to care for their child, they would need a family visa.

For those with ageing parents who need additional care and support, you might be wary about leaving them in your home country so far away from you. The solution would be to bring them to the UK so they can live in your home and you can provide the care they need.

With this visa category, you need to show how you will support your family member for the duration of their stay. 

Eligibility for a family visa

To be eligible for the family visa category that would enable you to bring your elderly parents to the UK, you will need to meet the following criteria:

The individual sponsoring the visa must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Be a British or Irish citizenship
  • Have settled status in the UK, either through indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of residence
  • Be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have pre-settled status. This means they must have started living in the UK before 1st January 2021
  • Have protection status (leave to remain as a refugee, permission to stay as a refugee or a person with humanitarian protection) in the UK

It’s important to check if your family member has pre-settled status, as this would enable them to apply for the free EU settlement scheme, which will save a lot of money.

In addition to meeting the residence requirements, you also need to demonstrate the following in your application:

  • You need to provide long-term care for everyday personal and household tasks because of illness, disability or age.
  • The sponsor is over the age of 18.
  • Your sponsoring relative can accommodate and care for you for the duration of their visa, or for 5 years if your relative is a British citizen or settled in the UK.

You will also need to demonstrate that the care your parent(s) need is either unaffordable or not available in their home country. You need to show that moving them to be with you in the UK is the only option available to you.

Financial requirements for the family visa

The cost for this visa category is £3,250 for applications made outside of the UK and £1,048 if you are applying from inside the UK. If you have protected status, this is reduced to £404 for applications made outside the UK.

In addition to the visa fee, you will also need to pay the immigration health surcharge, which is £624 for each year your visa is valid. This costs £3,120 for a 5-year visa. If you are staying for less time because your relative has a shorter visa, this amount will be reduced.

In addition to the fees, the sponsoring relative also needs to demonstrate that they have the means to support their family member. This will typically mean that you need to provide a floor plan of your home, including the size and number of rooms. This needs to clearly show that you have the space for your parent(s) to live comfortably.

In addition to this, you need to show you have the funds to support them, either through regular income or savings. You will likely need to provide financial documents to back up this information. 

How long does this process take?

When it comes to securing care for your parents, you are right to be concerned about how long the application process will take. At present, processing times for this visa category are around 24 weeks. This could take longer if UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) needs more information about your application. 

UKVI might contact you to request more information. It’s important to respond in a timely manner as this can further delay your application.

What documents do I need to provide for this visa?

The documents you need to provide will all depend on the nature of your application. You can generally expect to share the following information:

  • Your name, date of birth and your birth certificate
  • A valid passport with certified copies of each page, your visas and entry stamps
  • A copy of your biometric residence permit, if relevant
  • Details of previous immigration applications
  • A criminal record check
  • Your national insurance number
  • Your parents’ date of birth and their nationalist
  • A TB test result, if required
  • Proof of finances, clearly showing that you have the space to accommodate your parents and the funds to support them
  • Details of other people who will be living in the home

Why might this visa application be rejected?

There are some common reasons that family reunification visas might be rejected. This includes:

  • Mistakes in your application. Sometimes honest errors in your application can lead to a refusal. If this happens, we recommend requesting an administrative review and providing the correct evidence.
  • The case worker believes that your parents can access the care they need in their home country. If you have demonstrated sufficient means to support your parent(s), the Home Office might question why you can’t pay for care in your home country.
  • You have failed to provide sufficient evidence that your parent(s) have long-term care needs. You need to show that they are unable to complete everyday tasks independently due to illness, disability or age.
  • The case worker looking at your case might not believe that you have provided sufficient evidence that you have the means to support your parent. This could mean that UKVI does not believe that your home is sufficient for additional residents, or you don’t have the income to care for your parents.

If your application is rejected and you believe there has been a mistake and the case worker has not correctly applied the law to your case, you should have the right to appeal. If you choose to appeal, you have 28 days from the date of your rejection letter to submit your appeal.

We recommend working with an immigration specialist to prepare your appeal, as the process can be quite complex. Having an understanding of immigration law and past experience with appeals will help to fix any potential holes in your application to give it the best possible chance of success.

How can A Y & J help?

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with UK family visas and family reunion visas. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or contact us today. We’re here to help!

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A Y & J Solicitors is a multi-award winning, 14+ years experienced, recommended by Legal 500, boutique UK immigration law firm based in Central London. Having assisted 5000+ clients, we are well equipped to help you with our ‘In It To Win It’ approach. For your assurance and confidence, we are pleased to share our trust rating of 4.9/5 based on 1000+ reviews on Trustpilot & Google.

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