The new Adult Dependent Relative Rule came into force in July 2012 as part of the changes to the family migration Rules. It provides for elderly parents or grandparents of permanent UK residents and British citizens to apply to join their family in the UK. Under the new Rule a relative must demonstrate that they as a result of age, illness or disability require long term personal care to perform every day tasks and are unable even with the practical and financial help of the sponsor to obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living. It is almost impossible to succeed in this visa category and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration has stated that this visa category has in effect been closed
The Government proposed policy objectives in introducing this rule was “to reduce the burden on tax payers promoting integration and preventing and tackling abuse and contributing to net migration”. These targets are not met by preventing migrant families from caring for their dependent parents or grandparents. We are regularly approached by children of parents in other cultures whose household structure is different in the UK. The usual household consists of adults and their children of several generations living together, and grandparents playing a large part in caring for educating and socialising with their grandchildren. In other cultures grandparents are seen as the heads of the household and thus are treated with great respect and highly revered. The current Rules are entirely based on the Western European notions of families and by not considering cultural differences, no account is taken of the potential harm caused to breaking grandparent/grandchildren /daughter/son relationships.
Regrettably in our practice on some occasions we have to advise clients not to make applications because their parents do not stand a chance of meeting the very restrictive criteria of the Rules. On some occasions we have suggested that applications should be made and they have been successful because of the specifics of each of the cases and of the country in question.