UK elderly dependent visa

UK Elderly Dependent Visa

A UK elderly dependent visa, adult dependent visa can be a useful tool for helping an elderly family member travel to the United Kingdom (UK) and reside long term. The problem? Such visas are very difficult to obtain.

Muneer contacted us about securing a UK elderly dependant visa for his mother. Muneer, a high-earning British business account manager, had lost his father to illness, in Dubai, almost 18 months ago.

As a result, he had grown increasingly concerned about his 67 year olds mother’s well-being as she would sometimes suffer panic attacks and loneliness.

Muneer tried to visit is mother whenever his job allowed or his business travel took him to the Middle East.

Fortunately, Muneer’s mother had a very good immigration history of adhering to UK immigration laws following her visit to the UK last year. Unfortunately, the circumstances outlined by Muneer were unlikely to persuade the Home Office to grant his mother a UK elderly dependent visa.


To be eligible for a UK elderly dependent visa, an applicant must apply from outside of the UK and evidence that they are in need of long-term care from a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter, who is permanently living in the UK.


In order to sponsor an applicant’s application, the sponsor must be:

  • A British citizen, or be settled, or have ‘settlement’ status in the UK or proof of permanent residence or have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK
  • Over 18 years of age

The applicant and sponsor must also prove all of the following:

  • That the applicant is in need of long-term care to do every-day personal and household tasks because of either illness, disability or age
  • The required care is not available or affordable in the country where the applicant lives
  • That the sponsoring relative in the UK is in a position to support, accommodate and care for them without claiming public funds for at least 5 years

Length of the visa

An applicant in receipt of a UK elderly dependent visa may enter the UK and stay for an unlimited period of time. For that reason, the visa holder will not be required to extend their visa or apply for settlement status, unless the sponsoring family member has refugee status or humanitarian protection.


Muneer had presented a sympathetic case for a UK elderly dependent visa on behalf of his mother. He found it physically challenging to travel to Dubai with such regularity. Plus, his mother appeared in need of support due to her panic attacks.

Although Muneer’s mother had savings of her own, Muneer provided for her financially, and helped manage the maintenance of her home.

Muneer felt that the Home Office would agree with his assessment and grant the visa. In fact, his reason or contacting us was to gather information about documents to be submitted and timescale. Yet, it was important that Muneer had an accurate understanding of how the Home Office would likely view his mother’s application.

We discussed the facts of the recent Court of Appeal case of Ribeli v Entry Clearance Officer, Pretoria [2018] EWCA Civ 611 (27 March 2018).

In that case, the applicant was a 65-year-old South African national. She suffered from a variety of medical conditions, including a degenerative back disease, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

With the help of her British daughter, her sponsor, she had applied for a UK elderly dependent visa to enter the UK and permanently reside with her daughter – an application that was refused.

The Court of Appeal considered the matter but dismissed the appeal against the decision to refuse the UK elderly dependent visa on the basis that the requirements, as set out by the Home Office, had not been met.

The Court of Appeal noted that the Home Office’s requirements were ‘extremely rigorous’ and onerous, but also (helpfully) outlined some of the documentary evidence that would be needed to support an application for a UK elderly dependent visa – such as:

  • Evidence that, as a result of age, illness or disability, the applicant requires long-term personal care in the form of:
    • Independent medical evidence that the applicant’s physical or mental condition means that they cannot perform everyday tasks; and
    • This must be from a doctor or another health professional.
  • Independent evidence that the applicant is unable, even with the practical and financial help of the sponsor in the UK, to obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living, in the form of:
    • a central or local health authority;
    • a local authority; or
    • a doctor or another health professional.
  • If the applicant’s required care has previously been provided through a private arrangement, the applicant must provide details of that arrangement and why it is no longer available.

In light of the findings of the Court of Appeal in the case of Ribeli, Muneer was advised that his mother’s application would likely have a low chance of success, if any. Indeed, there was a strong chance that the application would fail.


Before concluding our discussions, we explored the options open to Muneer’s mother. Though not as advantageous to the permanent nature of the UK elderly dependant visa, Muneer decided to help his mother apply for 10-year standard visit visa, which would allow Muneer’s mother to enter the UK for up to 6 months at a time, for the duration of the visa.

Rather crucially, Muneer’s mother must make sure that she does not enter the UK for than 6 months in any 12 months’ period, or she would fall foul of UK immigration laws.

Should the need arise, Muneer could revisit the UK elderly dependant visa application in future.


The UK elderly dependant visa is an extremely difficult visa to secure because of the high threshold and evidential bar to be reached by applicants and their sponsors. Therefore, it is understandable that in March 2016, 39,560 people signed a petition to request a parliamentary debate about potentially loosening the strict Home Office requirements.

The petition for a parliamentary debate had fallen short of its target, probably because this area does not gain attention until a person is directly impacted.

Nevertheless, before preparing an application, it may be prudent to seek expert advice to assess the chances of successful and determine how best to strengthen the application.

And if you would like advice, we can arrange a telephone consultation to discuss your immediate and longer term options or assist you with the application process.

Written by Carla Thomas – Managing Director at Thomas Chase Immigration.

Thomas Chase Immigration offer immigration help to individuals and families.

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9 responses to “UK Elderly Dependent Visa”


    Hoping to have a visa to visist Elderly Centres in different Nation in the world

  2. Yasser Khan avatar
    Yasser Khan

    I have an elderly grandmother in Pakistan who is suffering from dementia. She cannot walk not stand up unsupported. She cannot eat independently and has no other living family in Pakistan. We have visited her in Pakistan three times in the last six months and have evidence to support this. We also have her doctor notes to prove her condition. We would like to bring her over to England so she can spend her final few moments of her life with us and we can provide appropriate care for her.

  3. Judy Labelle avatar
    Judy Labelle

    Hello team,

    I am a French citizen with settled status in England. I am the power of attorney and guardian of my elderly (81 years old) American aunt whose health continues to decline. She has no children or relatives near her. I wish to bring her here and take care of her. We have doctors certifying she needs assistance with every day tasks. Do I stand a chance with the Elderly Resident Visa application, please?

    1. Thomas Chase avatar
      Thomas Chase

      Hi Judy,

      Paragraph E-ECDR.2.1. of the Immigration Rules state that the applicant must be the:

      (a) parent aged 18 years or over;
      (b) grandparent;
      (c) brother or sister aged 18 years or over; or
      (d) son or daughter aged 18 years or over of a person (“the sponsor”) who is in the UK.

      Do feel free to arrange a telephone consultation or contact us at info’ to discuss what options may be available to your aunt based on your specific circumstances.

      All the best.

  4. Ravneet avatar

    My mother is here with me in UK from India .I am a UK citizen .my mums visa expires in 15th September .Is there any way I can keep her here with me .She is 80 years old and don’t want her to travel to India in these risky covid conditions

    1. Thomas Chase avatar
      Thomas Chase

      Hello Ravneet,

      The available options will depend on your mother’s overall circumstances.

      Unfortunately, we cannot provide specific advice in this forum. The following link may assist,

      We would also be happy to discuss your mother’s circumstances over a telephone consultation. You can arrange a consultation and find further details at our Contact Us page.

      All the best.

  5. Derik avatar

    Im portugal national working in UK and will complete 5 years in september 2019 , want to bring my father on dependent visa somewhere after september, what I need to do? your advice will help lot, THANKS!

    1. Thomas Chase avatar
      Thomas Chase

      Hi Derik,

      Unfortunately, we cannot provide specific advice in this forum and would require more information to help you identify the most suitable options.

      If you would like to arrange a 30-minute telephone consultation to discuss further, head over to our Contact Page at or you can email us at

    2. kanaksingh Dodia avatar
      kanaksingh Dodia

      Hi Derik,

      You can ask your parents to apply for EEA Family permit from the country of Residense . This visa is also called Article 5 of 2004/38/EC entry visa under Freedom of movement right.

      Your parents need to provide you Birth cert for relationship and regular financial transfer evidense

      EEA family permit is issued free of cost.
      The EEA family permit is issued with validity of 6 months.

      Once your parents are in UK withing 6 month of arrival you have to apply for EEA residense card or Pre settled status for your parent.

      If need more help contact the solicitor firm. I did some research and they seems to be good.

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