First-Tier Success for Emma Harris on behalf of an Adult Dependent Relative

An elderly Adult Dependent Relative represented by Emma Harris, instructed by Nag Law Solicitors, has been successful in her appeal against the refusal of her claim to join her son in the UK. In this case, perhaps unusually, it was possible to show that although the Appellant’s sponsor was capable of supporting her and looking after her in the UK with private medical insurance, the cost of hiring care for her in her home country was far too expensive for her family.

With the change to the Immigration Rules in 2012, the test for Adult Dependent Relatives to meet in order to join their family members in the UK became incredibly stringent. They have to prove (as set out in Section E-ECDR of Appendix FM the Immigration Rules), not only that, as a result of age, illness or disability they require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks but also that even with the practical and financial help of the sponsor they are unable to access the required level of care in their country of origin either because such care is not available or is unaffordable.

In cases like BRITCITS v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 368, it has been argued that the Rules post-2012 are now so stringent for Adult Dependent Relatives that they are virtually impossible to meet. This is certainly supported by Home Office figures that suggest that successful applications fell from 2,325 per year prior to 2012 to an average of 162 per year (see Adult dependent relatives: review). The argument was unsuccessful, however, with the Court noting in BRITCITS that:

True it is that significantly fewer dependants, including parents, will be able to satisfy the new conditions but that was always the intention.

In light of the stringency of the new Rules, it is therefore comforting that it is still possible to succeed in some circumstances.

It may be that for families with relatives abroad, the required care is both available and affordable but, as in this case, despite the reluctance of clients sometimes even to explore the possibility of finding care in their own countries, it is important that they try to do so. In this case, although it was difficult to obtain, official information from the equivalent of the DWP in the country of origin about the extent of care that can be provided by the State, and the corresponding costs of supplementary care which could be privately paid for, was instrumental in the success of this appeal.