The elderly dependent relative immigration category has been all but eliminated, as the threshold to make an application under the new rules has been set so high that it is difficult to imagine circumstances where it would still apply in practice.

In order for British citizens or non-European Economic Area nationals with permanent residence in the United Kingdom to bring an elderly parent over to live with them, they will now need to prove that:

  • the parent requires "long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks"; and
  • even with their practical and financial help, the parent is unable to "obtain the required level of care in the country where they are living, because (a) it is not available and there is no person in that country who can reasonably provide it; or (b) it is not affordable".

Citizens or permanent residents would also still have to meet the usual requirement to demonstrate that they can accommodate the dependent relative and finance them without any recourse to public funds.

As a consequence of the new requirements, if the sponsor earns a reasonable salary, he or she can feasibly afford to pay for care in the parent's country of residence. If the sponsor does not earn a reasonable salary, he or she would be unable to prove that he or she can support the elderly parent without recourse to public funds. Thus, regardless of personal financial circumstances, it is unlikely that he or she would be able to bring the elderly parent to the United Kingdom to live - this is even more unlikely if the parent lives in a highly developed country.

It appears to be unnecessary to limit an application category to this extent, in which sponsors must sign an undertaking confirming that their parent will have no recourse to public funds while in the United Kingdom and that they, as sponsors, will be responsible for their maintenance, accommodation and care for a period of five years. Such strict requirements raise the question of whether it would actually be more effective to maintain the old rules and work on the better enforcement of these undertakings.

For further information on this topic please contact Roberta Draper at Kingsley Napley by telephone (+44 20 7814 1200), fax (+44 20 7490 2288) or email ( The Kingsley Napley website can be accessed at

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