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Bringing your elderly parents or relatives to the UK





Many of us who are either a British Citizen or are settled in the UK must have tried to bring our elderly parents or grandparents to the UK; hoping that we could spend the rest of our lives with them, take care of them, but have been disheartened to find out how difficult this is to achieve. We were hoping that the new immigration rules will be relaxed for our elders who need our care and support in their later years.

Post 9th July 2012, parents and grandparents over 65 could apply for immediate settled status in the UK upon application for entry clearance, or even when visiting the UK, provided that they could demonstrate a financial dependency on their sponsor. In addition to financial dependency, the sponsor will have to provide an undertaking that they could financially support, maintain and accommodate the applicant for a period of 5 years without access to public funds. But the Home Ministry deemed that the old rule placed an undue burden on the taxpayer and the NHS.  

In July 2012, a new rule was introduced for elderly dependent relatives. New criteria were established for restricting the entry of the dependent relatives. In order to be successful under the new rules the following criteria were to be met:

  • The applicant must as a result of age, illness or disability require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks.

 

 

  • The applicant must be 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, 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.

 

 

  • The sponsor must provide a 5-year undertaking that they can financially support, maintain, care and accommodate the relative without access to public funds. 


Between 2015 to 2017, there were few petitions initiated to allow elderly parents to come as adult dependents however these were not successful. Following a review of Appendix FM and the law in relation to Adult Dependent Relatives, it was confirmed that the policy objectives were met and hence no change to the Immigration rules have been recommended. It is a big disappointment for everyone who was hoping to get permanent visas for their elders so that they could stay with their families infinitely in the UK.

Is there a way around?

The following are the 5 possible ways in which you can apply visa for your elderly relatives:

1. Multiple Entry Family Visitor Visa:

2, 5 and 10-year multiple entry visitor visas may be granted. However, the applicant will not be able to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months in any 12 months period.

When an application is submitted, the Home Office checks the applicant’s travel history, including how much time they are spending in the UK and how frequently they are returning. They assess if they are, in effect, making UK their main home. There is no specified maximum period, which an individual can spend in the UK in any period such as ‘6 months to 12 months’. However, if it is clear from an individual’s travel history that they are making the UK their home, then the application can be refused. 

However, a visit visa will not provide long-term solution to the dependent relative and presupposes that they are well enough to travel quite frequently.

 2.  Surinder Singh Route:

As the law currently stands, when a British Citizen works in another EU Member State for a minimum of 3 months and can demonstrate that the Member State in which they reside has become their center of life, it is possible to return to the UK with members of the household established in that Member State. Parents and grandparents are considered to be dependents when they are relying on their sponsor to provide them with the essentials for their day to day living. However, the Home Office is aware that the Surinder Singh route has been used as a means to circumvent the Immigration Rules. As a result, Regulation 9 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 now provides a number of conditions that must be satisfied if residence in the UK is to be granted to an elderly relative of a British citizen who has moved to live and work in another Member State. The British citizen must demonstrate that they intended to move to the other Member State indefinitely rather than temporarily.

(If you don’t want to apply via these options then you can apply for visa through other options listed below. But these options are applicable only if the elder relatives are employable.)

3. Sole Representatives Visas 

An overseas company intending to establish a commercial presence for the company in the UK can send a senior employee of their company as a Sole Representative. This commercial presence may be a registered branch or a wholly owned subsidiary concerned with the same type of business activity as the parent company. The parent company must have no branch, subsidiary or other representative in the UK.   

Applicant must be recruited and employed outside the UK by the overseas company they intend to represent the UK. Applicant should have full authority to take operational decisions on behalf of the overseas business for the purpose of representing it in the UK. The applicant should also be able to meet the English Language Requirement. This route leads to settlement or permanent residency. 

4. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

This category of visa is for non-European migrants who want to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of, a business or businesses in the UK. In order to qualify under this category, applicants should normally have £200,000 funds available to invest in the UK. This route leads to settlement or permanent residency. 

5. Tier 2 (General) Visas UK

The Tier 2 (General) category is for foreign nationals who have been offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a UK or EEA national. The Tier 2 (General) visa allows UK companies to fill existing labour shortages. A skilled worker in any Tier 2 category must not displace a suitable settled worker. Applicant must have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship from an organisation that is a licensed sponsor in the UK. This route leads to settlement or permanent residency.

Is the economy really benefiting? 
 
The Home Office maintains that the current rules represent a fairer deal for the taxpayer, given the significant NHS and social care costs which can arise when adult dependent relatives settle in the UK, notwithstanding the required sponsor’s 5-year undertaking to maintain, accommodate and care for the relative without recourse to welfare benefits or social housing. The NHS may have some savings due to the implementation of ADR rules, however it will also impact the economy negatively draining out high earning special skilled workers who might leave the UK to care for their dependent elders.

With the current government intending to clamp down further on immigration controls, it is unlikely that the “unnecessarily harsh” adult dependent relative (ADR) rules will change.  Making an application has become very difficult and professional legal advice from the outset is crucial to obtaining the best possible outcome for your circumstances. 


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Home Office creates new 'settled status' for EU citizens post Brexit


The UK Government announced that EU citizens living in the UK and their family members will need to apply under the settlement scheme to obtain their new UK immigration status if they wish to continue staying in the UK.

The Immigration Minister, Mrs Caroline Nokes confirmed that those applying under the scheme will only need to complete 3 simple steps online. They will need to prove their identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions.

The Home Office will check the employment and benefit records held by government which will mean that, for many, their proof of residence will be automatic.

In order to be eligible for settled status, the applicant must be an EU citizen or a family member of an EU citizen; have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years (‘continuous residence’) and have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. If an applicant has lived in the UK for less than 5 years, they will generally be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’ instead. For a non-EU citizen, they will need to show your relationship to an EU citizen living here.

It is proposed that an application will cost £65 and £32.50 for a child under 16. For those who already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, they will be able to exchange it for settled status for free.


Those who have not yet lived in the UK for five years will be granted pre-settled status and be able to apply for settled status once they reach the five-year point. From April 2019, this second application will be free of charge.

The new online application system will be accessible through phones, tablets, laptops and computers. The Government will provide support for the vulnerable and those without access to a computer and continues to work with EU citizens’ representatives and embassies to ensure the system works for everyone.

The settlement scheme will open in a phased way from later this year and will be fully open by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.

The Home Secretary, Mr Sajid Javid said the government's "default" position would be to grant, not refuse, settled status.

The scheme will operate online and via a smartphone app, Mr Javid said, and would be "as simple as people can reasonably expect", with most decisions turned around within two weeks or sooner.


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Doctors and nurses are exempt from the annual Tier 2 (General) limit

One of the important changes to the immigration rules introduced today is the exclusion of NHS Doctors and Nurses from the Tier 2 (General) Visa UK annual cap. 

Under the new rule, there will be no restriction on the number of doctors and nurses granted visas through the Tier 2 (General) route. Applicants coming under the Tier 2 (General) Visa UK  route will be eligible to apply for ILR Visa UK after completion of five years. The Home Office said around 40% of Tier 2 (General) Visa UK were granted to the NHS staff.

Applications made via the Tier 2 (General) Visa UK route, which has had an annual cap of 20,700 since 2011, have in recent months exceeded the allocation of visas.

According to the Financial Times, 2,630 visa applications from doctors outside the European Economic Area (EEA) were refused in a five-month period, despite crippling staff shortages across the NHS. And in April 2018, NHS bosses warned that immigration rules were hampering their ability to find workers after visas for 100 Indian doctors were refused.

According to an NHS Improvement report, NHS England had 35,000 nurse vacancies and nearly 10,000 doctor posts could not be filled in February. 

Home secretary Sajid Javid said: “I recognise the pressures faced by the NHS and other sectors in recent months. Doctors and nurses play a vital role in society and at this time we need more in the UK. That is why I have reviewed our skilled worker visa route.

“This is about finding a solution to increased demand and to support our essential national services.”

The plans mean more visa allocations will be freed-up places a month for other highly skilled workers, such as engineers, IT professionals and teachers.


Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association council, said: “It will be a relief to patients and staff across the NHS that common sense has finally prevailed and the tier 2 visa restrictions on non-EU doctors and nurses are to be lifted. This represents a victory for the BMA, medical bodies and patients who have argued that this obstructive cap was doing real damage to patient services across the country.”



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NHS criticizes visa rules after dozens of doctors refused entry to Britain

The bosses of 35 NHS have accused the immigration authorities of putting patients at risk. 

Immigration rules are hampering the ability of the NHS to recruit doctors, health leaders are warning. Recently, visas for 100 Indian doctors were refused owing to visa cap by the Home Ministry for non-EU workers. The doctors had been recruited as part of a long-running scheme in the North West which supplies junior doctors to more than 30 NHS trusts. NHS bosses say increasing numbers of doctors are being refused permission, worsening rota gaps and the waits patients face for treatment. The NHS is already short of doctors, with a report from the regulator NHS Improvement warning one in 11 posts was vacant. In February, NHS Improvement said that there were 100,000 vacancies across England's 234 acute, ambulance and mental health trusts. 

 

Blocked visas due to non-EU worker cap 

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said he had heard of another 400 cases of blocked visas since December. "We have examples of clinics being cancelled and delays in terms of patients receiving care. It exacerbates pressures in what are relatively small medical teams.” It is unclear exactly why this has happened. There is evidence in the NHS that it is getting harder to recruit and retain EU staff, putting pressure on non-EU sources.The skilled worker cap applies to all sectors so the numbers the NHS can recruit is also influenced by other sectors from IT to banking. Nurses have been placed on the shortage occupation list, which means they are given a priority in international recruitment.

 

Home Ministry defends 

A Home Office spokeswoman said the system was in the "national interest".

She said any Tier 2 applications - as they are known - which are refused in oversubscribed months could reapply in future ones. And she added there were a range of specialities, including A&E and radiology, that were on the shortage occupation list too. 

Meanwhile, NHS leaders have written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Home Secretary Amber Rudd asking them to urgently look into the problem.


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Indian PM’s visit to the UK could see pacts on immigration

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London this week. It has been the first in 9 years and it gives hope for stronger trade relations between India and the UK post brexit. Modi’s bilateral visit to the UK, in which a range of issues - including immigration, technology cooperation and education will be discussed. The two meetings held by the UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be seen as part of the efforts by Britain to forge closer ties with India and its ability to secure lucrative post-Brexit trade deals.

 The Commonwealth Business Forum 

The Commonwealth Business Forum, which will bring together business leaders and political figures from across the Commonwealth, would explore ways of raising intra-Commonwealth trade from around $525 billion in 2015 to around $700 billion by 2020, alongside looking at some of the contemporary challenges and opportunities around technology, skills and protectionism.

 MoU on return of illegal immigrants

A memorandum of understanding on the return of illegal migrants to India will be formally signed. It was previously agreed upon and relating to an issue that Britain has repeatedly raised. However, it remains to be seen whether any moves will be made to respond to Indian concerns about Britain’s immigration regime - which India has repeatedly stressed, is key to the future relationship between both the countries.

Diaspora events and Ayurveda Research Centre 

With an Indian diaspora of around 1.4 million, Modi’s visit will attract a lot of attention. A number of rallies - both to protest and support Modi - are being planned during and ahead of the visit. He will also meet Prince Charles and the Queen and attend a diaspora event in London. Apart from the immigration memorandum, Modi also plans to discuss the setting up of an Ayurveda research Centre in the UK.


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Banks start with immigration checks on millions of accounts

Under the new government scheme, Banks and building societies have started carrying out checks on the immigration status of all personal current account holders to crackdown illegal immigrant.

A new legislation was introduced in the beginning of 2018 to impose the duty on banks and building societies. The aim of this new legislation is to create a “hostile environment” for those in the UK unlawfully. The Government believes as many as 6,000 illegal migrants could be booted out of the country as a result.

In a statement, the new Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “These new measures are part of our commitment to make it more difficult for people with no right to live or work in the UK to remain here.”

She added: “This will not affect those who live in the UK legally but we must be firm with those who break the rules as illegal immigration impacts the whole of society.”
Under this new system, banks and building societies have to inform the Home Office once they identify a personal current account operated by an illegal migrant. The Home Office will then instruct the bank or building society on the "action to take", "which may include closing the account".

The Home Office said it was only sharing details of illegal migrants who are liable for deportation from the UK, or who have absconded from immigration control.  People with outstanding applications or appeals will not be affected – including asylum seekers – nor will those who have been granted leave to be in the UK, including refugees.

This measure to crackdown illegal immigrants has been criticised by campaigners. Chai Patel, legal policy director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, claimed the Home Office frequently makes mistakes determining immigration status.


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