Elderly Dependent Visa UK

Elderly Dependent Visa UK Success Rate Explained

The Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) visa, commonly known as the Elderly Dependent Visa, allows elderly relatives of UK citizens or someone with a settled status to join their family under certain conditions.

This visa route is designed for those who need ongoing personal care from a family member in the UK because of illness, disability, or old age.

Understanding the success rates and reasons for visa rejections can equip applicants and their families with the knowledge needed to enhance their chances of approval.

This blog post explores the nuances of the Elderly Dependent Visa, including essential requirements, success ratio, pitfalls in the application process, and strategic measures to take if an application is initially refused. 

Overview of the Elderly Dependent Visa UK

The Elderly Dependent Visa or Adult Dependent Visa is specifically designed to allow elderly relatives of UK citizens or permanent residents to relocate and settle in the UK. 

This visa applies to those who are financially dependent on a family member residing in the UK and require long-term personal care due to a medical condition, disability, or age. This visa route provides the elderly relative with the right to live in the UK permanently, meaning they can remain in the UK without any time restrictions.

Unlike other visa categories that might require extensions or re-evaluations, the ADR visa stipulates that as long as the initial conditions of dependency and care requirements are met and maintained, the holder may continue to reside in the UK. 

Visa Requirements

To qualify for an Elderly Dependent Visa, several strict immigration rules set out in the Appendix Adult Dependent Relative must be met. These include:

  • The applicant must be related to the UK sponsor (a British Citizen or someone with ILR) as one of the following: parent, grandparent, Brother or sister, Son or daughter. In any case, their age needs to be 18 or more.
  • Due to age, sickness, or disability, the applicant must need long-term private care, including help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and cooking.
  • The applicant is incapable of arranging the demanded care in their existing country of residence, even with support from the sponsor both practically and financially, because:
  • Appropriate care is either inaccessible or cannot be effectively provided in the country.
  • It is not affordable.

The UK sponsor must ensure that the applicant receives appropriate care, maintenance, and living arrangements without relying on public funds. During the entry clearance, the sponsor must sign to financially support the applicant for five years without relying on public funds.

These requirements are designed to ensure that only those who genuinely need care and cannot obtain it in their home country are eligible to be reunited with their family in the UK under the Adult Dependent Relative Visa.

Also Read: How to Convert Dependant Visa To Work Visa in the UK

Elderly Dependent Visa UK Success Rate

The requirements for obtaining an Elderly Dependent Visa in the UK are exceptionally rigid. This strictness arises mainly from applicants’ need to prove that the required long-term personal care cannot be reasonably provided in their home country due to lack of availability or affordability. Applicants often fail to prove this criteria. 

The Home Office data from 2017 to 2020 shows out of 908 ADR visa applications, just 35 were approved at the initial stage. This translates to an approval rate of less than 4%, with over 96% of the applications initially refused. So, less than one in twenty-five applicants succeed under this visa category on their first try. 

The difficulty in meeting the ADR visa conditions suggests that, for many, the application process may end in disappointment. Given the high likelihood of refusal, the ADR visa route is considered high-risk, and apply carefully and be ready for possible rejections. 

Also Read: Documents Required for UK Child Dependant Visa

What to Do If My Elderly Dependent Visa UK Is Rejected

When an Elderly Dependent Visa (ADR visa) application is denied, it can be a substantial setback. However, applicants can take several measures to challenge the decision or reapply. These include:

Appeal the Decision

If your ADR visa application is denied, one of the first options to consider is filing an appeal. This is particularly relevant if you believe the decision to refuse your application was based on an incorrect interpretation of the law or if critical evidence was not considered. 

Appeals against a decision must be submitted within 28 days of getting the refusal letter. The process involves a legal assessment of your application to understand the grounds for rejection and then submitting the appeal to the appropriate legal body. Given the complexities involved, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a solicitor who specialises in UK immigration law to ensure that your appeal is as robust as possible.


Reapplying for an Adult Dependant Visa is another option if your initial application was refused. Before reapplying, it is vital to address the rationales of the previous denial. This might involve providing additional evidence that better supports your claim or correcting any deficiencies noted in the initial application process.

When reapplying, ensure that every detail and document reflects current circumstances and adheres strictly to the Home Office requirements. Reapplying can be favourable because it allows another evaluation of your eligibility, but it also risks another refusal if the underlying issues from the first application are not adequately addressed.

Apply for a Different Visa

If reapplying for the Elderly Dependent Visa is not feasible or the chances of refusal are high, exploring alternative visa routes may be necessary. Other family or long-term visit visas might be appropriate, depending on the circumstances.

Please remember that each alternative visa route has its own set of requirements and will require a thorough assessment to determine suitability for your specific situation. 

Professional legal advice can provide significant advantages in all cases, whether appealing, reapplying, or seeking an alternative visa. Legal experts can offer guidance tailored to your specific case, enhance your application’s chances of success, and help you effectively navigate the complex landscape of UK immigration policies.

Also Read: How to Apply for a Dependant Visa UK

Let Spouse Visa Lawyers Help You

Has your Elderly Dependent Visa application been rejected?

At Spouse Visa Lawyers, we specialise in complex UK immigration cases and can provide expert assistance to overturn your visa refusal. Our team of experienced immigration solicitors understands the nuanced requirements of Elderly Dependent Visas and the stress and disappointment a refusal can cause.

Our services include preparing and submitting your visa application to ensure all requirements are comprehensively met, enhancing the likelihood of a successful outcome. Should an appeal be necessary, we are ready to offer robust representation on your behalf.

For expert assistance and a detailed review of your case, contact us today for an initial consultation.

You Ask, We Answer


The primary criteria include demonstrating that the applicant requires ongoing personal care because of their age, sickness, or disability and is not available in their home country, either due to lack of availability or affordability. The UK sponsor must also demonstrate the ability to provide adequate maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds.

No, you cannot apply for an Adult Dependent Relative visa from within the UK. When applying for a visa, applicants must be outside of the UK. This requirement ensures that the applicant’s care needs have been assessed in their current environment outside the UK.

The success rate for Adult Dependent Relative visa applications is notably low, around 4%. This low success rate reflects the stringent requirements set out by the UK immigration authorities, which require detailed evidence of the need for care and the inability to obtain such care in the applicant’s home country.

A sponsor for an Adult Dependent Visa must be living in the UK permanently and can be a British citizen, someone with settled status. The sponsor must be a close relative to the applicant, such as a parent, grandparent, child over 18, or sibling over 18.

The average processing duration for an Adult Dependent Visa application can fluctuate considerably but typically takes approximately 12 weeks. Complex applications or those requiring more details may cause delays. 

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The information provided in our articles is intended solely for guidance and should not be considered legal advice. We do not assume responsibility for any liabilities arising from the information in written articles and recommend that all readers seek professional advice before taking any action. For those wishing to discuss their case with a professional, please feel free to contact us directly.

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