The largest group of applicants for family visas in the UK are for ‘family of a settled person’ visa. It is quite common for people (sponsors), after having settled in the UK (i.e. having obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or British citizenship), to want to bring their family members to join them. This relates to parents, grandparents, siblings or children 18 years of age or over.
There are two main ways to bring adult relatives into the UK. The first is through the UK Immigration Rules, and the second is through the European Regulation Rules.
The first condition for non-European applicants, applying through the Immigration Rules is that that they, as a result of age, illness or disability, require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks. Additionally, it must be shown that they are 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 – the care is not available and there is no person in that country who can reasonably provide it; or it is not affordable. Hence, applicants have a very high evidential threshold when applying for this visa, which are extremely hard to meet in practice.
On the other hand, the requirement of dependency under the European Regulations drastically differs to the one under the Immigration Rules. For instance, if the sponsor is a European national, who has a non-European financially dependent parent, he will mainly need to prove a financial dependency of the parent. Applicants must provide evidence of money transfers from the sponsor to their family member along with bank statements or other evidence of their financial resources. It must be noted that there are other requirements to this route, however, the threshold of meeting the criteria is not as high as when applying under Immigration Rules and is generally much easier to meet in practice.
Applicants could also consider the EU Settlement Scheme, which came into force this year, as they might be eligible to apply for it without the need to go through the European Regulations route. Some of the main requirements of the Settlement Scheme are evidence of the sponsor’s residence in the UK and evidence of the sponsor’s relationship to their family members, if the applicant is non-EU national. This is obviously be even more straightforward.
Therefore, as the Brexit’s deadline approaches, now might be the final opportunity for those who wish to rely on the European Regulations in the UK to bring their family members to the UK, as the UK Immigration Rules’ route is practically extremely difficult to meet.