Moving to the UK alone can be daunting, so it’s a great comfort to bring a family member like your mother with you, especially if she would otherwise be alone in her home country. Fortunately, there are several ways to bring your close relatives to the UK with you, however, both you (the sponsor) and your family member (the applicant) must meet certain eligibility requirements for the UK government to approve the application and issue your family member with a visa.
Let’s look at what options you have to bring your mother to the UK permanently to live with you, and what the application process is like.
Bringing Family Members to the UK
If you have a valid visa to stay in the UK, you can bring some close family members to the UK to join you. The most common valid visas are:
When you are applying to come to the UK, you can add your family members to your application and apply together, or, your family members can apply to join you if you’re already in the UK. You’ll need to meet certain financial requirements such as earning a certain amount each month or having a minimum amount in your savings account so that you can support your family members while they’re in the UK with you. You’ll also need to prove you will have suitable accommodation for each of your family members to live with you in the UK.
However, for most of these visas, you can only bring your immediate family members with you, i.e. your children and partner or spouse. Family visas, on the other hand, are different, as there are four types of Family visas that allow you to bring different family members with you.
Who is Eligible for Family Visas?
The four Family visas are:
- Partner or Spouse visa
- Parent visa
- Child Dependent visa
- Adult Dependant Relative visa
Therefore, if you meet the eligibility requirements, your mother can apply for a Parent visa in order to join you in the UK. However, this visa does not grant permanent residency; the applicant will have to continue to meet the terms of their visa to renew it before it expires, until they are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), also known as settlement or permanent residency.
Who is Eligible for the Parent Visa UK?
Unfortunately, not every parent is eligible to apply for the Parent visa – there are many requirements and conditions that must be met. So before you start your Parent visa application, make sure that the sponsor and the parent both meet the following requirements.
For a Parent visa to be valid, the child must:
- Be under 18 when the application is first made
- Live in the UK with a legal residence permit or have Irish or British citizenship
- Live with you, or in an educational facility such as a boarding school
- Not be living independently i.e married, in a civil partnership, living alone or working
Therefore if you are an adult hoping to bring your mother to the UK to live with you on a permanent basis, she cannot apply for a Parent visa.
If your child meets all of the above eligibility requirements, the parent must:
- Be living in the UK on a valid visa
- Have sole parental responsibility for the child
- Have shared parental responsibility but not be in a relationship with the child’s parent
If you are applying for a Parent visa for the first time to come to the UK, you will need legal documents showing your intention to take on parental responsibility for your child.
If you or your mother don’t meet these requirements to apply for the Parent visa, you can help her come to the UK for a period of up to 6 months with a Standard Visitor visa by writing an invitation letter. However, Visitor visas cannot be extended or switched to Family visas. The other option if you are older than 18 and your mother is elderly or ill, is to apply for an Adult Dependant Relative visa instead.
Who is Eligible for the Adult Dependant Relative Visa?
Adult dependant relatives must be one of the following family members of the sponsor i.e. the person living legally in the UK, in order to be eligible for the application:
- A parent aged 18 years or over
- A grandparent
- A brother or sister aged 18 years or over
- A son or daughter aged 18 years or over
This is only the first step, however. The applicant must also prove that:
- They require long-term care due to a medical condition or their age
- They cannot access the necessary care in their home country due to financial reasons or lack of accessibility
- Their relative in the UK will provide the necessary care for them for the duration of their stay
- They have access to sufficient funds to cover their stay for their first 5 years in the UK
Therefore, if your mother meets these requirements and can prove that she requires long-term care and you are the person who will provide it, then you can bring her to the UK permanently to live with you.
Family Visa Application Process
When applying for a Family visa, you will have to select which of the four visas you are applying for, pay the relevant application fee and submit all of the necessary documents to assist your application. These will be identification documents (copies of past and present passports) as well as the relevant evidence for your particular application.
All applicants between the ages of 19 and 64 will need to submit evidence of sufficient knowledge of the English language unless they are from an English-speaking country or have a disability that negates this requirement. Applicants from specific countries will also need to submit a tuberculosis test result.
For a Parent visa, you will also need either:
- Evidence from a recognised facility such as the child’s school that you take an active role in your child’s upbringing
- Evidence from a recognised facility such as a solicitor that you will take an active role in your child’s upbringing – this needs to be signed by both parents.
For an Adult Dependant Relative visa, you will need:
- Evidence of the applicant’s disability or illness from a health professional that proves they cannot live independently
- Evidence that the care needed is not available or affordable in the applicant’s home country
- Evidence that the applicant will be adequately cared for and accommodated during their stay in the UK by their relative
Once you have completed the application, you will have to wait for the Home Office to process the documents, which can take up to 6 months.
If Your Application is Successful
If your visa application is successful, you will be asked to attend an appointment at your nearest British embassy to have your biometric information taken (a photo and your fingerprints). You will then be issued a residency permit and can move to the UK.
Parent visas are non-permanent visas, so before your visa expires, usually before the first 2 years and 9 months are up in the UK, you will have to extend your visa or leave the UK. For Adult Dependant Relative visas, you will be granted permission to stay in the UK for as long as your family member. Since they must have permanent residency or citizenship to stay in the UK, you will also, therefore, be given permission to reside in the UK indefinitely.
If your mother has obtained a Parent visa, she will also be able to work and study whilst in the UK.
Need Visa Help? – Contact Synergy Immigration Solutions
Gathering the necessary documents for your own visa application can be hard enough, but helping someone else with theirs, especially while working or studying full-time can be a challenging task. Luckily, you don’t need to go it alone. Contact us at Synergy Immigration Solutions today to get the UK visa help you need.