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Only U.K. residents can bring parents in

If you want to bring your parents to the U.K., you need to meet one of the following criteria:

⬜ You are a British or Irish citizen.

⬜ You have settled in the U.K. For example, you have indefinite leave to remain, settled status or proof of permanent residence.

⬜ You are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and have pre-settled status (prior to Jan. 1, 2021).

⬜ You have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the U.K.

⬜ You like your parents enough to have them live with you (Just kidding. That’s a practical requirement, not a legal one). Remember, love is where the parents are.

⬜ You are able to support, accommodate and care for your parents without claiming public funds for at least five years. This means you must have an annual income of at least £18,600, making you ineligible for state benefits or housing support.

Keep in mind that your parents will not have recourse to public funds and that you will be responsible for them for a period of five years from the date they enter the U.K. If you were to need the help of a private nurse, for say 14 hours a week, at £18 per hour you could be looking at annual costs of £13,200.

If you’ve checked one of these boxes, you can move on.

Parents are like shoes. You have to take the pair.

If both of your parents are alive and still married, they both have to qualify for entry into the U.K., based on proof that they need you to care for them. Note that only your assets and income will be considered during the application process. Like many things in life and politics, there are exceptions to the rules. But these are the minimum requirements your parents must meet to come and live with you in the U.K.

⬜ They need long-term care to do everyday personal and household tasks because of illness, disability or age.

⬜ The care they need is not available or affordable in the country where they live.

⬜ They must be over the age of 18.

Let’s pause to reflect on that last requirement. If you’re the child of a parent who is under the age of 18, and the age of consent is 16, and you have the means to care for them, you are an exceptional two-year-old with advanced reading skills. Get an agent.

Starting the process

Taking care of your parents begins with helping them to file their application. It requires a lot of paperwork and some time for approval so it’s best to start early. The application fee for an Adult Dependent Relative visa is £3,250. You may also need to pay an additional fee for a biometric appointment at a Visa Centre. Here’s the information your parents will need in order to start the application process.

⬜ Full names (should be a piece of cake).

⬜ Date of birth and nationality.

⬜ Current passport or other valid travel ID.

⬜ Copies of the photo page and any visa or entry stamps in their previous passports.

⬜ A copy of their biometric residence permit, if they have one.

⬜ Details of any previous immigration applications they’ve made.

⬜ Details of any criminal convictions.

⬜ Their national insurance number, if they have one.

⬜ Their tuberculosis test results if they’re from a country where you have to take the test.

⬜ A certified translation of any document that is not in English or Welsh.

⬜ A blank page in their passport on which to put the visa if they’re applying from outside the U.K.

It looks like a lot of work but it will be worth it when your folks arrive and you get to spend quality time together.

Are you ready?

Caring for parents is not easy. Have a frank discussion with your loved ones about the added pressures on your finances and time. Anticipate that you may need time off from work to accompany aging parents to appointments or activities. Most of all, get ready for one of life’s greatest privileges. You can learn more about family visas and how to bring your parents to the U.K. on the government website.

About the Author

John Ellis

John Ellis

Freelance Contributor

John is a freelance contributor for Moneywise.

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