Perspective: Elderly dependent relatives

In the first of a series of perspectives on family immigration, written by sponsors campaigning against rule changes in the field of family immigration, Sonel from Brit Cits offers her views on how the rules have affected elderly dependent relatives with a counter proposal.

A lot has been said and written about the new immigration rules brought in by the government although I’m not sure how much is being heard or read.

What I do know is none of the politicians – and in this I include all Tory and Labour MPs (Lib Dems have been eerily quiet) –admit how driven these rules are by politicians on power trips, nor do they understand the ramification on British lives of application of ruthless rules more reminiscent of Enoch Powell’s philosophies, than a progressive, western, developed and indeed, ‘Christian’ country.

British citizens have lost all chances of sponsoring their non-EU parents to join them in the UK. I have asked more MPs than I have fingers to give me three examples of when a parent would qualify to join their child in the UK under these new rules and be physically able to take a flight to come here. None have been able to give me one.

According to “Statement of Intent: Family Migration”, dated June 2012 (para 118 – 125), for a non-EEA parent to join their British citizen child all the below must be satisfied:

  1. “Parent must be unable to wash/dress themselves” So parents must effectively be paralysed yet expected to be able to get on a plane, fly for hours and fit into plane toilets to reach the UK. Bear in mind, if the parent is visiting you in the UK, they CANNOT apply from here.
  2. “Parent must not have anyone else in their home country who can help bathe/dress them” So if the parent has access to a nursing home, home-help, siblings, children, siblings or close friends they cannot come over.
  3. “Sponsor to demonstrate that with financial help from them combined with help from any local health/welfare system parent cannot obtain the required level of care, and;
  4. Sponsor must prove their parent will be maintained, accommodated and cared for in UK, without recourse to public funds.” So if you don’t have money, your parent can’t come over.

I stand by what I said. No one will qualify under these rules, making a mockery of Conservative family manifesto of making “Britain the most family-friendly country in Europe” and Theresa May’s declaration that Britain is a ‘Christian’ country. I see no Christian principles applied in her rules. I asked for examples of case studies when people would satisfy the elderly dependants I think is so rigid it’s impossible to meet. Mark Harper came back with a link to the following:

Under annex 6.0, section 2.2.5 three examples are given indicating situations when someone might meet the criteria. However, the criteria is such that the government says the criteria is met, only if a part of the criteria is met!! Essentially tautology, and therefore meaningless. As I have been saying for months now, I can’t envisage a situation where someone could demonstrate they have the financial means to take care of their loved one in the UK (say £x) but that this £x combined with help from the social system in the home country, and any friends or family is not sufficient to buy the care to help wash and dress.

E.g. extracted from the government’s report:

1. (a) A person (aged 25) has a learning disability that means he cannot feed, wash or dress himself. His parents have recently died in an accident and his only surviving close relative is a brother in the UK who has been sending money to the family for some time. The person has been cared for temporarily by family friends since his parents’ death, but they are no longer able to do this. The sponsor is unable to meet the costs of full-time residential care, but he and his family have sufficient financial and other means to care for the applicant in their home. This could meet the criteria if the applicant can demonstrate 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 it not available and there is no person in that country who can reasonably provide it or it is not affordable and other relevant criteria are met.

The cruelty of the rules is shown startlingly well, by this:

4. (e) A person (aged 85) lives alone in Afghanistan. With the onset of age he has developed very poor eyesight, which means that he has had a series of falls, one of which resulted in a hip replacement. His only son lives in the UK and sends money to enable his father to pay for a carer to visit each day to help him wash and dress, and to cook meals for him. This would not meet the criteria because the sponsor is able to arrange the required level of care in Afghanistan.

I plead with ALL of you to contact your local MP – who by law, has to respond – and let them know how disgusting it is that hard working, tax-paying Brits have lost the right to live with their parent under this government – one that none of us elected – especially where the parents have no one else to turn to.

If these rules aren’t repealed soon, predictions for a future Britain are dire – brain drain. Hard working, tax-paying, educated Brits will move elsewhere (in EU or outside) where they can exercise their right and indeed, duty, to live with and look after their parent/s.

If you are not at all affected by these rules, consider the scenario where one of your children moves to Australia, Canada or USA. All countries I’d consider as comparable to our culture, way of life and beliefs. Would the government there allow you to live with your child? A loud, irrevocable, yes. And you wouldn’t even need to be on your death bed.


7 Comments on “Perspective: Elderly dependent relatives”

  1. Alison Hamilton says:

    This is a wonderful review of the present situation regarding bringing non EU parents to the UK to live with their child or children. I think it disgraceful that these rules have been put in place when we should be encouraging people to look after their elderly parents should the need arise.

    It does not presently affect me but could affect my family in the future. My daughter has always said that when either of us dies, she would want the surviving parent to go and live with her in the UK. If I die first, my husband, a non EU person, would be alone to look after himself. Our friends are getting older and sicker as we are and we have no relatives here. There are few senior homes here and those that do exist are less than desirable for anyone who should actually be able to choose with whom they live at this vulnerable time of their life.

    My husband would most likely be able to take out money from here which would assist my daughter and her family in caring for him without recourse to public funds. But, it seems, because he would have that financial support, he would not qualify to join his daughter in the UK. I guess those who made these rules feel he should be cared for by strangers, some of whom might be unreliable, dishonest and uncaring. This really bothers me and I appreciate how people presently in this dilemma might feel.

    Ironically, my husband was one of those Commonwealth citizens who in the early sixties was encouraged to travel to the Motherland. He stayed for several years and has property there, paying taxes on it every year!

    As I do not live in the UK, I do not have an MP, but I do hope that those who make noise on this issue, will do so.

  2. So if your parents would like to come to see their grandchildren or even to help with childcare to give you and your partner some support and give you a break then this government says they can’t. In fact they can’t come unless they themselves need caring for and even then they must be too ill to travel…. I can now understand how easy it would be to radicalise British born children of foreign born parents.

  3. Nat says:

    This is just shows, how British politicians so say tackling the immigration by create a “smoke screens” of pointless rules which does not help UK economy in any way. However, there is no any form of vetting going on from anyone coming from the EU…

  4. Temor says:

    I am currently working with British forces in Afghanistan as a cultural adviser to British and coalition forces I have been doing this for the past 4 years. I applied for my parents to come and live with me in the UK, even though I am not home all the time in the UK to look after them but my wife committed to provide care for them while I am at work. Their immigration matter refused because the luck of evidence of medical report from doctor even though the doctor wrote in his report that they need long term care but the immigration officer is not sissified that its not written what day to day activity and care they need also why the doctor didnt submit a evidence of regular visits in the hospital. until 2 weeks ago my parents they used to live in a house of a retired woman ( she was a Nurse ) of 65 years old and she used to provide care for them but she clearly wrote in her letter that she wont carry on after first of Aug 2014 and her reason was that she is also old and she cant cope with providing care for my family and finally she made them to leave the house and i phoned a friend to move them somewhere suitable. they live alone now and there is no one to look after them, 2 years ago they burned the house because my father has a illness that he forgets everything and insomnia and he forget to switch off the stove and they fired their room, in result their face, legs, hands was burned.
    if I name their illness then it will be a long list. at the moment they live in a house without a care assistant, my mom sits near the gate and soon she sees the passer, she give them money to bring food for them from the shops and sometimes they never come back.I dont have problem of providing care, accommodation and etc. I have a house also a spare bedroom for them to move in. I have well paid job and savings, even I can afford to provide them with private care in the UK. there is no care houses or carers in Afghanistan. I am really upset with the law of the UK. I am able to provide everything possible without getting any benefits still I am not sure why they do not allow my family to come to the UK. Another thing which is very important, I am working with British forces in Afghanistan and I am a part of a leading Army in the world which currently fighting terrorist in Afghanistan. I am working in Afghanistan so my children and also every child would have better future without fear of terrorists. I didnt ask for anything against the law. I just wanted them to come and join me so they can have a better life with me. Now, I have to leave my job and move to Afghanistan to live with my parents so I can provide care for them also I will lose my house. I will be away from my children. what the government gained by that? I might have spelling and grammar mistakes in this letter, I am sorry. I just got the bad news 2 hours ago and i am right now in Afghanistan stuck in this military camp and cant go anywhere or do anything so I dont know what I am writing right now and to who.



    • S says:

      Hi Temor,
      I read your post I am from Afghanistan too and trying to sponsor my parents could you tell me what happened to your case hope your parents are fine

  5. HR says:

    For a leading & developed country like UK, it is a matter of absolute disgrace to deprive it’s citizens of some basic HUMAN RIGHTS.
    For Naturalized British Citizens like me, UK has offered us the career, identity & everything which we could not have got in the country which we were born in. We therefore are extremely grateful towards the nation.
    Though people like I, have paid thousands of pounds in taxes over the years without claiming a single penny in benefits; yet we feel good to contribute towards the economy because we have always considered UK as our home.
    Despite of everything we do to contribute towards the growth of economy & intellect of society to demonstrate our loyalty & sincerity towards this nation; we still are classified as second class citizens when it comes to our basic human rights.

    I, my wife & our son are naturalized British Citizens. We lived in UK from 2002- 2014. As professional bankers, with over 20 years of UK experience between two of us, we have been paying taxes from the day we started earning. Neither are we moaning about the taxes as we know that the taxes are being utilized for the good & to help the needy ones; nor are we repenting for not claiming a single penny in benefits, as it is against our principals.
    In 2012, at two separate instances, my father in India had brain haemorrhage & the latter one left him completely paralyzed. Being the only son, I ended up travelling to India more than once every quarter for almost 2 years. My hypotensive mother 58 (then) suffering from severe arthritis & acute depression was single handedly nursing my father whilst looking after the household.
    Whilst in UK, I tried almost everything to bring my parents over to London to stay with us but we didn’t have any success.
    Helplessly, all three of us (I, wife & our toddler) decided to relocate to India to look after my father & my depressed mother. We gave our jobs up & moved to India in Apr 2014 to support my mother.
    Despite of tough times, we are glad that we made the decision of moving back to India to help my parents when they needed us the most. Thanks to our move, my mother & my 6 year old son developed a strong relationship which they couldn’t have with the distances. Because of this relationship, my mother was able to cope up with her depression whilst it gave her a purpose to live & enjoy her life.
    As you all would agree that the loss of husband is way more painful than the loss of father. In Nov 2014, I lost my father to yet another brain haemorrhage. It was our presence & attachment with my son, which gave my mother the strength to cope.
    As a responsible son, I relocated to India to look after my past (father). However as a responsible father I am also obliged to seek the best interest of my future (son). We therefore would like to return back to London, so that we can resume our normal life which got disrupted in 2012 & also to give our son a better future.
    Now that we have no reason to stay in India, since we both are missing our professional lives & career in UK, we intend to return back. But we can’t as I can’t return leaving my mother behind.
    I spoke with a few immigration lawyers who also couldn’t suggest me anything except for the Surinder Singh Route. I can understand that the Border Agency/ UK Government wants to ensure that the prospective immigrant stays with the British National to show his/her dependency on them. But what I don’t understand is, why do I have to go through another pain of relocating my family (including my mother; the prospective immigrant) to EU state to exercise my treaty rights & then to enter UK?
    I relocated to India with my wife & son & have already stayed here for more than 15 months so that we could look after my mother; Is this not enough legitimate evidence to show that my mother needs us all the time rather than going in circles.
    Despite of our British nationality, own property, affordability to look after her health; we can’t bring our own mother to stay with us in our very own house in London (in our very own country which is looking for opportunities to disown us).
    It’s a shame that instead of looking at my mother as a burden on the resources, the government should think about the savings which she will be moving to UK & all the taxes which we as a couple would be paying after resuming our profession.

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