For elderly, sick or disabled overseas nationals in need of long-term personal care, they may be eligible to come to the UK to live with and be looked after by a close relative. However, there are strict requirements under the UK’s Immigration Rules that must be met, including the provision of a maintenance, accommodation and care undertaking from their UK sponsor.
Below we look at what this undertaking is and what this means for the UK sponsor. We also look at how the relevant sponsorship undertaking form should be completed (form SU07), the common pitfalls when providing a maintenance undertaking, and what other evidential requirements will need to be met to settle in the UK as an adult dependent relative (ADR).
What is a sponsorship undertaking form (SU07 form)?
When an overseas national applies to come to the UK under the ADR route to be cared for by a close relative already living in the UK, a signed sponsorship undertaking form may be required from that relative. Also referred to as the SU07 form, this is the applicable form to support the application of an adult dependant relative applying for UK settlement.
The purpose of the sponsorship undertaking form is to confirm that the UK sponsor will be responsible for the sponsored person’s maintenance, accommodation and care for a period of 5 years from the date of their entry, without recourse to public funds. The form must be completed by the sponsoring UK resident, in this way certifying their willingness to give the applicant somewhere to live, and to support them financially, for the first 5 years of their stay.
The ADR route is designed to allow an individual with ongoing care needs to live with immediate family in the UK, provided they can show, by reason of age, illness or disability, that they require a level of long-term care that can only be reasonably and adequately provided by their UK-resident family member. However, so as to reduce the burden on the UK taxpayer, the financial responsibility for looking after the applicant will initially rest with the UK sponsor.
If the ADR sponsor is a British Citizen or has settled status in the UK, the applicant must provide an undertaking signed by their sponsor confirming that they will have no recourse to public funds, and that the sponsor will be responsible for their care and living arrangements for 5 years from when the applicant enters the UK if granted indefinite leave to enter.
If the applicant’s sponsor is someone in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection status, or with limited leave under Appendix EU in accordance with paragraph GEN.1.3.(d), a sponsorship undertaking will be required later, when the applicant applies for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as an adult dependent relative. For ADRs whose sponsor is not yet settled or a British citizen, they may be granted limited leave to enter the UK in line with their sponsor, and once their sponsor has made an application for ILR the ADR is also able to apply.
What does a sponsorship undertaking mean for the sponsor?
Having certified that they will be financially responsible for their adult dependent relative if granted indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK, the ADR sponsor is also accepting responsibility for the cost of any public funds wrongly paid to or in respect of that person during the 5-year period whilst in the UK subject to a condition of no recourse to public funds.
The sponsorship undertaking form also makes provision for where an applicant is granted limited rather than indefinite leave, where the sponsor will instead be certifying that the applicant will be maintained, accommodated and cared for throughout that limited period.
In either case, form SU07 specifically includes a declaration that the sponsor understands that their undertaking will be made available to the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and that the DWP will be able to take appropriate steps to recover any monies paid to the sponsored person whilst subject to immigration control for benefits and services. The Home Office may also take appropriate action to recover from the sponsor any amount attributable to any asylum seeker support provided to the sponsored person.
As expressly set out in the SU07 form, the sponsor may be committing a criminal offence and therefore be liable to prosecution if, after having given their sponsorship undertaking, they do not support the sponsored person, and income support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and/or support for asylum seekers is provided to or in respect of that individual.
Equally, if the ADR visa-holder applies for welfare benefits or housing assistance that falls within the definition of ‘public funds’, they might be breaking the conditions of their stay and committing a criminal offence. There could also be serious immigration consequences because of this, as any existing leave can be curtailed or a future immigration application refused.
Who should complete the sponsorship undertaking form?
The application by a person coming to the UK to be cared for by a relative must be completed by the applicant themselves. This must be done online and can only be made from outside the UK. An application cannot be made to switch to the ADR route from inside the UK.
However, the ADR applicant will need to provide a number of documents in support of their application including, where applicable, form SU07 from their UK sponsor. This should be completed by the sponsor, to be signed and dated only by them. The sponsor giving the sponsorship undertaking in the SU07 form must be over 18 and resident in the UK.
How much does it cost to submit the SU07 form?
The sponsor will not be required to pay a fee for completing the sponsorship undertaking form, although they will need to provide documentary evidence that they live at the address stated in the SU07 form for which there may be some associated costs, where copies of correspondence or other documentary evidence need to be specifically requested.
The evidence of the sponsor’s address should include one or more of the following documents:
- a certified copy of the deeds to the sponsor’s house
- a letter from the sponsor’s mortgage provider confirming they hold a mortgage for them
- a housing association or council rent book confirming the sponsor’s address
- a bill from a utility company used by the sponsor confirming their address
- a local authority letter, such as a council tax letter, confirming the sponsor’s address
- a letter from any government department confirming the sponsor’s address.
Additionally, the applicant must provide detailed documentary evidence of their sponsor’s ability to maintain and accommodate them without recourse to public funds, where again certain costs may be incurred by the sponsor when collating this documentation. Whilst the applicant will be responsible for the cost of applying for leave to enter the UK, the sponsor may choose to cover these application costs on their behalf.
How to complete the sponsorship undertaking form
Applications under the ADR route can be complex, with detailed information and documentation required in support. That said, the sponsorship undertaking form itself is relatively straightforward, where the undertakings and declarations are pre-printed.
To complete the form, the sponsor must provide:
- the full name of the sponsored person and underline their surname
- the applicant’s date and place of birth
- the applicant’s nationality
- the full postal address where the applicant will be residing in the UK
- the sponsor’s own full name, again underlining their surname
- the sponsor’s date of birth and full postal address
- their employer’s details, including company name and full address
- their National Insurance number.
The sponsorship undertaking form must then be signed and dated by the sponsor, and the relevant proof of the sponsor’s address attached.
SU07 supporting documents
When applying to come to the UK as an adult dependent relative, the applicant will need to provide detailed information, and a wide range of documents in support, to satisfy a number of strict eligibility requirements under the ADR route.
In addition to a signed sponsorship undertaking, the applicant will need proof to show that:
- they’re the parent, grandparent, adult sibling or adult child of a person who is already in the UK and that person is aged over 18 and either a British citizen, settled in the UK, or with limited leave to remain in the UK under a qualifying route
- by reason of age, illness or disability, they require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks, such as washing, dressing and cooking
- they’re unable, even with the practical and financial help of their UK family member, to obtain the required level of care in the country where they’re living, either because
- it’s not available and there’s no-one to reasonably provide it, or because it’s not affordable
- that they can be adequately maintained, accommodated and cared for in the UK by their sponsor without recourse to public funds.
The applicant will therefore need to provide evidence of the family relationship between them and their UK sponsor, their ongoing care needs, any existing care arrangements in their own country, and the sponsor’s financial circumstances and current living arrangements. The applicant must also provide details of the care arrangements in the UK planned for them by their sponsor, the cost of these arrangements and how that cost will be met by the sponsor.
Even if the person applying for an ADR visa can demonstrate the high level of ill health required under this route, the criterion that they cannot obtain this care in their own country is even harder to meet. Most UK sponsors who are able to afford to maintain and accommodate their dependent relative for 5 years will find it hard to prove that they cannot afford to provide care for that relative in their country of origin. It’s therefore vital that the application is supported by detailed information and documentation, together with valid explanations around existing and future care arrangements, to pre-empt any potential refusal.
SU07 form common ptifalls
The most common pitfall around the sponsorship undertaking form is determining when this is actually required. Given the serious consequences for a sponsor in providing a maintenance undertaking, this form should only be signed and submitted where form SU07 is a strict requirement. It’s also important to ensure that this form, where needed, is completed accurately and suitable proof of the sponsor’s address is provided in support.
When the applicant submits their application for an ADR visa, they will usually be told what documents they will need to provide. However, by securing expert advice from an immigration specialist, the necessary documentation in support, including any sponsorship undertaking form, can be prepared in advance, in this way maximising the prospects of a positive outcome.
Form SU07 FAQs
How do you go about sponsoring someone?
If sponsoring someone for the purpose of work, the UK sponsor would need a Home Office approved licence. If sponsoring a dependent relative to come to the UK, the sponsoring UK resident will need to complete a sponsorship undertaking form.
How much does it cost a company to sponsor a visa UK?
If a UK-based company is sponsoring an overseas national under a sponsored work route, the cost will include a sponsor licence application fee, a fee for assigning a certificate of sponsorship and, in some cases, an Immigration Skills Charge.
How can I sponsor someone to come to UK?
A close relative of an overseas national can sponsor that person to come to the UK if they need long-term personal care, although strict requirements must be met under the Adult Dependent Relative route, including providing a maintenance undertaking.
Last updated: 6 August 2021