I dont know if Nigel (the caller who spoke about Gurkhas bringing 30 relatives to live in UK) will ever get to read this, but am glad that Nigel has some Gurkhas whom he calls friends. Dear Nigel what you were told and what you interpreted was 2+2=4 but sometimes 1+3 also=4. Dear Nigel, am sure your friends told you the truth, but if you had asked further on how they are related, then you cuold have easily got your answer and allay all anxieties about Gurkhas bringing 30 relatives each. As Peter said, Gurkha veterans are only allowed their wives and children under 18. Only recently, there was the media headline exclaiming outrage as the widow of SSgt Balaram Rai was given settlement right but not to their young children, one of whom had recently turned 19 during the long application process to join their mother in UK. Yes, it is that difficult to get over 18 dependants settlement rights with parents. Thankfully in that case, as the lawyers successfully argued that it was cruel for a hero's widow (her husband was awarded the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain in 1999 when he lost his life while attempting to clear mines to make a children's school safe in Kosovo) to having to choose between her children and settlement in UK. Anyway, the underlying truth is that as most Gurkhas recruited in the British Army hail from certain villages and specific areas rather than from all over Nepal, we are often related (sometimes closely, sometimes distant relatives and sometimes as villagefolks/kinsmen) to one another. This happens because British Army has always preferred to recruit the martial race: Gurungs, Magars, Sherpas, Rais, Limbus and Tamangs from the over 36 different castes in Nepal hence often, a whole lot of adolescents in the Gurung, Rai, Limbu etc villages start their training together, early on, to try their luck getting recruited. If 10 from one Gurung village and 10 from neighbouring Gurung village got recruited, the possibility of many knowing and being related to one another is very high. It is higher still as Gurungs are traditionally allowed to marry their cousins. There is also a long-standing intergenerational recruitment culture i.e. grandfather, father in the British army, hence their sons would be expected/want to follow the legacy too. We have a caste and class system there and our clans have mostly had to go abroad for work, whereas some clans continue to have a powerful grip on the country's political, social and economic sectors -another reason why many ex-Gurkhas found it so difficult to sustain a living in Nepal as those in powerful seats think they can milk the Gurkhas' thinking the Gurkhas have good pensions, and with a deep seated culture of bribery and nepotism, the Gurkhas' actually have a hard time hanging on to any savings/possessions they may have accumulated during their service years. No wonder then, before the UK allowed ex-Gurkhas to settle in UK, most had to start searching for work abroad immediately post-retirement from British Army, rather than being able to retire joyfully and enjoy any fruits of their labour, simply to keep their children in education, pay for any medical needs (NO NHS, UNIVERSAL SERVICES IN NEPAL) and sustain a living for their family. either way, the Gurkhas have always been in a catch 22 situation, sometimes I pity myself ! I have tried to give you the answer in my struggling English, hope this clarifies a lot of assumptions going around about Gurkhas and their so called large number of dependants.