Unmarried Partners – is it for you?
The reality of the situation is that Marriage is not for everyone. This, in itself, should not be a curb in making an application to join your partner in the UK and in fact there are provisions in place for Unmarried Partners.
The Immigration Rules allow a foreign migrant to join a “Settled” (i.e. British national or person holding Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)) person in the UK if the couple have previously co-habited for two years or more. The rules are fairly strict and require more than just being in a relationship for two years or just living together. The benchmark for the test is whether the relationship is “akin to marriage”. Co-habitation can be evidenced through documents such as post, bank statements, tenancy agreements, etc.
As for the other requirements, your Sponsor and indeed the Applicant should show they have sufficient finances to support you for the period of the visa. In addition, there must be evidence of how the Sponsor will accommodate the Applicant. This can include documents such as Tenancy Agreements, Land Registry Deeds, Mortgage Statements, etc. For our clients, we recommend undertaking an overcrowding/housing report. We are seeing an increasing number of refusals on the basis that one was not provided.
In addition, the Applicant must undertake an English Language test before making the application. The UKBA have a list of providers who they recognise. It is important to undertake the test from an accredited organisation. This in itself could be a ground for refusal.
The UK government also specify that the individuals applying for an unmarried partner visa should have the Intention to live permanently with the other means an intention to live together, evidenced by a clear commitment from both parties that they will live together permanently in the UK immediately following the outcome of the application in question or as soon as circumstances permit.
Individuals must also be able to prove that they have already spent at least 2 years living together. The government in the United Kingdom outlines that ‘Living together’, should be applied fairly tightly, with a couple providing evidence that they have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership which has subsisted for two years or more. To evidence that individuals have spent a significant period of time living together, they can provide a number of documents in their application. This can include items such as joint bank accounts, investments, rent agreements, mortgage, life insurance policy naming the other partner as beneficiary etc.
Of course if there any other mitigating circumstances or Article 8 considerations, we recommend this be dealt with at the application stage. This could become particularly important if the application is refused and the case goes to Appeal.
When making an application of this kind, it is prudent to forget the concept of “less is more” and include as much as possible to show co-habitation for two years.
Our team are very experienced in working with individuals in their applications for unmarried partner visas. We have worked with individuals across a variety of cases, and can offer our expertise if you would like assistance in your visa application process. If you would like the assistance of one of our expert lawyers with your case, please do get in touch with us and a member of our team will be happy to help. Unmarried partner applications can be difficult to evidence, but at Westkin we have a wealth of experience in assisting you with gathering together the necessary documentation needed for a successful application.
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