3 Top Tips: Providing evidence of a genuine relationship in your partner visa application

22 Jan 2024, 21 mins ago

The genuine and subsisting relationship requirement will apply to all partner visas, including both family visas and applications for dependant partners of a main visa. This blog will look into how you can evidence your relationship with your sponsor whom you intend to reside in the UK with for the purposes of your visa application.

To first understand the term “genuine and subsisting” in the context of UK Visas and Immigration, we need to define them. The term “genuine” means that your relationship is based on love, and not for a transactional or visa purpose. For example, if you are married, it must not be a sham marriage. The term “subsisting” means that your relationship is ongoing and continuous, i.e. it has not broken down (i.e. divorce or dissolution proceedings have not been initiated and you continue to live together in the same home).

A ‘partner’, for the purposes of UK Visas and Immigration, will be recognised as either your marital spouse, civil partner or an unmarried partner, your relationship must be akin to marriage and you must have been residing with each other for at least a 2-year period.

When assessing your relationship with your partner, the Home Office are likely to consider the following factors:

  1. Relationship history and the duration of the relationship (if not married or in a civil partnership)
  2. Cohabitation
  3. Shared financial responsibilities

In consideration of the above, we have set out 3 top tips in preparation for submitting evidence in support of your relationship along with your visa application.

Tip 1 – Ensure that you have sufficient correspondence

This tip is especially crucial if you are an unmarried partner, as part of the application will require you to demonstrate that you have been residing together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for a period of at least 2 years. Correspondence can either be addressed to you individually at the same address, or can be joint, and we would generally suggest to have a good range of both.

Ideally, you should collate at least four documents per year, evenly spread out and ensuring that these are sourced from a wide range of correspondence. The correspondence should be official and may include utility bills, bank statements or bank letters, letters from your doctor or hospitals and correspondence from governmental departments.

Tip 2 – Support letters

Regardless of the type of relationship, we would generally suggest submitting support letters in evidence of your genuine and subsisting relationship. The first should be from your sponsoring partner (i.e. the partner who is present and settled in the UK and you are intending to join), outlining in detail the relationship history and why you are looking to settle in the UK together.

In addition to your partner, you should also ask friends and family to write letters of support, which should address their specific relationship with you as a couple and state whether they have been a witness to your relationship.

Tip 3 – Additional documentation  

Documents such as money transfers, holiday bookings and children’s birth certificates (where relevant) can also be helpful in the initial application (i.e. if you are applying for your first grant of leave as a partner). This documentation can be helpful to the Home Office when considering if the relationship is genuine and subsisting as it evidences the emotional side of the relationship.


Whilst you may be in a relationship with a British citizen or a person present and settled in the UK, it is not as simple as stating that your relationship exists. Ultimately, there are key documents you can submit to address the Home Office’s concerns of endorsing sham marriages and false relationships.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on X, FacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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