Guidance for the New UK Unmarried Partner Visa Rules

25 Mar 2024, 40 mins ago

Entering the UK under the “partner” category has become more accessible for unmarried couples due to recent changes in the UK immigration rules.

In the past, unmarried partners faced a stringent requirement of evidencing a two-year cohabitation period. However, from 31 January 2024, this is no longer needed, and as such, unmarried partners are provided with a more inclusive pathway to reunite in the UK.

The removal of the two-year cohabitation requirement marks a significant shift, opening doors for couples in genuine and subsisting relationships, regardless of their living arrangements. Now, couples only need to demonstrate that they have been together for at least two years and their relationship is akin to marriage or civil partnership.

However, whilst the rules have become more lenient, proving the authenticity of the relationship remains paramount. The burden of evidence still lies with the applicant to establish the genuineness and continuity of their partnership. Although cohabitation is no longer obligatory, it remains a persuasive piece of evidence, emphasising the commitment and permanence of the relationship.

The updated guidance underscores the importance of thorough documentation provision to substantiate the authenticity of the relationship, ranging from formal contracts and agreements to personal correspondence. Whilst the removal of the cohabitation requirement is a positive step forward, seeking legal advice is recommended to navigate the nuances of the new rules effectively.

In essence, whilst the UK unmarried partner visa rules have evolved to be more inclusive, preparation and evidence gathering remain crucial for a successful application. These changes are indicative of the UK policy makers’ attempt to strike a balance between accommodating diverse relationship dynamics and ensuring the integrity of the UK immigration system.

How Gherson can assist

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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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