The genuine and subsisting relationship requirement applies to all partner visas, including initial applications for entry clearance or leave to remain, extension applications and applications for settlement.
The relationship must be genuine, meaning that you are in a relationship based on love and affection, and not for transactional or visa purposes (also known as a ‘sham marriage’).
The relationship must also be subsisting, meaning that it has not broken down. Indicators that the marriage has broken down are that divorce/dissolution proceedings have been initiated, or that one member of the relationship has moved out of the home.
The Home Office will take into account a number of factors when assessing whether the relationship is genuine and subsisting, including shared financial responsibilities and evidence of cohabitation.
Where a couple do not speak the same language and are therefore unable to communicate verbally, the Home Office may conclude that the relationship is not genuine. The Home Office also reserves the right to interview applicants when processing an immigration application. Should the interviewee be unable to answer questions about their partner which they would reasonably be expected to know, this may also lead to a finding that the relationship is not genuine or subsisting.
Should the relationship break down during leave which has already been granted, you are under an obligation to inform the Home Office as it is a condition of the visa that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. The Home Office will then curtail your visa, usually giving you 60 days either to switch into a different visa category or to leave the UK.
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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.