One who is looking to enter or remain in the UK as an unmarried partner of a person present and settled in the UK, need to apply for an unmarried partner visa. Unmarried partner visa is also known as the UK defacto visa. Heterosexual and homosexual, both can apply for unmarried partner visa provided they can prove that they are in a relationship for two years or more and their relationship is subsisting. Partner in the UK needs to sponsor the applicant.
You must meet the following requirements for a successful unmarried partner visa:
- You and your British partner must be 18 years of age or above.
- Your partner must sponsor you.
- You and your British partner must have lived together in a relationship ‘akin to marriage’ for at least 2 years. This needs to be evidenced by supporting documents.
- You and your British partner must show the intention to live together permanently.
- You must show that any previous marriage / civil partnership or similar relationship you or your British partner was involved in, has permanently broken down.
- You must be able to support yourself or be supported by your partner without access to public funds.
- There must be adequate accommodation available for you, your partner and any dependents.
- You must also meet the English language requirements.
Duration of stay
Generally it is expected that you should have lived together with your partner for two years before you make the application. However, the law has developed over the years and now the duration of two years living together is interpreted by the courts in cases such as
Fetle (Partners: two-year requirement)  UKUT 00267 (IAC). It was decided by the Upper Tribunal that – In contrast to the requirement of para GEN 1.2(iv) of Appendix FM, a requirement (such as in paragraph 352AA of the Immigration Rules) that “parties have been living together in a relationship akin to either a marriage or a civil partnership which has subsisted for two years or more” does not require two years cohabitation, but two years subsistence of the relationship. Whether the relationship still subsists, as required by the tense of that requirement and as may be separately required, is a different issue.
The findings in YB (EEA reg 17 (4) proper approach) Ivory Coast  UKAIT 00062, it was held that being in a durable relationship does not even entail cohabitation.
So if you have strong evidence of your relationship continuing over two years and have lived together on different occasions such as holidays and other, then your circumstances may be able to meet the requirement of having two years of genuine and subsisting relationship.
Evidence of ‘living together’
The best way to prove that you both were living together is to produce correspondences addressed to the applicant and the British partner as proof. It would be an ideal situation that such correspondences are addressed the couple jointly, but if there is no such document of correspondence, the applicant can submit correspondences addressed to the applicant or British partner. The dates of such correspondence should be spread over the entire period in which the applicant claims to have lived together with their British partner.
If you are looking to apply for an Unmarried Partner visa consult Visa and Migration Ltd for professional service and expert guidance.