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May 23, 2023

Bringing Your Partner to the UK – What You Need to Know

In today’s blog, we’ll be delving into an important aspect of relocating to the UK – considering the immigration options for your partner. While many UK immigration routes allow for dependant visas, what happens when you’re not married?



When planning a move to the UK, it’s crucial to take into account the immigration options available for your partner. In most UK immigration routes, your partner can apply for a dependant visa, but the process can vary depending on your marital status. Let’s dive into the details.



When you’re married to your partner, it generally becomes easier to apply for a dependant visa. However, in cases where you’re not married, there are specific considerations to keep in mind. Certain UK immigration routes do allow the main applicant to bring their partner to the UK, but the partner would need to apply for a dependant visa. As part of the application, they would need to fulfill several requirements, including proving that they are either married to or in a civil partnership with the main applicant or that they have been in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years prior to the application.

In the latter scenario, often referred to as ‘unmarried partners’ or ‘durable partners,’ the Home Office expects the couple’s relationship to go beyond a casual boyfriend/girlfriend status. They must have lived together as if they were married during the 2-year period preceding the application. To demonstrate this, they would need to provide evidence of shared responsibilities, such as both being signatories to their flat lease, appearing on utility bills, and having joint bank accounts.

It’s important to note that the Home Office generally expects the couple’s relationship to be genuine and ongoing at the time of application. If the couple hasn’t lived together for at least 2 years, there must be a compelling reason for not doing so. For instance, it could be due to living in a country that doesn’t allow cohabitation before marriage or doesn’t recognize same-sex relationships. However, the standard for what qualifies as a “good reason” is quite high.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a specific UK immigration route tailored for new or more casual relationships. If your partner doesn’t meet the dependant visa requirements, there may be alternative options they can explore. For example, they might qualify for a UK visa in their own right, such as a student or work visa.

We hope you found this information helpful. Follow our blogs for the latest updates and informative content on UK immigration.


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