UK Unmarried Partner Visa Advice
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 4, 2012 5:28 AM Last Post By: Voyager_2002
Feb 18, 2012 5:15 AM
UK Unmarried Partner Visa AdviceHello,
Just looking for some advice regarding a UK Unmarried Partner Visa I will be applying for later this year.
I am a US citizen, my partner is a British citizen, and we have been together for over a year now. We are looking to apply for this visa in November 2012. We met online in August 2010 and began a romantic relationship as soon as we physically met in England in November of 2012. I stayed until a week into December and stayed at my partner's house during my stay. I returned for a month-long stay in February which ended at the end of February, also living at my partner's house. In April of 2011, he joined me in the States for a month before we began a Working Holiday in Australia in May of 2011 and we've now been living in Australia for 9 months. We have set up a joint bank account, two rental agreements with our names, pictures together from all the travelling we've been doing, and correspondence linking us to the same addresses. We are also working together at the same places since we're up for the same type of "traveller work" in Australia, I don't know if that would help our application since we were together ALL THE TIME (ha). Definitely spent most, if not all, our time together, so that may also go towards the "relationship akin to marriage" requirement. I also have an addressed envelope I received whilst in England in February of 2011. At the end of our Australian visa, we are planning on visiting Asia for a month or two (depending on money and how long we need to stay out of the UK to apply for the visa), then going back to the States for the 3 months he can stay as a visitor, and finally settling in the UK ideally (so long as the visa can be granted) around November of 2012. I have quite a few questions:
I would just like to make sure that I am eligible to apply for the Unmarried Partner Visa 2 years after we physically met, since we have always lived together since we've met. Will this be viewed as a legitimate point of commencement for our relationship since we've pretty much always enjoyed a relationship akin to marriage since that point?
Since I am not able to apply for the visa until November, can I apply for Entry Clearance before I am ready to apply for the visa?
Will I be granted Entry Clearance before I am eligible to apply for the visa if the Border Agency is aware of my intentions?
Furthermore, if I am granted Entry Clearance, can I enter the UK as soon as it is granted?
Is there a separate fee for Entry Clearance and one for the Unmarried Partner Visa? Or can it be combined?
I know I've asked a lot of questions, but hopefully someone can help me here. We're beginning to plan out the rest of the year so as to make sure we will be together the right amount of time and that we are following the proper visa time allotments for each country we're in. Any other information, such as processing times, own experiences, stringency of visa requirements, various costs, tips, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
Feb 18, 2012 8:02 AM
Feb 18, 2012 9:17 AM
Feb 18, 2012 10:54 AM
3I couldn't be bothered to read through all that -- much as you obviously could not be bothered to read through the requirements for the visa you seek. Had you done so, you would have found that the basic requirement is that you are able to prove that you have been living together for more than two years at the time you apply for the visa. Obviously you don't meet that requirement: their idea of living together involves names on rental agreements and utility bills, and could not be satisfied when one of you is in the country as a tourist. All I can suggest is that you either get married or else change your plans.
If you apply for Entry Clearance you are effectively applying to enter as a tourist, So yes, there would be a separate fee, the fees could not be combined, and your long-term intentions might mean that it would not be granted. And note that if you entered the UK as a visitor, you would have to leave in order to apply for a visa as a partner: a visitor's visa cannot be adjusted to a different kind of visa while the person remains in the UK.
Feb 18, 2012 2:31 PM
Feb 18, 2012 2:40 PM
5Thanks for the replies. #3, I actually could be bothered to, and have read the requirements, many times, on a few different UK immigration sites. I posted on a forum to try to get clarification on these requirements, obviously, otherwise I wouldn't even have known what to ask. If you couldn't read the full thing, then how can you try to address my question? Either way, thanks for your input.
Feb 18, 2012 7:39 PM
6UK immigration officers are very reluctant to give clearance to tourists who have strong ties to UK citizens, ie boyfriend/girlfriend etc. It happens time and time again that when the tourist visa is up, the tourist just doesn't leave. How could an immigration official be sure that you would leave when your visa expires? It is clear from all you have told us that you want to remain in the country indefinitely (a desire to obtain an unmarried partner visa verifies this) - what guarantee does the UK border agency have that you will honour your obligation to return to your own country at the end of your six month stay? These are questions a UK immigration officer will ask you - and if you can't provide evidence of a life in your own country (a rental lease or mortgage, letter from employer, bills, bank statements etc) it is very unlikely that you will be allowed to enter the UK. The fact that you've been travelling for the past 9 months actually doesn't work in your favour.
If you are determined to stay together then the only option you really have is to get married.
Feb 18, 2012 8:19 PM
7Thanks for your input, KoalasRule. If I planned to travel to the UK solely as a visitor I would definitely have proof of my return flight and any other evidence I'd need, and I'd also be very honest about the status of my relationship with a British national. I see that it's better for me to apply from the States. I've been doing a lot of research since posting this thread and found this link in case anybody with similar questions to mine finds this thread:
At the bottom of the page, the links for Section 9 and Annex Z state(s): "Where a couple claim that they have maintained their relationship during the 2 year period by merely visiting each other as often as they can, this will not be sufficient to satisfy these provision of the Rules. However where a couple have been living together in a committed relationship for the preceding 2 year period, barring short breaks, but have been dividing their time between countries (for example, by using the "visitor" category), this will be sufficient to meet the requirement."
It seems as though even if I was on a visiting visa when I first went to the UK, I have since settled temporarily with my partner in Australia for a year, and this would still suffice for my application and I will be eligible to apply in November 2012, as long as we continue to live together for the rest of the time until it has been two years.
It's also been brought to my attention that Entry Clearance would be the same thing as having a granted visa. I thought they were separate things.
Nov 1, 2012 9:33 PM
Nov 2, 2012 4:09 AM
Nov 3, 2012 6:34 PM
Glad you posted this question and thanks for letting us know the details about your situation, I find myself in a similar relationship/plans. Since it's November already, it would be great if you could let us know how the process went and any other tips for us. Thanks! and Good Luck.
p.s. I don't understand why people if they don't give positive or good/effective/helpful advice are even bothered to be commenting .(i.e. Voyager) how annoying.
Edited by: evitabonita_2000
Nov 4, 2012 5:28 AM
11Evitabonita (#11), sometimes people need to know that the rules do not allow what they are planning to do. My post above, and also #6, are actually very helpful since they save the expense and disappointment of applying for a visa that would not be granted.
In short, telling people what they want to hear is not the same as being helpful.
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