"My UK visa is about to expire and I have a Partner who is a British national / EEA national, how do we prove that we are living together so that I can qualify for an Unmarried Partner Visa"
We get this question asked by several clients, hence, we thought of sharing some information surrounding this topic.
To qualify for an Unmarried partner visa, the couple should have been living together ("Co-habiting") in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application and must provide Cohabitation Documents for at least a period of continuous two years of living together. You can see different types of Cohabitation Documents here.
The applicant may be in the UK either on a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa, Tier 4 (General) Student visa, Tier 1 visa, Ancestry visa or any other category of visa (other than a Visitor/Tourist Visa/Entry) to switch to the Unmarried Partner visa within the UK.
From our past experience, we have observed that many clients have moved in together for even almost 2 years or so, but have failed to change their addresses on their documents and correspondence.
We understand that couples may not know at the outset that they are entering into a long term relationship as soon as they move in, hence they may not change their addresses on their documents and correspondence.
However, if you are in the UK on any temporary visa category such as the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa, Tier 4 (General) Student visa, etc., which do not qualify you for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, then we strongly advise that you should change addresses on all your documents and correspondences, as soon as you move-in to live with your British/Settled/EEA Partner.
We suggest that from the Day 1 of your move-in, change addresses on all of your and your partner's correspondence, whether received electronically or physically, to your current address where you both have moved in and start collecting either physical /electronic copies of documents.
Every month, for electronic documents, you can save them in a cloud storage in a folder and for paper documents, save them in a file/box. Since, if you later decide to commit to a long term relationship those documents will decide whether you can live together with your partner in the UK.
In the past, clients who have approached us well in advance and had valid visas to continue to stay in the UK for 2 years, have followed our advice and have been able to successfully obtain their Unmarried Partner visas, hence, we have explained the steps to helps others in similar situations.
Also please note that it is better to have the cohabitation immediately prior to the date of application, however, if the couple have lived together for two years and now are in different countries or cities either for studies or any other reasons, even then the past cohabitation can be used to support the application, this would depend on any other supporting evidence produced to show that the relationship is still subsisting.
Disclaimer: The above article is merely the opinion of the author for informational purposes and shall not be relied upon as an advice.
Every Unmarried Partner's circumstances are different, hence, it is advisable that you consult a Qualified Immigration Lawyer before filing any Unmarried Partner Applications.
Further, the information in this article is current and relevant as on the date of publishing, the UK Immigration rules are subject to change on a regular basis. Hence, it is advisable that you consult a Qualified Immigration Lawyer before filing any Unmarried Partner Applications.