The Role Of Genuine Relationship Evidence In Partner Visa Applications

Yogita Sharma
17/06/2024

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What is a UK Spouse visa?

Spouse visa is for partners in a genuine relationship who are married and want to live together in the UK. This allows partners of a UK citizen or a person settled in the UK (someone who holds an ILR, has achieved settled status or has proof of permanent residence) to come to the UK to stay and work in the UK.

To qualify for a UK visa spouse visa, one must have to fulfil some requirements. These spouse visa requirements are:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Relationship requirements
  • Financial requirements
  • English language proficiency proof
  • Accommodation requirement
  • Application with proof of genuine relationship
  • Understanding the conditions about duration and benefits in the UK.

Why is it essential to prove a genuine relationship?

Establishing the authenticity of a relationship is a critical component in obtaining a UK spouse visa. The Home Office requires evidence to ensure that the relationship between the applicant and their British spouse or partner is genuine and subsisting. This policy is primarily in place to prevent fraudulent applications and protect the immigration system’s integrity.

To prevent sham marriages and fake relationships, the Home Office requires the couples to prove a genuine relationship. The ‘genuine relationship’ spouse visa requirement helps ensure that individuals are not using marriage or partnership as a means to find a way around immigration laws.

Which documents can be used as evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship?

Documents that are considered as evidence to show genuine relationships are:

  • Government-provided documents, bank statements, landlord, medical professionals and utility providers.
  • Any documents that show confirmation of the relationship-shared expenses, etc.
  • Any document that’s less than 4 years old.

To provide evidence of a genuine relationship, one can use various documents. These documents include:

  • Civil partnership certificate or a marriage certificate.
  • Utility bills, council tax bills or a tenancy agreement that shows the partners are living together.
  • Joint account bank details or a bank statement to show the same address for both partners.

The government provides a detailed guide of what can be used as evidence in the application.

Common Challenges in Proving a Genuine Relationship

Couples who do not have traditional markers of a relationship, like joint bank accounts, property, or children, might find it harder to prove their partnership. This is especially common in long-distance relationships or for couples who have not lived together for long periods.

During the application process, both partners may be required to provide detailed personal information and narratives about their relationship. Inconsistencies in their stories, even minor ones, can raise doubts about the authenticity of the relationship.

Couples who have not been together for a long time may face scepticism from immigration officials. Authorities often look for evidence of a long-term, stable relationship.

Relying too heavily on one type of evidence, such as photographs, without a balance of other supporting materials can weaken the case.

Some couples might feel uncomfortable sharing intimate details or evidence of their relationship, which can hinder the process of providing comprehensive proof.

If either partner has a complex immigration history, such as previous visa rejections or overstays, it might cast doubt on the current application.

What if a partner has had previous relationships?

If a partner has had previous relationships, particularly those that involved immigration or visa applications, it can add complexity to a new partner’s visa application unless they prove how and why the previous relationship ended. However, having past relationships doesn’t automatically negatively impact the chances of approval.

The applicant should be transparent about past relationships in the application. Immigration authorities often have access to previous application histories, so honesty is crucial. They can also include the details of when those relationships began and ended and the nature of their conclusion.

If previous relationships were also the basis for immigration applications, provide a clear context. Explain the circumstances surrounding these relationships and their dissolution. This is especially important if there is a pattern of entering into relationships coinciding with immigration needs, as it may raise concerns about the genuineness of the current relationship.

If any previous relationships ended in divorce or legal separation, include the relevant legal documents to show that those relationships have been formally concluded.

Presenting evidence in a clear and compelling way

Organising and presenting evidence for proving a genuine relationship in a partner visa application is crucial. The goal is to create a clear, comprehensive, and compelling narrative that convinces immigration officials of the authenticity of your relationship.

Collect a range of evidence that covers different aspects of your relationship. This can include photos, correspondence (emails, texts, chat logs), travel documents showing trips taken together, joint financial documents (bank statements, lease agreements), affidavits from friends and family, and other documents demonstrating your relationship.

Arrange the evidence chronologically to show your relationship’s progression and development over time.

Use a cover letter or a statement to narrate your relationship’s story. This should include how you met, critical milestones in your relationship, and your plans for the future. Ensure this narrative aligns with and is supported by the evidence you present to demonstrate the genuineness of the relationship.

Adhere to any specific guidelines provided by the immigration authority regarding the format and amount of evidence. Avoid overwhelming the application with too much information; be selective and strategic about what to include.

Before submitting, have someone else review your package of evidence to get an outsider’s perspective on clarity and persuasiveness.

How can City Legal help with Spouse Visa applications?

At City Legal, we have a team of dedicated immigration solicitors who have worked on numerous spouse visa cases and have succeeded in getting them granted to our clients. Call us at 0208175400 or enquiries@citylegalsolicitors.co.uk.

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