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What can be used as proof of relationship?

If you want to join your British partner in the UK, you will need to provide the Home Office with proof of your relationship, find out more about the evidence you will need to provide.

For assistance with your UK partner visa application, get in touch with our immigration lawyers today on 020 4502 8582.


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    The Spouse Visa and other UK partner visas

    The UK partner visas allow overseas nationals who are in a genuine and subsisting relationship with a British citizen or person with settled status to join them in the UK. The partner visas fall into the UK family visa category, there are several different types suitable for different types of relationships.

    The UK partner visas include the:

    • Spouse Visa – for married partners of British citizens and settled persons
    • Unmarried Partner Visa – for partners who have been in a relationship with a British citizen or settled person for at least two years
    • Fiance Visa – for the fiancés of British citizens and settled persons planning to marry their partner in the UK

    The Spouse and Unmarried Partner Visas can both be used as a route towards permanent settlement in the UK. After living in the UK for 5 years under these visas, you can become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. After holding ILR for 12 months you can also be eligible to apply for British citizenship.

    The Fiance visa is only valid for 6 months, but you will still need to prove that your relationship is genuine. After marrying your fiance in the UK, you can apply for a Spouse Visa.


    The genuine relationship requirement

    The genuine relationship requirement is one of the main requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for any of the partner visas. The Home Office takes a tough stance against sham marriages and relationships that are used to obtain British visas, the genuine relationship requirement was created as a way to prevent these circumstances.

    The guidance for meeting the genuine relationship requirement can be vague, but you must be able to provide evidence that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. Usually, this means that you have been together and lived with your partner for at least two years. However, there are exceptions to this on the grounds of cultural or religious beliefs.

    How do you prove your relationship?

    Because the Home Office guidance is vague, it can be difficult to know how much evidence you must provide to adequately meet the genuine relationship requirement. The evidence of your relationship is the most significant part of your spouse or unmarried partner visa application, so you should ensure that you submit a substantial portfolio of supporting documents alongside your application.

    The evidence that you will need to provide will vary depending on the type of partner visa that you are applying for.

    If you are applying for a Spouse Visa you will need to prove that you are married or in a civil partnership with your British partner and that the marriage was not one of convenience for the purpose of obtaining a visa.

    Unmarried Partner Visa applicants will need to demonstrate that their relationship is genuine by proving that they have been in a relationship for at least two years and that they have previously lived together.

    Fiance visa applicants can prove their relationship by providing evidence of civil marriage plans or enquiries.

    Do you need help applying for a UK partner visa? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      What documents can you use to prove your relationship?

      There is a wide range of documents couples can use to prove their relationship and the Home Office will consider evidence from a variety of sources.

      Although a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate will be considered – remember it needs to be translated into English or Welsh – you will also need to submit further evidence to show a genuine relationship rather than just a legal partnership.

      If you are applying as an unmarried partner, you should provide evidence of cohabitation for at least 2 years, this can include documents such as tenancy agreements or shared utility bills.

      Fiancé visa applicants should provide proof of their plans to marry in the UK, including information about the wedding ceremony and any booking confirmations.

      Couples can provide a written statement detailing the relationship and this can be accompanied by various evidence such as statements from friends and family detailing your relationship.

      documents that can be used to prove your relationship

      Photographs and communications
      Photographs and communication between you and your partner can be provided. Including photographs from trips you have taken together, family events you have attended as well as from your wedding. Providing photographs over a longer timescale can demonstrate you have been in a relationship for the qualifying period.

      Make sure any photographs submitted are uploaded in the right format and in the right size. It may also help your application to accompany the photographs with a brief description of the photo ie when and where it was taken.

      The Home Office will also accept screenshots of any online chats, emails or text messages send to each other during your relationship. You don’t need to provide evidence of every conversation, but a few snapshots will help to demonstrate the length and nature of your relationship.

      Evidence of any trips you’ve taken together such as travel itineraries or hotel bookings can also help establish you have a genuine relationship. Providing copies of shared trips or travels to see each other will allow the Home Office to assess the validity of your relationship.

      Remember to include relevant photographs of your time together during these trips with your visa application.

      Shared children
      If you have children with your partner, then you are advised to include their birth certificates with your application. This will help demonstrate the length of your relationship and your long-term commitment.

      Joint financial commitments
      Evidence of joint financial responsibilities can also be used to meet the genuine relationship criteria. Paperwork can include bank statements from a joint bank account or shared utility bills etc.

      Do I need to prove cohabitation with my partner?

      When it comes to demonstrating that your relationship is genuine, providing evidence of cohabitation with your partner is a key part of this. Usually, you must show that you have lived with your partner for at least two years, this does not have to be a continuous period and can have taken place in different areas or countries. You can prove your cohabitation by supplying tenancy agreements or joint documents such as utility bills.

      However, due to cultural and religious factors, some people may not be able to meet the cohabitation requirement. This does not mean that their relationship is not genuine. If you are not able to meet this requirement due to cultural reasons, it is important to explain this to the entry clearance officer so that they do not doubt the authenticity of your relationship. You can use other evidence such as photographs together to verify your relationship.

      It’s worth noting that you will need to provide the Home Office with a good reason as to why you have not lived with your partner for at least two years previously, only in exceptional circumstances will you be able to avoid this requirement.

      How do you write a proof of relationship Letter?

      When writing a proof of relationship statement about you and your partner you will need to provide a timeline of your relationship together. You should include details about how and when you met your partner, how your relationship developed and your intention to live together in the UK. The letter should be no longer than 2 A4 pages.

      If a friend or family member is writing a statement for you they should include information about how they are related to you and your partner, a description of your relationship with your partner and how they became aware of it and a statement that in their opinion they believe the couple is in a real, genuine and ongoing relationship according to their knowledge and experience.

      How can London Immigration Lawyers help?

      Proving your relationship to the Home Office can be difficult to do and failure to meet this requirement could result in your visa application being refused. Our lawyers have helped thousands of clients to successfully apply for UK partner visas, they know exactly what it takes for an application to be successful.

      Our lawyers can advise you about all of the evidence that you should submit alongside your application and can help you to gather any documents that you may need. We also offer document and application checking services in which our lawyers will check that any documents you plan to submit are accurate and translated correctly.

      For more information about how our lawyers can assist you with your application, get in touch today on 020 4502 8582.

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