UK Marriage: The Relationship Requirement
This article will explain the rules you’ll need to meet when applying for a fiancé(e) and proposed civil partnership (UK marriage) visa. It consists of 3 parts:
Part 1: The Difference Between the UK Marriage Visa and UK Marriage Visitor
The Validity and Suitability Requirements
Part 2: The Eligibility Requirements (Introduction)
The Relationship Requirements
Part 3: The Financial Requirements
The Accommodation Requirement
The English Language Requirements
This is part 2. You can jump to part 1 HERE and part 3 HERE.
The Eligibility Requirements
The Eligibility Requirements consist of four elements:
- English language
The Relationship Requirement
Your partner should have one of the following immigration statuses:
(a) a British Citizen in the UK; or
(b) present and settled in the UK (with ILR); or
(c) in the UK with refugee leave or with humanitarian protection; or
(d) in the UK with limited leave under Appendix EU; or
(e) in the UK with limited leave as a worker or business person under Appendix ECAA Extension of Stay.
You and your partner have to be over 18.
Not Closely Related
You should not be in a prohibited degree of relationship. If you are somehow related to your future spouse, you’ll need to check this Home Office guidance to ensure that your relationship will not invalidate your marriage/civil partnership.
With the application, you’ll need to provide evidence confirming that you and your partner have met in person (not necessarily in a romantic way).
Genuine and Subsisting
Your relationship is genuine and subsisting. This is a very important element of the relationship requirement for UK marriage visa applications. This is because where the applicant and partner are married or in a civil partnership, they will generally have satisfied the genuineness part of this requirement by providing evidence of a valid marriage or civil partnership.
How can you prove that your relationship is genuine and subsisting? The Home Office guidance suggests that:
Each relationship is unique in regard to how it started, developed, and has subsisted, and it is therefore important to consider each relationship on its own facts and avoid presumptions and unreasonable expectations. Cultural and religious practices may be relevant when assessing whether a relationship is genuine and subsiding.
However, they’ll always take into consideration the following:
- information provided by the applicant on the application form
- the signed declaration from the partner that accompanies the application
- evidence provided in support of the application
- where available (in the UK), direct checks with third parties.
There is no specified evidence for proof of the relationship. In other words, the Home Office cannot refuse the application because you didn’t submit a certain document. They need to apply the ‘balance of probabilities test’ when assessing this element and your visa application in general.
What is a Balance of Probabilities Test?
In Miller v Minister of Pensions  2 All ER 372 case, Denning J said:
“If the evidence is such that the tribunal can say ‘we think it more probable than not’, the burden is discharged, but if the probabilities are equal it is not.”
Expressing that in percentage terms, if a judge concludes that it is 50% likely that the claimant’s case is right, then the claimant will lose. By contrast, if the judge concludes that it is 51% likely that the claimant’s case is right then the claimant will win. One may well ask how the judge is expected to measure the probabilities of a case to 1%!
In their guidance, the Home Office further stated that:
‘Evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship is strengthened where there is evidence of living together over time, for example, shared financial responsibilities and household bills over the last 12 months.’
You Enter to Get Married/Form Civil Partnership
You’ll also need to provide the Home Office with evidence confirming that the only purpose of making the UK marriage visa application is to get married/form a civil partnership with your partner.
Any Previous Relationship Have Broken Down
If you were married/in a civil partnership before, you need to prove that you are no longer in the relationship with this person. This can be evidence of the person’s death or divorce/dissolution of a civil partnership.
Intention to Live in the UK
You and your partner should intend to live in the UK after your application is approved.
Continue reading part 3 HERE.