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Amendments to Definition of ‘Partner’

Added by Berlad Graham
 - 
February 21, 2024

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Opportunity to apply under the Partner Route for those who have not cohabited for 2 years akin to marriage

Previously, in the Immigration Rules Appendix FM, a ‘partner’ was defined as:

  1. Spouse
  2. Civil partner
  3. Unmarried partner, where the couple have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or a civil partnership for at least two years.

This meant that unmarried partners who had not cohabited with one another for 2 years prior to making an application, fell short of meeting the requirements for a partner visa.

Many partners who were in a genuine and subsisting relationship were not living together e.g. due to cultural, religious or affordability reasons. These couples could only make applications once they had married.

The definition of a ‘Partner’, updated in January 2024.

As of 31 January 2024, the definition of a ‘partner’ has been updated to:

  1. Spouse
  2. Civil partner
  3. Unmarried partner, where the couple has been in a relationship to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years.

The changes in the definition of a ‘partner’ will now allow many more couples to apply for visas on the basis of a partner route. They will, of course, have to demonstrate why they have not cohabited for 2 years prior to applying for the visa. However, the chances of a positive decision are much higher for those who have not cohabited now that the rules have been amended.

Contact our Family Immigration Solicitors

If you have any questions about what this update means to you, or if you are now able to apply for a Visa in light of the definition update, contact our Immigration Solicitors today to help guide you through your application and resolve any concerns you may have.