Author Topic: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update  (Read 26213 times)

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Offline medivisas

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Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« on: December 10, 2008, 12:56:43 PM »
I have just tried to book an in-person appointment for a client to switch to an Unmarried Partner visa.  I have been told by the woman on the help line (after she consulted a Duty Officer) that is is no longer possible to switch if your visa is only a 'leave to enter'.  So, if you are in the UK as a visitor or a working holidaymaker, it will not be possible to get the UP visa without returning to your home country.

There are other implications...

If you have entered the UK as a work permit holder, HSMP, student or any other category and have not extended your leave, and therefore only have a 'leave to enter' stamp in your passport, rather than a leave to remain stamp, you will also not be able to switch to Unmarried Partner.

I still have some outstanding postal application, and intend to try to apply as usual, but this is categorically NOT POSSIBLE in person, and the PEO will not even give you an appointment.


Vicky

Offline kitsonk

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 01:19:11 PM »
Not a good Wednesday then...

We kinda knew this was coming, but I am surprised at the lack of formality about it.  This is sneaky beyond sneaky the way some of this is getting introduced.
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Offline PtC

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 01:22:05 PM »
If you have entered the UK as a work permit holder, HSMP, student or any other category and have not extended your leave, and therefore only have a 'leave to enter' stamp in your passport, rather than a leave to remain stamp, you will also not be able to switch to Unmarried Partner.

Whoa.

So as I understand this:

student visa for three years --> unmarried partner visa: not possible in-country

student visa for three years --> extension of student visa for one year --> unmarried partner visa: possible in-country

If so: why the difference?

Offline medivisas

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 01:23:56 PM »
My guess is that it is designed to stop the visitors and working holidaymakers switching.  And to screw more money out of work permit and HSMP holders.


Vicky

pkessler

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 10:57:09 PM »
That's too bad. When I applied for UP over 3 years ago, I was switching from Visitor to UP. Being able to do that actually allowed me to qualify as a UP because I used my 6 months visitor status as part of the required 2 years of living akin to marriage.

Offline Anne1982

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2008, 06:36:15 PM »
Hello, I hate to barge into a new forum without introducing myself, but I just came across this post, and since it relates to a situation I'm currently in, I thought I'd better try and ask!

My IGS runs out in Feb, and I haven't met the maintenance requirements to switch to the Post Study Work Visa. My partner and I will be four months shy of the two year cohabitation guideline for an Unmarried Partners Visa. Obviously I can't switch to a PSW from outside the UK, so that's out. My question is this: if I leave the country but maintain my current (shared) address as my UK residence and get official paperwork there, etc until we meet the deadline for Unmarried Partners, could I then apply for the UP visa from outside the US and provide that documentation?
Or, could it be that, even though I couldn't switch to an UP from a visitor's visa, I could come back as a visitor, 'top up' my time living with him, then go back to the US and apply there for the UP?

Sorry if this is confusing! I'm confused myself, actually.

I should say that we both want to get married eventually, but that both of us also think that marrying because there's an immigration problem is a bad idea.

Thanks so much.
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Offline medivisas

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 06:43:19 PM »
My question is this: if I leave the country but maintain my current (shared) address as my UK residence and get official paperwork there, etc until we meet the deadline for Unmarried Partners, could I then apply for the UP visa from outside the US and provide that documentation?

Hello, and welcome to the board! And the answer is yes, that is EXACTLY what you do!

Vicky

Offline Anne1982

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 06:56:00 PM »
HOLY COW, are you serious? I wasn't expecting such a straightforward answer! I kept thinking, No, it's too simple! This is British immigration we're dealing with!

Sorry for all the exclamation points!


So I just need to find the earliest piece of evidence linking me to this address (like an official letter from my bank saying when I changed my address), leave the country while continuing to receive paperwork here, then when we've passed the deadline, apply from the US. That still counts as cohabitation even though we're not physically living together? Sweet.

This board is awesome. I wish I'd found it months ago.

-Anne
If we called them Sad Meals, no one would buy them.

Offline medivisas

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 07:14:06 PM »
The rules give up to six months leeway, so your four months will be fine.

Vicky

Offline Anne1982

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2008, 07:51:36 PM »
Six months, eh? OK, then I need to go digging for the very earliest piece of evidence I can find. I'd like to keep our time apart as short as possible, as you can imagine!

Thanks again.

-Anne

Edited to add: So far the earliest piece of evidence I can find is dated from August 2007, which is six months from the time my visa expires. I know that's cutting it very fine, but (if I can't locate anything earlier) would it still suffice?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 09:27:08 PM by Anne1982 »
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Offline medivisas

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2008, 11:15:58 AM »
If you are going to claim for June 2007 to June 2009, then you need docs covering this time.  If you can only claim for August 2007 to August 2009 then yes, as you say, cutting it fine.

Vicky

Offline Anne1982

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2008, 05:01:29 PM »
Hi again. My boyfriend spoke to someone at the Border Agency and told that this wasn't a viable method of getting an unmarried partner visa, since we'll still only have actually lived together less than two years.
However, he was also told that I COULD apply for a Post Study Visa from the US, even though I'm currently on an IGS visa. I was under the impression that you couldn't do that.

If it comes down to it, could I come in on a visitor's visa, live with him for the duration, then leave and apply for the UP from outside the UK?

Thanks.
If we called them Sad Meals, no one would buy them.

Offline medivisas

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2008, 05:09:34 PM »
The person at the border agency is wrong.  Just to make a change  ::)

Look here..http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/ecg/chapter13#point%20one

Para 13.14

The parties having been living together in a relationship akin to marriage/civil partnership which has subsisted for two years or more.

"Living together", should be applied fairly tightly, in that we would expect a couple to show evidence of cohabitation in the preceding 2 year period. Periods apart would be acceptable for good reasons, such as work commitments, or looking after a relative which takes one partner away for up to 6 months where it was not possible for the other partner to accompany and it can be seen that the relationship continued throughout that period by visits, letters etc. Where a couple have been living together for the preceding 2-year period but have been dividing their time between countries and may, for example, have used the "visitor" category, then this will be sufficient to meet the requirement.

"Akin to marriage or civil partnership", is a relationship that is similar in its nature to a marriage or civil partnership which would include both unmarried and same-sex relationships.

In order to demonstrate a 2-year relationship evidence of cohabitation will be needed. In order to show a relationship akin to marriage/civil partnership, ECOs should look for evidence of a committed relationship. The following types of evidence would be useful in this respect:

joint commitments, (such as joint bank accounts, investments, rent agreements, mortgage, death benefit etc);
if there are children of the relationship, a record of their birth entry;
correspondence which links them to the same address;
any official records of their address (e.g. Council Tax, Doctors records, DWP record, national insurance record etc);
any other evidence that adequately demonstrates their commitment to each other.
It will not be necessary to provide all of the above: ECOs are looking for satisfactory evidence of relationship."


Also, you can't apply for PSW from the US.  If the whole problem is that you don't meet the maintenence to get it from the UK, how would you get it from the US where the bar is higher?

Vicky

garry

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2008, 05:52:51 PM »
Reading carefully:  This guidance says that a 2 year relationship is needed and that evidence of cohabitation is needed, but does *NOT* say that the evidence of cohab needs to cover a 2 year period.  Compare this with the evidence needed for ILR where the requirement is explicit!

I think this section of the guidance is either poorly drafted or it permits cohab evidence covering any period; and relies on ECO satisfaction to determine if the evidence is sufficient.

Offline medivisas

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Re: Switching to Unmarried Partner - Update
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2008, 05:55:25 PM »
"Living together", should be applied fairly tightly, in that we would expect a couple to show evidence of cohabitation in the preceding 2 year period" 

Expect is the key word here...

Vicky