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Topic: Civil partners, returning to UK (one Brit, one American)  (Read 1388 times)

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Civil partners, returning to UK (one Brit, one American)
« on: January 30, 2011, 08:29:44 AM »
I have been in the US for 30 years and am returning to the UK this year with my partner and infant son. My partner and I are not married, but are registered domestic partners in our city. Does anyone have any experience of entering the UK as civil partners and trying to get a work permit for such a partner? (I am a UK citizen, she's US.) We have no intention of marrying, but don't know how much trouble this will cause us. We read on the ukinusa website that civil partners are recognized, but you need to show evidence of having cohabited for at least 2 years. We've been together for longer than that, but have kept everything separate.

Also, does anyone know if it's safe to arrive on a one-way ticket, or is it better to buy a round trip, even if we don't know when we will use the return portion? I have heard of Americans arriving on one-way tickets being hassled and even turned around at Heathrow.

I'm appealing for info here since it is no longer possible to submit such a query to an actual humanoid in the embassy or consulates here in the US. Many thanks for any help or guidance you can give, or experience you can share.


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Re: Civil partners, returning to UK (one Brit, one American)
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 08:46:55 AM »
I have been in the US for 30 years and am returning to the UK this year with my partner and infant son. My partner and I are not married, but are registered domestic partners in our city. Does anyone have any experience of entering the UK as civil partners and trying to get a work permit for such a partner? (I am a UK citizen, she's US.) We have no intention of marrying, but don't know how much trouble this will cause us. We read on the ukinusa website that civil partners are recognized, but you need to show evidence of having cohabited for at least 2 years. We've been together for longer than that, but have kept everything separate.

If you can prove that you have lived together for at least 2 years as unmarried partners, then you can apply for an unmarried partner visa, which will automatically give you the right to live and work in the UK with no work permit needed. If you have lived together for at least 4 years (and can prove this) then you may be able to qualify for UK permanent residence right away.

If you have not lived together for at least 2 (or 4) years and/or cannot prove that you have lived together, then you would need to get married/officially register a civil partnership in order to get a civil partnership visa (which again would give you the right to work without needing a work permit).

If you can't do either of these options and you can't move to the UK as the partner of a UK citizen, then your only option would be to try to get sponsored for a work visa... which is almost impossible to get these days unless you are extremely highly skilled or you work in a field that is in demand in the UK (the UK government is trying to limit the number of people allowed to get work visas).

If you can qualify for a civil partner or unmarried partner visa, then I would go down this route... it is much, much easier than trying to get a work permit!

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Also, does anyone know if it's safe to arrive on a one-way ticket, or is it better to buy a round trip, even if we don't know when we will use the return portion? I have heard of Americans arriving on one-way tickets being hassled and even turned around at Heathrow.

One-way tickets are fine if you have a visa to move to the UK and are allowed to live there for more than 6 months - the problem with a one-way ticket comes when someone is simply visiting the UK... because a round trip ticket is required to prove that you will leave the UK and do not intend to live there.

However, you may find that round trip tickets are cheaper than one-way, so if you want to buy one there's no problem with that either.


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Re: Civil partners, returning to UK (one Brit, one American)
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2011, 08:12:03 PM »
It's not often that a post has me totally confused but yours has.

You write about being in a civil partnership yet having no plans to marry.  In the UK a civil partnership is similar to marriage but for two people of the same sex.  I couldn't work out if you were lesbians.  However, if you were then it would not be possible for two women to get married in the UK - its been tried.

Anyway, the point is when you read about civil partners on offical websites, the chances are that it refers to people within a civil partership.  If you are living together within a relationship then you would be co-habitees.

Blowtorch. 


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