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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Visa question. My girlfriend and I want to live together but

Customer Question

Visa question.
My girlfriend and I want to live together but not get married at this stage. We have been seeing each other for nearly a year now. She came to the UK from India to study for a Masters degree and possibly a PhD. She completed the Masters in June 09. Since then she has got a job as a data manager, at the University where we both work . Her TIER 1 POST STUDY Visa runs out on 10 March 2011.
She is 35 and divorced. I am 52 and divorced. We have financial security and I have my own house where she and I live together in all but name.

My hope is that if we make our living together more formal e.g. joint bank account, voting register etc, will this be enough for her to qualify for an extension to her Visa? If not and we decide to get married in the next few months will this qualify her to stay?

I have spent hours on the UK border Agency website and can not find an answer
Thank you
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.



If she intends to reside here permanently then the most secure way to do this would be for you to marry here and then apply for a spouses visa after marriage.


You would have to apply for a certificate of approval for marriage prior to marring. There is information on applying for the certificate here:-

You will have to apply by using Form COA and you can download this from the UKBA website.


Once you are married you can apply for a spouses visa.

You will have to show:-

  • 1. That you are legally married to each other (marriage certificate)
  • 2. You have met before (statements, correspondence)
  • 3. You are not in breach of the immigration rules (your visa)
  • 4. Your decision to marry was not due to you potentially being deported)
  • 5. Your wife is present and settled in the UK (eg. Passport, proof of accommodation)
  • 6. You intend to live permanently together here in the UK as husband and wife (statements, evidence of her (statements, correspondence(
  • 7. You can support each other without the need for public funds (bank statements, evidence of income)
  • 8. You have suitable accommodation which is owned or lived in only by you or your household and where you and your dependents can live without any help from public funds (tenancy agreement, land registry docs if you your own home)
  • 9. That neither of you are younger than 21 years of age. (birth certificates, passports)

You will need to apply for settlement (ie. spouses visa) by using form FLR (M) Settlement, available for download from UKBA's website. It would be best for either a solicitor in the UK to prepare it in consultation with both you and your wife before submitting it.


Your wife can find Uk immigration solicitors through the following Law Society Website search engine:-


You could apply for an unmarried partner's visa but you would have to show that you have been in a relationship for two years prior to the application and less applications tend to get accepted under this method.


If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

Kind regards,


Thomas and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you very much It gives us a direction to go now. Just in case it affects the situation, I am a Uk citizen born and bred
Expert:  Thomas replied 7 years ago.


Sorry for the delay in replying - it does not make a difference.


Thank you for your kind accept, good luck and if you require further information in the future feel free to submit a question to the board and request that I answer.


Kind regards,