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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hi. I originall came into the UK on a ancestry visa, that stated

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Hi. I originall came into the UK on a ancestry visa, that stated on it (to acc spouse), as I was married and my partner got an ancestry visa as her grandfather was british. This visa ran out in 2007, we then got a residence permit that read (limited leave to remain) which lasted another 12 months, but in that 12 months, we eperated and she went back to South Africa and I stayed (illegaly). We have since got divorced (a family member signed the divorce papers on my behalf) as I was not in the country. I have met someone else and am very much in love and can not bare the thought of being with out her. I know that if I leave the UK to go back to South Africa and try and renew visa, there is good chance that I wont be allowed back into the UK which is not an option. I have been working for 90% of the time that I have been in the UK and I can prove it, I have paid national insurance and tax and would like to think that I am a respected member of my community. I want to stay in the UK but want to do it legally but on the same note, I would also like to be able to go back to South Africa if needs be, ie: death in the family. Please can someone help.



What nationality is the person you are in a relationship with?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
She is English (born and raised)
Do you cohabit and, if so, how long for?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
We have been living together for approx 5 yrs.



When did you obtain your final divorce decree?


When did your leave to remain in this country expire?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Tom, sorry about the delay there. My leave to remain ran out in june 08 and was divorced in february of the same year ( so divorced before my leave ran out)


If you have been cohabiting with your partner for a period of two years from the date of the divorce decree you may be eligible to apply for an unmarried partner's visa.


The criteria for such a visa is as follows:-

  • any previous marriage, civil partnership or similar relationship, has permanently broken down
  • you have been living together in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for two years or more
  • you have suitable accommodation which is owned or lived in only by you and your household, and where you and your dependants can live without any help from public funds
  • you can support yourselves and any dependants without any help from public funds
  • you intend to live together permanently
  • your partner is not under 21, and
  • you are not under 21 at the date of arrival in the UK.

You whould have to produce substantial supporting documentary evidence for the above and in particular that for the length of your relationship.

You would also have to pass an english language test before applying. You can contact the UKBA or the UK embassy in SA about this.


The UKBA would require you to return home to make this application, they will not entertain an application made in country because you are illegal. You cannot apply in country because you are illegal unless there are exceptional circumstances that apply (ie. where to do so would prejudcially affect your health or the health of your partner/child.)


Your overstay in and of itself is not a sufficient reason to refuse the visa applicaiton if made out of country (Immigration Rule 320)


You should get a UK solicitor to draft the application for you before you reutrn to SA to submit it. It would cost around £800-1000 +VAT.


You can find UK solicitors using the following site:-


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Kind regards,


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