Spouse Visa – Unmarried partner refusal withdrawn by Home Office prior to appeal
Our client, a national of the United States of America, approached Oksana Demyanchuk and Michael Carter to apply for leave to enter the UK as the unmarried partner of a British citizen.
The couple had met many years back in USA and started a romantic relationship. By the time the Applicant applied for leave to enter the UK, the relationship had been ongoing for well over 2 years, however, the couple had only lived together for a period short period less than that required by the Home Office.
The Immigration Rules currently state the following with regard to unmarried partners:
295A. The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom with a view to settlement as the unmarried or same-sex partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom or being admitted on the same occasion for settlement, are that:
- (a)(i) the applicant is the unmarried or same-sex partner of a person present and settled in the United Kingdom or who is on the same occasion being admitted for settlement and the parties have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership which has subsisted for two years or more,
Furthermore, Home Office guidance on the topic of unmarried partners states the following:
‘Living together’, should be applied fairly tightly, with a couple providing evidence that they have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership which has subsisted for two years or more.
Despite this, Applicant and Sponsor, out of principle, did not want to marry for the sake of obtaining a visa and decided to make an application. It was submitted to the Home Office by Oksana Demyanchuk that their relationship was sufficiently serious as to be akin to marriage and that discretion should have been applied to waive the requirement of 2 years’ cohabitation prescribed for in the Immigration Rules.
The couple submitted evidence to the Home Office that their relationship was sufficiently serious so as to be equivalent as marriage in all but name. This evidence included evidence of the couples trips to share holidays with each other and references from family members and friends confirming the genuineness and seriousness of the relationship.
The initial application was refused on the basis that the couple did not satisfy the co-habitation requirement, although it was accepted that the relationship was genuine and subsisting and had been for many years.
The couple duly appealed the decision to the First-tier Tribunal (IAC), continuing to argue that the inflexible requirement of 2 years’ co-habitation is inconsistent with Article 8 European Convention on Human Rights.
The couple were able to provide an enormous volume of documentary evidence of their relationship and submitted a bundle consisting of sum 974 pages in support of their contention that the decision to refuse our client leave to remain was unlawful.
On the day of the hearing, the Home Office representative informed that, in light of the arguments advanced and supporting evidence provided by Oksana Demyanchuk, they accept the submission and are withdrawing the decision to refuse the application with a view to granting leave. The result is that our client will now be granted leave to remain to continue to enjoy her family life with her partner.
Sterling Law are please the justice prevailed in the end and that our clients can now continue their life together without compromising on their principles.
+44 20 7822 8535