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About four months after we started dating, my partner applied for a UK Visit Visa to come and visit me (this was in March/April of 2014).

The refusal letter stated he had insufficient ties to where was staying now (UAE) and had only been in his job and accommodation for three months before applying for the UK Visit Visa and the Immigration Officer in the letter said "I cannot confirm your settled residency". Then the letter went on to say that, "In view of these circumstances, I am not satisfied in respect of the stated purpose for your visit or that you will leave the UK at the end of your intended visit."

How much of a bearing will this refusal have on our application which we want to make in October of this year?

Does the fact we've been in a relationship for nearly two years have a bearing on anything?

He hasn't tried to apply again to the UK for a visit visa, and I visit him all the time in Dubai (about five times a year).
 

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You'll have to declare it on the application and you should be forthcoming about it, but I've seen people in similar positions wind up with accepted visas. I'm certain the person reviewing your case will take it into account, but if you are able to provide adequate documentation of a genuine, lasting relationship with frequent contact and meet the requirements for a visa, then you don't have a lot to worry about. It's just a red flag that you might have been attempting to circumvent immigration rules in the past, not a conviction; it won't by itself get your application refused. This is ONLY my opinion based on what I've seen and read. Good luck :)
 
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