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Hello there, beautiful people of ExpatForum.com

I’m a South African currently living and working in the UK on an ancestral visa (paternal grandfather). I’ve been with my Mexican girlfriend for just under a year and a half now - during that time only 4 months were spent apart after she went to Mexico to help her mother finalise the purchase of a home. The rest of the time she has been living with me, both in the UK and South Africa (the country of my birth), though unable to legally work (subsisting on savings, occasional freelancing and a steady dose of netflix) and understandably frustrated. Short of getting married (a bit too soon for that!) I know that she could join me on my visa as a dependent. I earn enough to prove I’d be able to support her (I already have been, for the most part, for the last year we’ve been in England) but my name has always been on the lease. The only other "legal” proof or paper-trail I have of us cohabiting are documents showing the both of us being invited to stay with friends while between apartments, and letters to my landlord back in South Africa. There are plenty of letters, photos, mutual friends, etc, that can easily prove the fortitude of our relationship, but the legal evidence is slim.

We didn’t mean to stay in England so long: I only applied for a renewal of my ancestral as a temporary stop over for a job, which turned into an amazing opportunity I can no longer just abandon, so moving to the UK has become more of a long term plan for us.

  • - Are there any alternatives to the Dependant visa? She has several degrees. Student visa is out of the questions right now simply because of finances being saved for future endeavours.
  • - Other than a joint bank account, what things would aid the application process?
  • - What forms/documents would be required if I didn’t list her as a dependent on my initial visa application?
  • - how long does the process normally take?
  • - can she apply from within the UK or would she have to return to Mexico to apply?

Many thanks
Ed
 

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If you can't prove that you've been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least 2 years (joint tenancy, joint bank accounts, joint bills) she does not qualify as an unmarried partner. Time spent in the UK on a tourist visa does not count. If you don't want to marry then her options are limited. A Tier 2 work visa is difficult to qualify for if your job isn't on the shortage occupation list.
 

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Hello there, beautiful people of ExpatForum.com

r (I already have been, for the most part, for the last year we’ve been in England) but my name has always been on the lease.



Many thanks
Ed
How has she been in the UK for the last year?

You don't qualify as an unmarried partner and unless she in on a bona fide visa which has allowed her to remain in the UK, she needs to leave and apply for a visa from her home country.
 
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