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Hi everyone,

I will be starting my PhD studies in the UK this September (I have been awarded a full scholarship by my University who has the highest sponsor certificate), have previously completed master studies in the UK (FCO scholar, completed studies four years ago), and have a "clean" travel and visa record. So, I do not anticipate problems about my visa.

However, the studies last for three years, so I want my unmarried partner, with whom I have been living together for over two years and are in a relationship for over three years) to join me on a Tier 4 student dependent visa. We do not have children. We will have sufficient funds on our (separate) accounts for his support (from what I read this is about 5.000GBP per year), and will rent a one bedroom apartment in student accommodation (for postgraduates).

I have been reading through the all UK gov pages and have consulted a lot of people, but it was only after I found this forum (YAY! :) ) that I feel a bit more informed as to what can we actually provide as proof that we are unmarried partners and in a subsisting and genuine relationship, but am still quite puzzled and a bit worried as to the "What?" and "How much evidence?" issue.

The three problems I have spotted so far are:
1. My partner and I do NOT like to be photographed in general, and we do not take photos of ourselves. We, do however, have like 3-4 pictures which other people took of us, but which again am not sure as to how much they would speak of more than that we were, for example, at the same wedding, birthday, etc... It is just not our thing... How bad is this?
2. Although we live in the same house for over two years, in our country the common practice is that, if you are citizens, the landlords avoid a contractual renting relationship (as this means they have to pay taxes...). So, it is very very rare that you will rent a place under a valid legal contract here if you are a citizen of this country, which we both are. This also means that all of the bills arrive on the landlord's name. We do have, however, have proof that it is us that pay the bills for this address (e-banking, paid via my account) and the only bill which we have on our names on this address is the internet bill on my partner's name. Would it make any sense to provide any of these as proof?
3. There is a possibility that we go to a notary and give legal binding statements that we have been living together for X years and are together for Z years. However, I am not sure as to how much that will mean anything for the persons deciding on the visas... Any idea whether this would be worth it or is this too much?

Thanks everyone in advance for your advice and replies! It will really mean a lot to us!
 
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