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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, I just have a couple of questions which I tried to find out by calling the Home Office today, only to be met with being on hold for 30 mins. So hope someone can help...

I am British and my partner is Taiwanese, we are applying for a unmarried partner visa for her.

I think our application should be fine apart from the following two potentially major hurdles:-

(1) I am seperated and not divorced from my previous partner. In the literature I found on the internet it says something along the lines of: your previous relationship must have permanently broken down, but does not specifically say you must be divorced.

So my question therefore, is our application still viable and if so how do I prove I am seperated from my wife?

(2) My partner and I lived together in Taiwan for a year before coming back to the UK. We only have a tenancy agreement in joint names (translated to English), to prove we lived together, whilst in Taiwan. For our current address we have plenty.

Again, assuming I haven't been screwed over by (1), is this still a viable application?

Many thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some light on these issues.

Cheers, Russell
 

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I am just thinking logically. In terms of a spouse visa, if you can't marry whilst still married to someone else and so obviously you can't apply for a spouse visa then you probably can't apply as an unmarried partner whilst still married to someone else. I would think that you would have to show at a minimum that you are in the midst of divorce proceedings.

What visa is your partner currently on that allows her to live in the UK?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I am just thinking logically. In terms of a spouse visa, if you can't marry whilst still married to someone else and so obviously you can't apply for a spouse visa then you probably can't apply as an unmarried partner whilst still married to someone else. I would think that you would have to show at a minimum that you are in the midst of divorce proceedings.

What visa is your partner currently on that allows her to live in the UK?

Thanks for your reply, Nyclon. She is currently on a Student visa, she just wants to change it over so she can work full time.

It would make sense for what you say to be the case. However, there is nowhere in the Home Office literature that confirms this. I would have thought if it was so cut and dry, then it would be clearly specified. Using the terminology proof "the relationship has permanently broken down" opens it up to ambiguity.
 

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Legally speaking, you'd still have to prove a "broken down" marriage:

You need to show that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. You do this by establishing any one of the following:

Adultery.
Unreasonable behaviour.
Desertion (for at least two years).
Two years’ separation and agreement from both spouses to the divorce.
Five years’ separation.

Incompatibility or 'irreconcilable differences' are not acceptable grounds for divorce. However, in these circumstances it may be possible to establish unreasonable behaviour (eg by failing to adequately respond to a spouse’s emotional needs).
Better to just get the divorce certificate. The others are rather difficult to prove.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks

Thanks to everyone for your replies. Crawford, I fear you may be right but as I said the wording is ambiguous: "They should be asked to specify how long ago the previous relationship was terminated, either by divorce / dissolved civil partnership, by separation or by death"

In section 10 it does mention ending a relationship by "separation", that's why I'm still not 100% sure. I may be clutching at straws with this one though, admittedly.

Do any of you have an idea about my second question, regarding the proof of living together at a previous address? I am in the process of starting divorce proceedings so it would be good to know, for when the first problem is sorted out. Many thanks
 

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Are you legally separated?

The issue is that you are going to need legal documentation of your relationship status. Before you've been married a year, you can obtain a legal separation, but a divorce is only granted if you've been married longer than a year. There's also some grey area. I BELIEVE (but please, do not take my word as law) that the wording you're referring to regarding separation is targeted generally at those applicants who are legally separated but not divorced because they haven't been married for a year yet. Or perhaps have other extenuating circumstances. There are several ways of obtaining a divorce certificate but again, I'm not a solicitor, and I don't know the specifics of your situation. In any case you will need to contact a solicitor... There is simply no way around that, I'm afraid...
 
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I believe you are clutching at straws.

You are married and to show an irrevocable breakdown of the marriage (and I should think a legal and moral eligibility to sponsor someone for an unmarried partner visa) you need to show a divorce certificate.

I read the phrase regarding separation in the phrase "they should be asked to specify how long ago the previous relationship was terminated, either by divorce / dissolved civil partnership, by separation or by death" to refer to where it also mentions "other relationship akin to marriage"in the same paragraph.

With regard your living together you need to show two years of continuous co-habiting as man and wife. If you were in Taiwan only as a visitor this may count against you. i.e visiting is not living with someone.
 
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For an unmarried partnership you need to prove that you've been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for a least 2 years. To prove that you need evidence of joint responsibilities over the 2 years. You should really have evidence evenly scattered over the previous 2 years.
 

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hi russel

we are on the same situation.
my partner hasn't had is separation legal from his ex wife but we are applying for the unmarried visa. we are at the moment gathering all our docs. it is a bit stressful.
anyway i am not sure how lenient they are on the rules but we are still pursuing the application because APpendix FM stated on page 26

Note: An applicant whose marriage or civil partnership to a previous partner (or that of the applicant’s partner) has not been legally dissolved, may qualify under Appendix FM as an unmarried partner or same sex partner, provided that they meet the criteria of paragraph GEN.1.2. and they provide evidence that the new relationship is genuine and subsisting and that the previous relationship has broken down permanently.

So we are hoping that they rely on this note. However other parts of the FM mentions the importance of legal separation.

My partner has even sponsored his ex wife to come to the UK, so they might take it as an issue but it is worth the try..

Anyway best of luck!
 

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Evidence that the previous relationship has broken down is a divorce decree or that divorce proceedings are nearly at a close. If he's not even legally separated you don't stand a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi, the information I have found out since leads me to believe that you need to be legally separated. This could be through divorce or legal separation if less than one year of marriage.

I am in the process of getting divorced from my wife because I believe it would be impossible without this, but I could be wrong.

I am also in the same situation as you, as I also sponsored my wife's visa to enter the country. I don't think this is a problem as I have seen no information to say that it would be.

Good luck to you too, keep in touch to let me know how it goes.

Russell
 

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Unfortunately they have mentioned in the guidelines for the genuine and susbsisting relationship that the partner should not have sponsored anyone to come to the UK that's why i am a bit worried. But I think having sponsored someone can't be a measure of genuineness and subsistence of our relationship.
I have mentioned in my cover about the note in the appendix to let them know that i am relying on what they have stated there regarding previous relationship not yet been legally dissolved. we will provide a letter from lawyer saying that there's an anulment case ongoing.
it is really stressful to go through all these.
with regards to cohabitation, you must prove that you have been living with your partner at least 2 yrs PRIOR to your application. how long have u lived together in UK? Granted that you have lived together in taiwan for a year, you need to show that u are living with your partner in uk for at least one year now in addition.
 

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Haya Russel!!

We had a premium appointment in cardiff, and I was granted the visa!!! Remember my worry was my partner hasn't had his annulment finalised yet, but we had it all explained through the cover letter. If you have queries, let me know.

Best of luck on yours!

Ruth
 
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