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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

I have been reading the forum for the best part of 5 hours trying to get my head around this whole process but I thought I would just post for some advice on my specific situation.

I am a British citizen and my partner is Canadian. We met in Australia in 2015 and then I lived in Canada with her and her mum for 6 months from March - August 2016. In September I came back to the UK and she arrived on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa. We have been living together since then and we have plenty of evidence of that, and we will be living together in the UK until her YMV expires in September 2018. So I have a couple of questions:

Should we be looking to apply for an unmarried partnership visa or a leave to remain visa when her YMV expires?

Does the wage that she currently makes in the UK go towards the £18,600 required?

We will only have two years' proof of our relationship at the end of her YMV so is it possible to apply before the end of it so she doesn't have to leave the UK, even though we won't have two years hard evidence until that point?

Any information that anyone can give me will be greatly appreciated.

All the best,
Chris Middleton
 

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Should we be looking to apply for an unmarried partnership visa or a leave to remain visa when her YMV expires?
You apply for "Further Leave to Remain" on the basis of being unmarried partners. The form is FLR(M), and it caters to all people applying for leave to remain on the basis of their relationship to a person who is British or otherwise settled in the UK, including unmarried partners, spouses, and civil partners, so you will specify that you are unmarried partners on the visa application form.

If you are both legally working in the UK then either or both of you can use your salary toward the financial requirement. It's most straightforward if only one of you meets it alone, but you can combine salaries if needed.

We will only have two years' proof of our relationship at the end of her YMV so is it possible to apply before the end of it so she doesn't have to leave the UK, even though we won't have two years hard evidence until that point?
Two years of cohabitation is the rule, which is applied strictly. The length of Tier 5 YMS just happens to align with this rule, you don't get any grace period. If you apply too far in advance then you will be risking a refusal based on not meeting the two years' required evidence. Best to apply as close to expiry as possible, in person is usually recommended if it's feasible. They are likely (but under no obligation) to excuse a couple of days deviance from the requirement, though they have refused for being as few as 10 days short. It will strengthen your case if you have children or other serious commitments together. Remember that you are required to have a relationship "akin to marriage".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks very much for your thorough response.

So you are basically saying that for the best chance we need to go and apply in person one day before her YM visa runs out? And should it fail she would have to leave the country immediately?

To what extent is this down to the discretion of the individual visa officer? And is proof of living together enough to be classed as "akin to marriage"?
 

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If your particular case, the caseworker will assume you will continue to live together until her visa expires, so applying up to 28 days earlier should be ok.
It's not so much exercising discretion as taking a common-sense approach, also backed by immigration rules. People who got turned down by being 10 days short probably applied at the last possible date, and yet they were some days short of 2 years.
Other than cohabitation, they are looking for shared financial responsibility such as joint bank accounts, joint investment, joint insurance, wills etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for taking the time to respond Joppa. I have seen some people say that a postal application which extends beyond her YM visa end date might be a better idea, as by the time they receive it we will have been living together in the UK for two years plus however many days it takes for them to receive the application. What are your thoughts regarding this? Would it be better to do it in person in the last week of her YM visa?
 

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Yes, that has been claimed but without any evidential proof - i.e. two people with near identical situations end up with different outcome when one applied by post and another in person.
How many days are we talking about? 5 days, 10 days, 30 days?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just mean that, if we send off our postal application a week before her visa expires, and she has a right to remain beyond her YM visa while the application is being processed, then we actually would have lived together for over two years when they receive the application?
 

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Yes, but that logic can be extended for in-person application as well, i.e. if you had applied by post, which you are entitled to, and your decision is delayed by two months, you would have met the residential requirement. Normally you can apply up to 28 days before actually meeting the residential (and cohabitation) requirement, and you are deemed to have met it.
 
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