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Unmarried partners – new definition

Unmarried partners – new definition

 Some will no doubt be pleased to learn that the Home Office has changed its definition of an unmarried partner. Previously an unmarried partner was somebody who had lived with somebody else in a relationship like marriage/civil partnership for at least two years. 

But since 31 January 2024 the definition has been rather different: it is now somebody who has been in a relationship like marriage/civil partnership with somebody for at least two years, whether or not they live together or have lived together. This of course is an important change and it will make unmarried partner applications easier in some cases. 

As you might expect there is still a requirement for good and solid proof of the relationship. But how does this really work? According to Home Office guidance, applicants have to show that they have more than just a “boyfriend or girlfriend” type of relationship – it requires something stronger and deeper. And there is also at least a suggestion that an applicant might have to explain why they do not live together. 

It seems to us that this is not as simple as it looks, and some applications based on unmarried partnership might be difficult. If you want help and advice in this area we at GSN Immigration will be able to assist you. 

Oliver Westmoreland

Senior Immigration Lawyer