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Insights & Events > What is love: Work visa dependants to be assessed under different criteria

What is love: Work visa dependants to be assessed under different criteria


From 25 July 2023, the Home Office will assess work visa holders’ relationships with their partners under Appendix Relationship with Partner to the Immigration Rules, rather than under the current separate rules for partners of each type of work visa holder. Appendix Relationship with Partner is currently in effect for other dependants’ applications.

Which Partner relationships are eligible?

Under both the current and future rules, to be eligible to join Skilled Workers and other work visa holder as a dependant Partner, an applicant must be married, in a civil partnership or in a durable relationship with the work visa holder.

A durable relationship is one similar to marriage and has existed at least 2 years before the date of application. The couple must usually have lived together as a couple and be able to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to one another.

Evidence of a relationship

Strength of documentary evidence

When assessing applications under Appendix Relationship with Partner, UK Visas and Immigration caseworkers are instructed to assign different weights to documents when verifying whether, on the balance of probabilities, the relationship is ‘genuine and subsisting’ as required.

Evidence given the most weight is evidence that is issued by an organisation that carries out checks on the person involved, for example their identity, address, immigration status. This evidence is official and verified by the issuing organisation. This type of documentation might be sufficient, on its own, to evidence the relationship. A marriage certificate, utility bills, and bank statements are examples of strong evidence.

Acceptable evidence includes documents issued by an organisation that might not have conducted checks on the person. The documents might not have been verified as correct by the organisation or might be outdated. UK Visas and Immigration caseworkers are instructed to allocate ‘reasonable weight’ to this type of evidence. The Home Office is likely to require more than one piece of this type of evidence and scrutinise the applicant’s wider circumstances to consider why they have not provided stronger evidence. Examples include electoral register confirmation and invoices for home repairs.

Weak evidence includes evidence from individuals with no official capacity or that has not been verified by the provider of the document. UK Visas and Immigration caseworkers will afford this evidence some weight but it is unlikely to be accepted as sufficient evidence of a relationship on its own. They may request further information or documentation. contact an applicant who has only provided weak evidence to seek more information on their circumstances. Examples of weak evidence include letters of support and photographs of the couple together.

Types of documentary evidence

Where a couple is not married or in a civil partnership, different types of evidence can establish co-habitation or shared financial responsibilities, or that the couple remained in a genuine subsisting relationship during periods when they were apart, e.g. for work reasons.

Please note that the information presented here should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you would like to instruct us to provide legal advice, please get in touch.

Publication Date: 21/07/2023


Author avatar
Samar Shams
Managing Partner @ Changes Immigration
+44 (0) 7591 385033