Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

New guidance on private life and family relationships


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We mentioned on the podcast last month that revised Immigration Rules on private life — getting permission to stay in the UK based on various forms of long residence, essentially — would need fleshed out in policy guidance. That guidance has duly emerged, to coincide with Appendix Private Life coming into force on 20 June: see Private life: caseworker guidance.

This topic used to be covered in the 101-page document covering both family life and private life; that has been reduced to a mere 91 pages and now just covers family life (including exceptional circumstances).

Also out this week is brand new policy guidance on Relationship with a partner. This relates to Appendix Relationship with Partner, which was introduced recently to define certain family relationship requirements. One significant bit is that unmarried partners do not necessarily need to have lived together for two years for their relationship to be considered “durable”. As the guidance says, the couple “must demonstrate they have been in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years”. This will “usually” mean cohabitation, but not necessarily.

At the moment, these Appendix Relationship with Partner rules only apply to Ukraine visa applications and those applying for settlement after ten years in a family route. But they are due to be rolled out more widely in future — which would mean a general relaxation of the two-year cohabitation rule for unmarried partners.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.