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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7590
Experience:  UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
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Hi, I am a British citizen living in Hong Kong with my girlfriend

Customer Question

Hi, I am a British citizen living in Hong Kong with my girlfriend who is from Hong Kong, and I am looking to move back to the UK in two months' time. We have lived together for over two years, however her name has only been on the tenancy agreement for one year, and her bank statements and other documentation have only been registered to our joint address for one year,. We do, however, have evidence of being together for over two years in the form of flight receipts for trips away together and photographs.
I am wondering if we will be eligible for an Unmarried Partner Visa on this basis? I earn comfortably above 18,600 p.a., however one further factor is that I whilst I am looking to move in two months' time my girlfriend will not join me in the UK until later in the year, 4-6 months after I move. I would also like to know if this will impact the application. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thanks for your question.
Do you have a job in the UK to start upon your return at above the salary threshold?
Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

I'm actually studying part-time at the moment, and will be quitting my job to go back to the UK to study full-time for around four months, after which I will find full-time employment. The expectation is that my girlfriend will join me once I have a full-time job. I anticipate applying for the visa upon securing full-time employment, and the salary will be comfortably above the 18,600 p.a. level that is the minimum threshold.

Mark

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mark,
Thanks for your reply.
Between you and your partner, do you hold cash savings above £62500?
Kind regards
Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, we hold in the region of £40,000.

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
The problem is the timing of your return. As I calculate it when your partner applies for her visa you will probably have been in the UK for 4-6 months.
This means that you will be seeking to meet the finance requirement on the basis that you are in the UK working and not a person outside of the UK (recently) working but returning to the UK at the same time as your partner.
This raises problems because in order to meet the financial requirement you must be able to show income (if relying on an income element) earned from the relevant job in the UK for 6 months. If you are not going to work until month 5/6 then you would not meet this and the application would be rejected on this basis.
The financial guidance is here:-
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/371437/AnnexFM_Section_FM_1_7_Financial_Requirement.pdf
If you have cash savings of £40k which you have held for 6 months, then (please refer to page 47) this means that you would only need to evidence income of £9k per annum which you have earned for 6 months when she applies. I would suggest that see if you can get a part-time job as soon as you get back to give you this annual salary amount so that she can apply at your intended time. If you do not then you would have to wait until you have got the job you propse to get once you studies finish and then wait until you have earned income from it for 6 months.
You are on the right lines with the supporting evidence, ideally you would both be on the tenancy agreement and utility bills for two years but if you are not all you can do is submit other alternative evicence in the form you had identified together with details personal statements about your living arrangements and hope the home office takes a view on it.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.
Kind regards,
Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7590
Experience: UK Lawyer holding practising certficate for England & Wales.
Thomas and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the response. I've two follow-up questions:

1/ Does my income have to have been earned in the UK? For example, if I were to stay in Hong Kong for one more year and my girlfriend were to then apply for the visa, would we be required to provide evidence of a UK income or would evidence of my Hong Kong income be sufficient? In this example we would return to the UK in one years' time together rather than me moving first.

2/ What will be the situation if my girlfriend is to apply for the Visa whilst living in the UK, does the visa have to be secured before entering the UK or can it be applied for and secured during the six months my girlfriend will be allowed in the UK as a tourist? For example, what if I am to secure a job in the UK three months after returning, my girlfriend then moves to the UK when I have been working for three months, and three months later she will have been living in the UK for three months on a tourist visa and I will have been working for six months in the UK. In this instance can she then apply for the partnership visa?

3/ Regarding the £62,500, must this be in cash or can it be in other assets? I also have a life insurance investment plan worth over £25,000 and equity in a property. If it has to be in cash, will there be anything stopping me from borrowing this amount from my parents now and then paying them this amount back once the visa is secured? If I were to borrow now I would have held the funds for six months by the time that the application is being made.

4/ You mention I will need to show income if I am relying on an income element. Under what circumstances would I not be relying on an income element and as such would not be required to show income?

Apologies for the large amount of questions, if you can provide concise answers to these I'll be sure to rate your service highly.

Regards

Mark

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mark,
1) If you were to stay outside the Uk for another year, then provided your earned more than £18600 per annum outside the UK during that year AND were able to get a job offer at above £18600 per annum in the UK to start within three month of the date your partner's application then you could do this.
2) she must apply for an unmarried partners visa from outside the UK. She cannot apply for it whilst on a visit visa. This is very strictly applied.
3) It has to be in cash which you have held for 6 months, but if you realise equity from your property then part of the 6 months can be fulfilled by time during which it was equity in the proeprty, You would have to hold any gift from your parents for 6 months and show that it was a gift (ie. get then to confirm it is a gift and not a loan).
4) You would not need to rely on income if you have cash savings at the date of the application of above £62500.00
Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the detail. A few more questions:

1/ If I am to move back and get a job three months after I move back, and my girlfriend then applies for the visa six months into my employment (so nine months after I leave Hong Kong), will this then likely work providing my income is sufficient or will there in this case be a problem due to the fact that we will have not been living together for the nine months previous to her application?

2/ Am I correct in thinking that if I am to wait a year until returning to the UK and have earned more than £18,600 in this year, and if I am to have £62,500 in cash at that point, I will not require a job offer to start within three months upon returning to the UK for my girlfriend to be able to successfully apply?

3/ Am I able to rely on a mixture of job offer/future income and past income if I am based inside the UK? For example, if my girlfriend is to apply when I have been working in a UK job for only 1-2 months (or have just received a job offer), will this likely be ok if I have earned in excess of £18,600 the previous year outside of the UK? The way I see it, if the application can be accepted with over £18,600 earned in the previous year and a job offer when I'm outside the UK, then surely having started a job with a salary above £18,600 in the UK and having earned above £18,600 in the previous year outside of the UK should still be sufficient, as the previous year's £18,600 can be taken into account.

4/ If the answers you provide to these questions are not positive, then would getting engaged and getting a fiance visa likely solve the problem? We are at the stage whereby we may get engaged soon anyway.

Mark

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
1) if you have been living outside the UK when your partner applies then you must have a job offer for a UK job above the threshold to start within 3 months of the date your partner applies (in addition to having earned above the threshold from employment outside the during the preceding 12 months).
If you have already return to the UK before your partenr applies then you must have been earning above the threshold for 6 months when she applies_).
2) Regardless of where you apply, if you have £62500 in cash savings which you have held for 6 months or more then forgot about the income element, you would not need to demonstrate any income to meet the financial requirement.
3) No. This would be rejected on the basis of your employment being less than 6 months).
4) The financial criteria is the same for an unmarried partner visa and a fiance/spouse visa, so it would not change the situation.
Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the response. I have now read the link you provided and have some more questions having read the document:

1/ I own three properties in the UK, section 5.1.5. in particular would seem to indicate that I can add rental income to the salary and savings. My gross rental income is £20,000 p.a., and net of mortgage payments this is £12,000 p.a., is it correct that this £12,000 can be added?

2/ If this £12,000 can be added, would a job offer be required given that the £12,000 + £9,600 ((£40,000 - £16,000) / 2.5) = £21,600 is higher than the £18,600 minimum? When looking Category B (5.4.2. & 5.4.3.) this would seem to indicate that we can apply for the visa before I return to the UK without a job offer and it may be accepted on the basis of the Category C cash savings and Category D non-employment income.

3/ I know that this may not be advisable, however if I do require a job offer in addition to cash savings and non-employment income would there be any potential problems with accepted a job offer to start within three months, then applying for the visa for my girlfriend, and upon returning to the UK me not taking the job? Would there be any chance of the visa being revoked on this basis?

4/ Assuming I do have job offer in the UK and fulfil the requirements, will it be possible for my girlfriend to apply for the visa whilst I am in Hong Kong, and then if the visa application is accepted me return to the UK and her move to the UK 4-6 months after me? I'm wondering if there is any problem with her being accepted for the visa yet not moving for a further 4-6 months.

5/ It would appear that if I have been in employment less than three months in the UK yet am earning at a level above £18,600, then this will fulfil one of two criteria under category B. It also appears that the second criteria would be fulfilled providing that I had earned an amount greater than £18,600 in the 12 months prior to the application, which I will have done if I take into account my Hong Kong salary prior to leaving to return to the UK. Can you confirm that the financial requirement would subsequently be met under these circumstances, as example 5.3.11. a) appears to indicate that the requirement would be met?

6/ Would there be a problem if my girlfriend were to apply for the visa after we'd been living apart for nine months? For example, if I move back to the UK, study for three months and then secure employment and work for six months, and she then applies, will the authorities take the view that we have not been living together continuously for two years as we will have spent the last nine months apart?

Appreciate your help thus far and wait for your response. I'll be sure to rate positively again upon receipt.

Mark

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Hi Mark
I'm sorry but I have answered your original question far beyond the value of your depsoit.
If you wish for me to answer your follow up questions in your most recent post please kindly submit a further question to the board requesting me via my profile.
Kind regards
Tom
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, I've just re-posted with 'FAO Thomas' in the heading.

Expert:  Thomas replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** it.
I will be able to answer in a couple of hours..
Tom

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