Partners: the relationship requirements
Partners: the relationship requirements

The following Immigration guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Partners: the relationship requirements
  • Prohibited degree of relationship
  • ‘Present and settled’ or 'present and settled in the UK'
  • 'Intention to live permanently with the other' or 'intend to live together permanently in the UK'
  • ‘Have met in person’
  • 'Genuine and subsisting'
  • 'Any previous relationship ... must have broken down permanently'

This Practice Note considers the following key terms used in the Immigration Rules in relation to applications by partners applying under Part 8 and Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules:

  1. prohibited degree of relationship

  2. present and settled

  3. intention to live together permanently in the UK

  4. have met in person

  5. genuine and subsisting relationship

  6. any previous relationship must have broken down permanently

The Practice Note focuses on issues which are more frequently encountered by the business practitioner. It does not cover:

  1. validity and recognition of marriages/civil partnerships

  2. recognition of overseas divorces/civil partnership dissolutions

  3. forced marriages

  4. polygamous marriages

Comprehensive Home Office guidance on those issues can be found in the Immigration Directorate Instructions (IDIs), Chapter 8: Appendix FM (Family Members) at:

  1. Annex FM 1.2, Forced marriage

  2. Annex FM 1.3, Recognition of marriage and divorce

  3. Annex FM 1.4, Polygamous and potentially polygamous marriage

  4. Annex FM 1.5, Domicile

  5. Annex FM 2.1, Eligibility, registration, dissolution & glossary of terms—civil partnerships

For detailed discussion of these issues and relevant case law, see Marriage and civil partnership issues concerning validity and recognition: Macdonald’s Immigration Law Practice [11.28]–[11.40] in further reading links.

There is also relevant guidance in the IDIs dealing with Part 8 applications.

Prohibited degree of relationship

In all partner applications submitted under Appendix FM, the applicant and the sponsor must not be in a 'prohibited degree of relationship'. This