I have a Ukrainian partner (over 3 years). We have successfully applied for a UK visitor's visa (now expired) which allowed 2 UK visits. I visit Ukraine every 2 to 3 months and we have taken additional trips to Dubai.
The lack of current UK visa is restrictive and I also have work demands which makes spending time together as a couple difficult.
We are reviewing visa options; multiple short or extend visitor visas are options, however, she is not strictly visiting as a tourist. This may flag an issue around proving she'd leave the UK. The alternative would be a non married partner visa. Which would be more accurate?
I readily meet the salary requirements, have a UK permanent residence, can demonstrate we have known each other for more than 2 years, have met frequently, that I provide financial support, we communicate daily, I am a UK citizen. Would this allow a successful unmarried partner application? Or should we pursue visitor visas?
We write further to your immigration enquiry. In order to meet the requirements for entry clearance as the partner of a British national, you must first meet the definition of a 'partner' as per the Immigration Rules. In order to meet the definition of an unmarried partner, you will need to establish that you have lived with your partner for at least 2 years preceding the application. Based on your instructions above, it does not appear you meet this requirement.
The two other definitions of a partner is as a spouse or as a fiancee. The difference between these two categories is that a fiancee will be granted entry clearance for 6 months. During this period of time, your partner will need to enter the United Kingdom, the two of you will need to marry and then submit a spouse application within that period of time.
You have also rightfully pointed out that you must demonstrate that there is a genuine and subsisting relationship as well as a financial threshold (£18,600). How the financial threshold can be met by way of specified evidence which will be dictated by the type of income you earn (for example whether it be by non-variable or variable income, as a self-employed person, or as a director of a limited company).
There are also accommodation and English Language requirements that must be met. This approach will act as a 'long-term' solution to your objective of being together but we appreciate will involve a significant and personal decision.
Otherwise, the visitor visa approach will act more as a 'short-term' solution. Appendix V of the Immigration Rules sets out the requirements that must be met in order to be issued a visitor visa and the key issue in our experience is of 'genuine visitor' or intention to return.
The fact that your partner has been granted numerous visitor visas is a strong indication that the Entry Clearance Officer at the Visa Application Centre has been satisfied that your partner does meet the requirements within Appendix V.
You refer to your initial instructions that she is not solely entering to visit the United Kingdom. Appendix V sets out the prohibited activities that visitors cannot participate in. We are happy to take further instructions from you in order to advise you further on what your partner is and is not permitted to participate in whilst in the United Kingdom.
Please do contact us if you wish to discuss this further in order for us to take further instructions and in order for us to advise on what may be the best potential way to assist you and your partner.