Overview of the Genuine Relationship Requirement
One of the most important parts of the UK Spouse visa application is convincing the Home Office that you have a genuine and subsisting relationship with your spouse.
This means that your relationship is legitimate, honest and lasting, and that you haven’t entered into the visa application process solely for dishonest or deceitful reasons, such as evading the UK immigration rules.
To prove this, you will be expected to provide a range of documents, proof and evidence regarding your relationship with your spouse.
There are no official guidelines on what you must provide in order to meet this requirement for your visa. It’s important to keep in mind that every relationship is different, and every applicant will have their own specific types of proof and documents that will be relevant to them.
However, there are a few key areas you may wish to consider including with your visa application that may help get it approved.
Example Proof of Relationship Documents
You may use the following to help prove that your relationship is genuine:
- A marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate, or proof that you’ve been cohabiting at the same address for at least two years if applying for an Unmarried Partner visa
- Evidence that you are living together, such as mortgage agreements, tenancy agreements, utility bills or other official documents or forms of ID with addresses, such as driving licences
- Evidence that you share financial responsibilities, such as a joint bank account, joint savings account, life insurance policies with listed beneficiaries, a joint mortgage or tenancy agreement, or bills in both names
- Evidence that you have children together, such as birth certificates, adoption certificates, and any proof that you and your spouse share responsibilities for them
- Evidence that any previous relationships have broken down permanently, such as divorce certificates from any previous marriages
- Evidence that you and your spouse intend to settle in the UK long-term
- Evidence of communication, travel and experiences shared together, such as through texts, letters, emails, social media messages, photographs, receipts, travel tickets and accommodation or holiday bookings
- A supporting letter
Further Regarding the Genuine Relationship Requirement
Remember that it may help to be selective about what to put forward when satisfying the genuine relationship requirement for the Spouse visa.
For example, the Home Office will be looking to see evidence that you and your spouse have involved, committed and supportive roles in each other’s lives.
It may not simply be enough to show that the two of you are married and live together; you should also aim to demonstrate that your relationship is one that is built on mutual affection, shared values and genuine emotional investment.
Part of this may involve focusing on proof of large, significant life events spent together such as weddings, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and religious and cultural events, particularly if these also involve you and your spouse’s families.
Documentary or photographic proof that charts the development or chronology of your relationship, such as dates, holidays or anniversaries may also be helpful. The Home Office will also want to see proof that your relationship has longevity, and that you have made plans (or at least started thinking about) your shared future together in the UK.
Furthermore, you should aim to provide proof that you and your spouse share a strong sense of companionship, and rapport in the relationship. For example, proof that you and your spouse have provided close emotional support to each other through periods of difficulty may help to illustrate the integrity and subsisting nature of your relationship together.
Letter to Support Genuine Relationship Requirement
It’s recommended that alongside your other documents and proof regarding your relationship, you also submit a supporting letter for your Spouse visa, written by your spouse.
A supporting letter should outline basic information about you and your spouse, including your history together, details about your relationship, and your plans for the future.
Ultimately, it should help to clarify and confirm details that might not be able to be covered by your other pieces of documentation or evidence.
As a general guide, your supporting letter may include the following:
- When, where and how you met your spouse
- How your relationship developed
- Context and details about your life together, and why you wish to live together in the UK
- What your future plans are with your spouse, including details about your future accommodation plans
You may also add in additional information that is relevant to your own personal situation or circumstances as you see fit.
Note that supporting letters for Spouse visas should generally:
- Not be longer than two sides of A4
- Be kept brief, succinct and to the point
- Be persuasive and honest about your relationship together
- Reinforce your intention to live permanently in the UK with your spouse
Sample Supporting Letter for Spouse Visa
Below is a sample template for a Spouse visa supporting letter. Note that this is only a rough template, and sections should be added, taken away, or edited as needed according to the specificities of your own relationship.
<Sponsor’s phone number>
<Sponsor’s email address>
Application for Spouse visa for <visa applicant’s (VA’s) name>
To whom it may concern,
I am writing on behalf of my husband, <VA’s name> and his application for a Spouse visa.
<VA’s name> and I have known each other for just over three years, having first met each other in <VA’s> home country of <country>. I was on holiday there at the time, and we quickly developed a rapport when we discovered we both had a love of fine art, mid-20th century cinema and architecture.
We then started meeting every month, both in the UK and in <country>, taking turns to visit each other. We also started to introduce each other to our friends and families, who were enthusiastic about our relationship. We also went on regular virtual “dates” that were held over Skype, given our distance from each other.
Our relationship quickly developed into a loving, committed partnership and we kept in contact on a daily basis over Skype and Whatsapp. After a year of being together, it was clear that we only had eyes for each other and we decided to take the leap and get married. This took place in <venue> on <date> in the presence of our family and friends. I attach a few copies of photographs and documents from the event for your perusal.
<VA’s name> and I have now decided to permanently settle in the UK, as I wish to stay close to my elderly parents and focus on my career as a <occupation>. <VA’s name> is enthusiastic about moving to the UK, as he already speaks English fluently and has expressed fondness for the UK’s culture and historical architecture, particularly in <city>, where I live. He has also identified viable and lucrative employment opportunities in <city>, so he can continue his work as a <occupation>.
I am currently renting a one-bedroom flat in <city> where I live alone, so I have plenty of room to accommodate <VA’s name>. I attach a copy of the tenancy agreement for your perusal.
I work full-time as a <occupation> at <employer’s name> and earn well over the minimum income threshold to support <VA’s name>’s Spouse visa application. Please see the relevant documents attached.
It is our eventual goal to save up for a deposit on a small house in <city>, which we can renovate and furnish together to make it suitable for a family. Our long-term goal is for <VA’s name> to settle permanently and apply for indefinite leave to remain so that we can put down roots here for good. We are hopeful that a Spouse visa will allow us to fulfil our commitment to spending the rest of our lives together in the UK.
Thank you very much for your consideration, and please feel free to reach out to me or my husband if you have any further questions or concerns.
How Can IAS Help?
Attempting to prove to the Home Office that your relationship is genuine and subsisting can be a daunting task. For many, it may be a strange and difficult thing to collect relationship evidence for you and your spouse, further adding to the stress and anxiety of applying for a visa.
If you need additional assistance or help in satisfying the genuine relationship requirement for a Spouse visa, IAS can help.
We are expert, professional and friendly immigration advisers who have been working in the field of UK immigration for decades. We are well-versed in the rigorous demands and restrictions for the UK Spouse visa and can provide close, one-to-one assistance if you need guidance with your application.
Whether you’re confused about what documents or evidence to include in your application, how much to put in, or how to write a supporting letter, we can help.
We can also help if you require assistance with your Fiance, Unmarried Partner visa or Civil Partner visa application.
Last modified on September 26th, 2023 at 8:37 am
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