Advice or Experiences with UK Immigration?
February 10, 2011 12:36 PM   Subscribe

I am a Canadian that has been living in America for 8 years as a permanent resident. I currently live with my English boyfriend, who is here on an L1 visa (which is being transferred over to an H1B). We are in the process of getting my paperwork together so that he can sponsor me as a common-law unmarried partner to move to England. As I've done this before (Canada to America) I do know that one of the best ways to get some insight into the underbelly of immigration is to ask people who have been through it.

My concern rests mostly with the fact that while we have lived together for two years now, we don't have financial proof (leases, joint bills, etc). We kept our finances very separate in the beginning and have been slowly merging them as it became apparent the relationship was stable and long-lasting. I am worried that the financial proof we have will not be sufficient (our joint lease began a year and four months ago).

We have plenty of personal proof (such as joint vacations, emails, photos, cards) however that doesn't really prove we were living together.

Please share your story with me, as well as any advice on what I should be making sure to include or things that will make this process go smoothly.
posted by knitfreak to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
For starters, you should be aware that most US jurisdictions have abandoned the doctrine/practice of common law marriage. You can live together for fifty years, but unless you get that license, you're not married in the eyes of the law. You may have to make reference to Canadian law/practice to get this done.

It's probably worth getting a lawyer here, though I don't know whether to recommend an American, Canadian, or UK one.
posted by valkyryn at 12:51 PM on February 10, 2011

Best answer: I got my uk residency based on domestic partnership-- we didn't have both our names on bills or leases, but we had different bills/bank statements with one or the other of our names at the same address, and that seemed to do (it helped that we rented studio flats!). I have heard they are being stricter now but not sure what that means. We had an immigration lawyer look over our application for us which was super-helpful and not that expensive, I'd highly recommend looking up a UK immigration lawyer to make sure you have everything right.
posted by Erasmouse at 1:13 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Valkyryn - The OP is referring to the UK immigration policy that allows couples (straight or gay) who can prove they have been living together for 2+ years to immigrate on essentially the same terms as a legally married couple. US common law marriage policies don't come into play.
posted by crabintheocean at 2:05 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks Erasmouse, you are making me feel a bit better about this! I am assuming they will be reasonable, even if it is more strict. We are obviously contributing members of society with a real relationship so hopefully those are the important things they will want to see.
posted by knitfreak at 8:51 AM on February 11, 2011

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