Civil partnership visa = civil union?
June 23, 2012 7:00 AM   Subscribe

In UK/EU law does applying for a civil partner visa create a civil partnership?

I have to prove 2 years of us being together which sounds somewhat like a civil partnership. A civil partner can take half of everything and I've loads of mates who've been cleaned out by domestic and foreign partners alike.

Can I get my partner a partner visa or is this something a little more?
posted by jago25_98 to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am not a lawyer or immigration expert but I believe that in the UK living with a partner for 2 years or more does give them grounds to a settlement of some income earned during the time of the relationship.

However this is entirely independent of any visa applications.

If you did apply for a visa based on a Civil Partnership, I think you'd have trouble then proving / showing that it then wasn't to avoid a settlement during when you split up. ie you would have been lying initially - which is also going to get you in trouble. Lying to Immigration officials seems quite a bad idea.
posted by mary8nne at 7:12 AM on June 23, 2012

In UK law, a civil partnership is effectively marriage for same sex couples. You must go through a civil partnership ceremony to be in one - it is not something that can happen as a result of the passage of time, or the state of a relationship. More information here. I don't think EU law comes into this - this is the sort of thing usually regulated by individual member states.
posted by prentiz at 7:32 AM on June 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Applying for a civil partnership visa definitely doesn't create a civil partnership, in the UK. It's for people who are in (or, I think) about to enter into a civil partnership with a British person and are coming to the UK.

If you're looking to protect yourself from a partner stealing your things, I'm not sure that a civil partnership would help anyway. Plenty of married and civil partnered people have lost out this way too.

The best way would probably be to come to a pre-nuptial agreement. These are not automatically enforceable, but a judge will take them into account when deciding how jointly owned property should be split following the end o a relationship.

Please don't assume that you are protected or automatically get any rights after being together for a period of time. This is a myth.
posted by tonylord at 8:39 AM on June 23, 2012

OP, I'm pretty sure I can't answer your question but I'm also not sure I'm (or others) are understanding it. Is this right:

You are a UK citizen, and you have a romantic partner who is not. You do not have any official relationship with him (possibly because he lives or you both now live in a jurisdiction without any recognition options at all for same sex couples).

You are thinking about applying for a civil partner visa for him so the two of you can live together in the UK. But you are concerned that if he is granted a domestic partner visa, he will be considered your domestic partner for all purposes, not just immigration, including division of resources and alimony in case you break up. Implicit is that you are the partner with more money, better job, more assets, etc.

If that's the question, then I think you might have two questions. I'm not familiar with UK law but I believe that many jurisdictions require the sponsor of a relationship-related visa (whether it's for a spouse, child, or parent) to make a financial guarantee for that person, sometimes for a period of years. If your daughter that you sponsored gets to the country, and turns around and becomes a penniless hare krishna, you might be able to disown her emotionally but the government could force you to support her financially. Likewise, if your partner comes and you break up before he is set up in a job, it's possible you may be responsible for supporting him regardless of the breakup.

It might help you to frame your question a bit more precisely. If no one here happens to have direct experience/knowledge of it, it seems like a question that should be posed to a solicitor with knowledge and experience in immigration law.
posted by Salamandrous at 8:50 AM on June 23, 2012

There is an "unmarried partners" visa for which you have to show evidence of cohabitation for at least two years.

However. This also means (in my experience obtaining a UK spousal visa recently, after having tried and failed the unmarried partner route) you have to provide proof of a permanent relationship, which includes things like joint bank accounts or mortgages signed together. So whether or not someone is in a legal relationship with you entitling them to 50% of your stuff, you are supposed to be able to show other financial relationships that ... may also entitle them to 50% of your stuff. No, this does not automatically create a legal entanglement between the two of you, you're going to have to show some legal entanglement to be considered a permanent enough relationship to pass muster.
posted by olinerd at 9:12 AM on June 23, 2012

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