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New Guidance on Private Life and Relationships with Partner

Written by
Danielle Cohen
Date of Publication:
15 July 2022

At the end of June 2022 two new guidances were issued. The newly emerged guidance on private life which came into force on 20th June 2022 and a new policy guidance on relationships with a partner relating to Appendix relationships with partner.

What is new?

Under the new guidance on private life, a new route allows children and certain young people who arrived in the UK as children to qualify for permission to stay on the basis of the private life and settle in the UK after five years with permission. These are children who lived continuously in the UK for seven years and it would not be reasonable for them to leave. It also benefits young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 who arrived in the UK as children and spent at least half their lives in the UK. The children and young people will have a choice on the duration of the permission to stay and it can be granted for 30 or 60 months. Adults granted permission to stay under the private life rule can settle after 10 years continuous and permission will only be granted for 30 months.

Why the change?

This more generous route to settlement for children and young adults is in order to promote the welfare of children and it recognises that children do not make conscious choices themselves to move to the UK and should not be held responsible for any time spent in the UK without permission. The shorter five years route to settlement will provide the child or young adult with necessary certainty and security by bringing the waiting period in line with a normal period for settlement elsewhere in the Rules.

What periods will not count towards the 20 years rule?

An applicant who has made a protection asylum claim which has been declared inadmissible under part 11 of the Immigration Rules cannot count that period of time of being in the UK under the 20 years. Time spent in prison will not count towards the period of continuous residence and continuous residence will be broken if the applicant has been absent from the UK for more than six months at one time or a total of 550 days or more during the period of continuous residence or has been removed or deported, or having left the UK after an application to stay in the UK was refused.

What is new in Appendix – Relationships with partner?

This new Appendix sets out the requirements for an application based on a relationship with a partner, spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner in a durable relationship of at least two years.

A significant change is that unmarried partners do not necessarily need to have lived together for two years for the relationship to be considered "durable". They only have to demonstrate that they have been in a relationship similar to marriage or civil partnership for at least two years. This will usually mean cohabitation but not necessarily. At the moment this Appendix relationship with partnership rules only applies to Ukrainian visa applications, and those applying for settlement for 10 years on the family route, but we are hopeful that this will be rolled out more widely in the future.