“I satisfy the financial threshold, but as we have not lived together, how do I prove a durable relationship to the Home Office’s satisfaction?”
Maria is a British citizen from Northern Ireland, with a boyfriend who is a citizen of the USA.
They have known each other since 2000 when as teenagers they became friends, staying in touch across the Atlantic through emails and phone calls.
In March 2010, their relationship developed into something more than ‘just friends’. They visited each other twice a year and now wish to make their relationship more permanent by living together in Northern Ireland.
Maria earns £30,000 a year, well in excess of the £18,600 requirement. However, they are not quite ready for the commitment of marriage and so flummoxed by how to prove that theirs is a ‘durable relationship’ when they have not been living together so don’t have joint household bills, tenancy agreements or a mortgage.
This is a couple who simply wants the opportunity to have a proper relationship, explore the potential for a future together before rushing into marriage. A couple that should be admired for being mature.
Yet this is a couple that is afraid they will be caught in the Home Office net of finding reasons to refuse visa applications rather than using common sense.