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UK Immigration Family Visas and Family Law Relationship Agreements

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The UK news has been full of reports on the planned 2024 immigration rule changes to the UK Family Visa and the Spouse Visa. Our Immigration Solicitors are taking lots of inquiries from people worried that their family will not be able to reunite and live together in the UK because they will not meet the income requirement for a Family Visa after the immigration rule changes come into force in Spring 2024.

Our Family Law Solicitors are taking calls from people who want to join their loved ones in the UK but they are concerned about rushing and bringing forward plans to permanently live together in the UK sooner than they otherwise would have done so.

In this article, we look at how a range of relationship agreements can work with your plans to reunite your family and live together in the UK.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors

For expert family law and immigration legal advice call the specialists at London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

Your visa and relationship agreement needs

Every family and relationship is different. You may or may not benefit from a relationship agreement to help you decide on the timing of a Family Visa application.

Our family law solicitors can talk to you about the range of relationship agreements and how they work in principle and how they might work for your family circumstances. It is then up to you and your partner to decide if you want a relationship agreement and exactly what should go in it. We can give you lots of ideas about the sort of clauses and agreement that would work for you.

Types of relationship agreement

There are many different types of relationship agreements and the one you may need or want will depend on the status of your relationship and the type of visa application you are planning.

Here is a breakdown:

Type of relationship you are in Family Visa requirement Relationship agreement requirement
Unmarried partner Unmarried Partner Visa Cohabitation agreement
Fiance or fiancée Fiance Visa Prenuptial agreement
Civil partner Civil Partnership Visa Pre-civil partnership agreement
Husband or wife Spouse Visa Postnuptial agreement

What type of relationship agreement do you need?

The type of relationship agreement you may require does not just depend on your relationship status but also on what you want your agreement to do.

For example:

  1. You want to join your unmarried partner in the UK and you have been in a relationship for 4 years. There is a big financial difference in your capital positions as you have inherited some money. You own a property in the States and you are concerned that if you move to the UK on an Unmarried Partner Visa your partner will have a claim against your property in the US or may be entitled to a share of any new property you buy in the UK. You have no plans to get married as whilst you love your partner you want to keep your relationship simple and your finances separate
  2. You are engaged to be married. Your parents are giving you some money to help you buy your first house in the UK. You had planned to get married in late 2024 but you are speeding up your plans because of the proposed change in immigration rules. You are a bit worried about the speed of the Fiance Visa, wedding date and timescale for the Spouse Visa application. Your concerns are not about your partner – it is just that your brother went through a messy and expensive divorce and you want to protect the monies your parents are giving you to buy your first house
  3. You are happily married and currently living with your partner overseas. The 2 of you always planned to move permanently to the UK but your plans have escalated because of the proposed changes to the Family Visa immigration rules. That is because your sponsoring spouse is retiring and they will not make the new income requirement of over £38,000 after they have retired. Even though your combined income needs are modest, you understand that unless your spouse earns over the financial requirement you will not qualify for a Spouse Visa unless you get your application in before the immigration rule changes. You are both concerned about your finances and how moving to the UK will affect your old prenuptial agreement. You signed that agreement in the US where you got married, now live and where you own property. To complicate matters, your spouse already owns a house in the UK. You are not sure if you need to review your prenuptial agreement, sign a postnuptial agreement and if you should do those things in the UK or the US

Next steps

If you are still reeling from the UK Family Visa immigration rule changes and how they could impact you and your family then our Immigration Solicitors and Family Law Solicitors can help you make sense of it all and work out a plan that suits your family needs.

Our lawyers are all friendly and approachable. We understand the pressures you are under and that you need clear guidance on your options and what works best for you.

Many of our immigration and family law clients have assets in several different countries. We are used to preparing relationship agreements that consider jurisdictional issues and the complexities of international love.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors

For expert family law and immigration legal advice call the specialists at London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

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The Bank of Mum and Dad and the Need for Cohabitation Agreements

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