Part1: Relationship legitimacy Part 2: English ability recognition Part 3: Financial requirement

Part 1 of 3 important qualifying requirements of the UKVI’s Settlement visa, this page addresses legitimately recognized relationships that is considered the first part of this visa application.

The red tape involved in this part of the visa application is motivated to identify fake relationships established purely for visa benefits.

The Settlement visa information described on these web pages focuses on partner dependents and we deliberately do not discuss child dependents as a means to encourage your interaction with us.

From the UKVI’s perspective, all they are looking for are legally recognized relationships. If your relationship is not legally recognized, we cannot allow you to appoint us as your representatives. If after reading this, you are still unsure if your relationship will be legally recognized, we have taken the liberty to drawn up a relationship status breakdown.


Marriages registered in SA or the UK are legally recognized. Registration means that either government (or majority other formal governments from other countries) need to provide marriage certificates in order to meet this definition.

If applicants have registered their marriage more than 4 years ago, they are presenting a less administrative case (with unique risks involved). If applicants are recently married, they are faced with the challenge of evidencing that their relationship is not a marriage of convenience. Our representation will help address these vague technicalities.


Please note that traditional marriages, common in Africa, are not legally recognized. These relationships need to be registered at Home Affairs or the case will automatically be refused.


Long distant (relationships longer than 6 months living in separate countries) are not legally recognized as married like. Neither is engagement (as its own form of qualifying means). Engagement to be married is a commitment only recognized between the two partners and has no legal bearing in these visa cases.


What is unique about Move Up, besides the fact that we handle all UK visa applications (which very few companies can do so) is that we successfully handle unmarried dependency applications. Here the key of meeting a legally recognized relationship definition is evidencing 2 or more years of living together in a married like relationship.

In this 2 years of cohabitation requirement, emphasis is placed on independent living. This means that if you are dating/engaged, living together with others (friends or family), you will not meet the definition of independency or married like. If you live together with no other persons living with you (permanently), we can gladly offer you our representation (subject to meeting the other two qualifying criteria).


Another fact in these Settlement visas is that the British government cannot discriminate against same sex relationships (that are legally recognized). Applicants in legally recognized (married or unmarried) relationships can consider this an option. The UK Settlement visa therefore offers living and working opportunities to all legitimate relationships to British passport holders or UK permanent residents.

This concludes the basics of relationship legitimacy. Below is part 2 of the visa requirements: English ability recognition.

You are here:

Part 1: Relationship legitimacy.
Part 2: English ability recognition.
Part 3: Financial requirement.

If you would like to find out more about your relationship recognition, please contact us.