Can a Single Mum Sponsor a Partner to the UK? – Navigating the Challenges

This frosty January morning I am warming my hands over a mug of coffee, chatting with my friend Sarah about the kids, the school holidays, and plans for the summer. Sarah’s cheerful disposition always amazed me, so I was surprised to see her eyes swelling with tears. 

“What is it?” – I asked. I don’t feel comfortable when people cry. Makes me nervous that something is about to come. 

“It’s joy… it’s joy…” sobs Sarah trying to bring her customary cheer into the swell of emotions. “He is coming home… At last! He will be in London tomorrow!”

Meeting the Basic Requirements

Sarah’s partner, Greg, is American. They had been together for about four years visiting each other and having holidays and weekend breaks whenever they could. Then Sarah got pregnant both were over the moon and decided to move in together and set up a home in London

There were two basic requirements for a UK partner visa: a durable relationship and sufficient income. Neither seemed particularly difficult. But when Sarah had to quit her job finding it too hard to commute during pregnancy, the financial requirement could not be met. 

Understanding the Financial Requirements

They needed savings of £62,500 which was way beyond what they had. Selling the car would not make a difference but would be a massive inconvenience.

Greg had a good income in the US, but that didn’t help to meet the financial requirement – income had to come from the British partner. 

Providing Proof of Your Relationship

Next, the Home Office rejected their relationship. To prove a durable relationship you have to show evidence of living together for at least 24 months. 

In the meantime, Sarah’s twins arrived and the possibility of taking a job was becoming more and more remote, especially as one of the twins contracted a stomach bug and had to be hospitalised, and the other was under investigation for a chest infection. 

Sarah always on the lookout for the sunny side of things was beginning to lose it.

Greg kept visiting and going back to the States until an immigration officer at Heathrow told him to make a decision – “I am not really sure you are visiting the country,”- he said. – “Your partner and two children are here and you seem to spend more time in the UK than in the US. Seek legal advice, or you may not be allowed for a visit next time.”

At that point, Sarah realised the meaning of despair. “What are we supposed to do? How can I get a job when I am a single mum with 6-month-old twins on my hands? If Greg is here, he will work and provide for us, but for him to get over and get the right to work, I have to work first. What can I do?”

Seeking Legal Advice

There is nothing better than good legal advice from immigration lawyers who know their job.

Sarah read glamorous reviews of Kadmos Consultants and booked an express consultation via Zoom. The consultation cost her £124 and it changed her life.

Contrary to everything she had read online, Greg could come to the UK as a parent and he didn’t have to hide that he was in a relationship. She did not have to get a job – it was sufficient to show that Greg could be accommodated with her and the children and that he is able and willing to work and has sufficient money to live on until he finds employment.

The visa cost a fortune – over £6000 which had to be borrowed on a credit card.

But when Greg is in the UK the debt will be paid off in a couple of months.

“Don’t forget”, the lawyer told her, “the next time you apply for an extension of your visa, you will be applying as a partner, not a parent. That means you will have to demonstrate a durable relationship and sufficient income. This time it won’t have to be Sarah’s income. You can rely on your own earnings from employment or self-employment”.

“If only we found a lawyer earlier… How much tears I would have saved” – sighed Sarah and smiled over her cup of coffee.

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.