Unmarried Partner Visa Requirements
A guide to unmarried partner visas.
What is an unmarried partner visa?
An unmarried partner visa is for the partner of a British citizen or someone who has Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, who wishes to live with their partner in the UK. There are similar visas for civil partners and spouses.
To qualify for an unmarried partner visa, the applicant will need to have lived with their partner in a relationship that is akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years prior to applying for their visa.
What are the main requirements for an unmarried partner visa?
There are a number of requirements for an unmarried partner visa.
In order to apply for permission to enter or stay in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or settled person, applicants must also be able to demonstrate the following;
- they and their partner are 18 or older;
- they are in a genuine and subsisting relationship;
- they meet the financial requirement; and
- they meet the required level of English language.
What is the unmarried partner visa relationship requirement?
An unmarried partner is a person who has been living together with their partner in a relationship akin to a marriage or a civil partnership for at least two years prior to the date of application. An applicant who wishes to apply as an unmarried partner must also:
- have met their partner in person;
- be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with their partner;
- intend to live together with their partner permanently in the UK; and
- any previous relationships must have broken down.
The Home Office will expect the applicant to provide evidence of cohabitation for at least two years. The two-year period can have been completed at any time in the past before applying for the unmarried partner visa.
What is the unmarried partner financial requirement?
The financial requirement can be met in a number of different ways. Applicants must typically demonstrate that their partner has an annual income of at least £18,600, or that the applicant and their partner have savings of at least £62,500. Where neither requirement is met, it is also possible to combine income with savings in some scenarios.
The applicant’s own income can only be taken into account if the applicant is living and working in the UK lawfully.
The financial requirement increases if any dependant children who are not British or settled are to be included with the application.
How do I apply for an unmarried partner visa?
Our immigration solicitors specialise in successfully obtaining unmarried partner visas for our clients, including in complex cases. We will guide you through the process from beginning to end.
What are the lengths and conditions of an unmarried partner visa?
If an application is successfully submitted from outside the UK, the applicant will be granted permission to enter for a period of 33 months. If an application is made from inside the UK, for example if the applicant is switching from another visa category, the applicant will be granted permission to stay for 30 months.
Those with permission to enter or stay in the UK as an unmarried partner can work and change jobs without notifying the Home Office. They may also study, perform voluntary work, and leave and re-enter the UK.
Can an unmarried partner visa be extended or renewed?
Before the expiry of the first grant of permission, the unmarried partner visa holder can apply to extend their stay in the UK for a further 30 months.
For an unmarried partner visa extension to be successful, the applicant will need to demonstrate that:
- they and their partner remain in a genuine and subsisting relationship;
- they continue to meet the financial requirement; and
- they meet the required level of English language.
Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain as an unmarried partner?
Once the individual has held their unmarried partner visa for at least five years, they will be able to submit an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain, also known as settlement.
The applicant must demonstrate that:
- they have spent a continuous period of five years in the UK and during this time have not breached any UK immigration laws;
- they have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed a Life in the UK test;
- they continue to be in a relationship with their British or settled partner; and
- since being granted leave in this category, they have lived in the UK with their partner.
Does an unmarried partner visa lead to British citizenship?
Yes, if an unmarried partner holds Indefinite Leave to Remain, they may apply to naturalise as a British citizen once they have held Indefinite Leave to Remain for 12 months. There are a number of requirements to be met which you can find here.
UK unmarried partner visa applications: How our immigration experts can help
Our immigration solicitors specialise in preparing and obtaining unmarried partner visas for our clients. Unmarried partner visa applications are subject to intense scrutiny by the Home Office. If a caseworker believes that the relationship is not genuine or the financial requirement has not been met, the application will be refused. It is therefore important that the application is prepared thoroughly at the outset.
The immigration team at Carter Thomas Solicitors are highly experienced in preparing visa applications for unmarried partners and will provide expert guidance and assistance to you throughout the process.
If you require legal assistance or would like to discuss your situation with one of our experts, please contact us or complete our enquiry form below.
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