Unmarried Partner Visa
For an initial consultation about unmarried partner visa call our immigration Solicitors at Connaught Law on 0203 909 8399 or contact us online.
The Unmarried Partner visa category allows the unmarried partner to enter or remain in the UK on the basis that they are in a relationship with a person who is present and ‘settled in the UK’. ‘Settled in the UK’ means that you are ordinarily resident in the UK with no immigration restrictions on the length of your stay. You can also apply if your partner is outside the UK, but intending to return to the UK with you.
The Unmarried Partner visa applies to both heterosexual and same-sex relationships provided that you can prove that your relationship is subsisting and has been in existence for two or more years.
If your application for an unmarried partner visa is successful you will be eligible to work in the UK as soon as the visa is granted.
To qualify for the Unmarried Partner visa you must satisfy the following criteria:
- You and your sponsoring partner must both be 18 years of age or over.
- You and your partner must intend to live together on a permanent basis.
- You must show that any previous relationship that you or your partner were involved in (whether it be as a married or an unmarried couple) has ended.
- You need to show that you have been living with your partner for at least two years in a relationship similar to marriage. You will need to provide documentary evidence confirming this.
- You and your partner must have sufficient funds to support yourselves (and any dependants) without claiming public funds.
- Your unmarried GBR or settled partner must be earning at least £18,600 per annum or savings to be able to sponsor you. If also sponsoring children as dependents then the financial requirement will increase.
- You must have suitable accommodation available for you, your partner and any dependants.
- You must also satisfy the English language requirements
Duration of stay
The unmarried partner visa will be initially issued for a period of 33 months (if applying from overseas) or 30 months if applying from within the UK. A further extension must be sought for an additional 30 months to take you to five years. Once you have spent a period of five years on a spouse probationary visa, you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK provided that you are still living with your partner in the UK and can continue to meet the maintenance requirement as mentioned above.
If you are seeking to enter the UK on the basis of your relationship with a ‘settled person’ you must apply for entry clearance before you enter the UK.
It is possible to switch to an Unmarried Partner visa while you are in the UK provided that you have to leave to remain here on a visa that was granted for a period exceeding 6 months. Please note that you cannot switch into the Unmarried Partner visa category if you are already in the UK and were initially admitted to the UK for a period of fewer than six months – for example, as a visitor or a short-term student.
English language requirements for partners
All partners, spouses, civil partners, fiancés and prospective civil partners are required proof that they can speak and understand English. Therefore you will need to provide evidence with your visa application to show that you have passed an English language test with an approved test provider.
If you and your spouse have children who are under 18 years of age they are allowed to enter the UK as your dependents. You should make an application for your dependents at the same time that you make your UK spouse visa application. However, you must demonstrate an income of a particular amount in order to enable sponsorship. This amount varies depending on the number of children being sponsored.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What if i am refused an unmarried partner visa?
If your application for entry clearance, leave to remain or settlement as an Unmarried Partner has been refused, our immigration solicitors can advise you on the merits of making a fresh application and/or challenging the decision by way of an appeal to the Immigration Tribunal.
As well as preparing high quality visa applications, our immigration solicitors provide professional legal advice and representation in relation to every aspect of pursuing a UK immigration appeal.
Our immigration appeal solicitors advise on the merits of appealing against Home Office immigration decisions, draft grounds of appeal and applications for permission to appeal, prepare appeal bundles and provide representation at immigration appeal hearings before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and higher courts.
What are the settlement requirements for unmarried partner visa?
After spending 5 years (60 months) in the UK as the Unmarried Partner of a British citizen or settled person, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
In order to qualify for indefinite leave to remain as an Unmarried Partner you will need to demonstrate, in addition to the above requirements, that:
- Since you have been in this category you have lived together with your partner in the UK or there is good reason, consistent with a continuing intention to live together permanently in the UK, for any period when you have not done so;
- You meet the higher English Language requirement that applies to settlement applications;
- You have passed the Life in the UK test.
If you make an application for indefinite leave to remain as an Unmarried Partner but do not satisfy the above requirements, UK Visas and Immigration will go on to consider if you meet the requirements for a further extension of stay as an Unmarried Partner.
How do i extend my visa?
Before your initial grant of leave expires, you will need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration to extend your stay as an Unmarried Partner.
The requirements for further leave to remain in the UK as an Unmarried Partner are broadly the same as those that apply to initial applications in the unmarried partner. However, you will need to make sure that your application satisfies the relationship, financial, accommodation, english language and immigration status requirements again.
Can i fast track unmarried partner visa application?
If you already have leave to remain in the UK as an Unmarried Partner and are applying to extend your stay or to settle in the UK, you may be able to submit your application in person and receive a decision on the same day, using UK Visas and Immigration’s Same-Day Premium Service.
We can arrange for one of our legal associates, who is familiar with your case, to accompany you to the premium service centre, assist you with registering, provide assistance with enrolling your biometrics and liaise with the immigration officer, caseworker and, if required, your barrister on your behalf.
Do i need a property inspection report for unmarried partner visa?
In order to satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Rules for an Unmarried Partner visa, you will need to demonstrate that there is adequate accommodation for yourself, your partner and any dependants. Our immigration solicitors can arrange for a qualified surveyor with specialist knowledge and skills to attend your property to assess and produce a comprehensive report that can be submitted in support of your application.
Can I switch to a spouse visa?
If you have already joined your spouse or partner in the UK you may apply to switch to a spouse visa or an unmarried partner visa from a different immigration category. You will not be allowed to switch categories if you are here as a visitor on temporary admission if permission to stay was given for a period of fewer than 6 months (unless that leave was specifically as a fiancée or proposed civil partner on the relevant visa), or if you are in breach of the Immigration Rules (a period of overstaying of less than 28 days will not be taken into account).