Unmarried Partner visa
The Unmarried Partner visa category is for long term partners of British citizens or persons with indefinite leave to remain in the UK, who wish to join, or stay with their partner in the UK. You can also apply if your partner is outside the UK, but intending to return to the UK with you.
In order to qualify for an Unmarried Partner visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
Your partner is British or holds Indefinite Leave to Remain;
You are both over the age of 18;
You have met in person and have lived together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years;
You are in a genuine and subsisting relationship as an unmarried partner of a person present and settled in the UK
Your relationship is genuine and you intend to live together permanently;
Any previous relationships have broken down permanently;
You will be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds;
There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents;
You speak and understand English to the required level.
In order to demonstrate that you can be adequately maintained in the UK without recourse to public funds, you will need to satisfy a financial requirement.
You will need to demonstrate that your partner (or both of you jointly if you are in the UK with valid leave to remain) has a gross annual income of at least:
£18,600; in addition
£3,800 for a first child (who is not British, settled or an EEA national); plus
£2,400 for each additional child (who is not British, settled or an EEA national).
You can meet this requirement through salaried and non-salaried income, self-employed income, salary and/or dividends from a company of which you are a Director, property rental income, dividends and income from investments, stocks, shares, bonds or trust funds, pension income, insurance payments, maintenance payments and cash savings above £16,000 that have been held for at least six months, unless you can demonstrate that they have come from the sale of property or investments within the last 6 months.
In some circumstances it is possible to rely on a combination of the above sources of income to satisfy the financial requirement.
Exemption From Financial Requirement:
The applicant will be exempt from meeting the financial requirement of £18,600 or above if the applicant’s partner is receiving one or more of the following:
disability living allowance;
severe disablement allowance;
industrial injury disablement benefit;
attendance allowance; or
carer’s allowance; and
Where the applicant is exempt from meeting the financial requirement, the applicant must provide specified evidence that his/her partner is able to maintain and himself/herself, the applicant and any dependants adequately in the UK without recourse to public funds.
English Language Requirements:
To qualify for an Unmarried Partner visa, the applicant must demonstrate that they can speak and understand the English language to a minimum level.
You may be able to meet this test simply by virtue of your nationality - for instance, if you come from a predominantly English-speaking country - or if you qualified for a degree that was taught in English. In both of these cases you will have demonstrated a sufficient grasp of the English language to qualify for a Partner Visa.
If not, then you will have to pass an English Language Test carried out by an approved test centre. Please get in touch with us if you would like more information about the English Language Test.
Duration of Visa:
If your application for entry clearance as an Unmarried Partner is successful, your Unmarried Partner visa will be valid for 33 months initially.
If you apply for leave to remain in the UK as an Unmarried Partner then you will be granted leave valid for 30 months.
Before your initial grant of leave as an Unmarried Partner expires, you will need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration to extend your stay.
After spending 5 years in the UK as the Unmarried Partner of a British citizen or settled person, you will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Unmarried partner visa holders have a full right to work and study in the UK.
You can make an application for leave to remain as an unmarried partner under the 10 years route if you do not meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules for unmarried partner visa under the 5 years route. Generally, the applicants who cannot meet the immigration status requirement, English language requirement or financial requirement make application for unmarried partner visa under the 10 years route.
If you are not able to satisfy certain of the requirements for an Unmarried Partner visa, you may still be able to apply to join or remain with your partner on Human Rights grounds if you can demonstrate that there would be very significant difficulties in your relationship continuing outside the UK.
If you wish to obtain advice or legal assistance in respect of your immigration matter, we offer an affordable and confidential consultation at a fixed fee with and experienced immigration lawyer where we can answer your questions and explain the processes that will apply. Your consultation fees will be set off against your instructions to the firm if you go on to instruct us.
For more information or to book an initial consultation, please contact us.