Unmarried Partner Visa UK – Everything You Need to Know
The Unmarried Partner Visa UK is a visa category that allows individuals who are in a genuine and long-term relationship with a British citizen or a person who is settled in the UK to join their partner and live in the UK.
This visa provides a pathway for couples who are not married or in a civil partnership to reside together in the UK. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the eligibility requirements, supporting documents, financial considerations, application process, processing time, rights and benefits, common challenges, and alternatives to the Unmarried Partner Visa UK.
Apply for Unmarried Partner Visa UK
If you wish to come to the UK to live with your unmarried partner, you must apply for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa. Our experienced immigration lawyers can help you get an unmarried partner visa.
The Unmarried Partner visa commonly known as the ‘Defacto visa’ allows the unmarried partner to enter and remain in the UK on the basis that they are in a genuine relationship with a British citizen or a person settled in the UK.
What is an unmarried partner visa?
The UK unmarried partner visa allows unmarried partners of UK citizens or permanent residents to join them in the UK for an extended period. This visa is designed for couples who have been in a committed relationship for at least two years but are not married or in a civil partnership.
The unmarried partner visa is granted for an initial period of 33 months and can be extended for a further 30 months. After completing five years on this visa, the applicant may be eligible for settlement in the UK.
Eligibility Requirements for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK
To be eligible for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK, there are certain requirements that both the applicant and their partner must meet. Firstly, the relationship must be genuine and subsisting, akin to a marriage or civil partnership. The couple must have been living together in a committed relationship for at least two years prior to the application. Additionally, the applicant must be able to prove that they intend to live together with their partner in the UK after the visa is granted. It is important to note that the applicant must be 18 years or older to be eligible for this visa.
In order to apply for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa you need to meet the following requirements:
- Your partner is British or Irish, settled in the UK, has been granted pre-settled status and is an EU national, holds a Turkish Businessperson or Turkish Worker visa, or has refugee status or humanitarian protection;
- You and your partner have met in person;
- You and your partner 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 and you intend to live permanently in the UK;
- You satisfy a financial requirement of at least £18,600 gross per year or savings of £62,500 if the UK sponsor of the applicant has no earnings from employment, self-employment, or other means of income;
- There is adequate accommodation for you and any dependents;
- English language requirement to show that the applicant has English proficiency at CEFR level A1 as required by the UK Immigration Rules.
The exact requirements you will need to meet in order to qualify for an Unmarried Partner Visa may vary depending on your personal circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Unmarried Partner Visa Under 5-Year Route
You can apply for an unmarried partner visa under a 5-year route if you meet all the requirements under Appendix FM. The requirements for a UK unmarried partner visa are the same as spouse visa, except that you do not need to get married and you must have lived two years together as an unmarried partner.
The UK 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.
Unmarried Partners wishing to apply for this visa must be able to prove that they have been living together in a relationship for the past two years. The 2-year rule for unmarried partner visas is required to meet true relationship requirements. To prove that you meet the relationship requirements, you must provide appropriate proof of cohabitation.
English language requirement
Applicants aged between 18 and 65 must meet the English language proficiency level. This can be achieved in three ways:
- You are from an English speaking country
- You have a degree that was taught in English; or
- You pass at least an A1 English language test
Financial Requirements for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK
One of the key requirements for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK is meeting the financial threshold set by the Home Office. The sponsoring partner must have a minimum income of £18,600 per year. If the couple has dependent children, this amount increases. In addition to the income requirement, the sponsoring partner must also provide evidence of their employment or self-employment, such as payslips or tax returns. Alternatively, they can demonstrate sufficient savings to meet the financial requirement. It is important to carefully review the specific financial requirements and seek professional advice if necessary to ensure compliance with the rules.
When assessing your visa application, the Home Office will check that you meet the financial requirement of a minimum of £18,600 with one applicant only. The Home Office specifies a minimum gross income (i.e. before tax and national insurance is deducted) requirement of:
- £18,600 for applicants with no children
- An extra £3,800 for those with one child, and
- An extra £2,400 for each subsequent child
The financial requirement does not apply to any child who is a British citizen, an EEA national, is settled in the UK, or qualifies for ILR.
To discuss your financial requirement for your unmarried partner visa, you can call our experienced immigration lawyers on 01614644140 or 07827126843. You can book an appointment with our family visa lawyers to discuss your immigration matter.
Supporting documents for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK
When applying for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK, it is crucial to provide the correct and comprehensive supporting documents to prove the eligibility of the relationship. These documents serve as evidence of the genuineness and subsistence of the relationship. Some of the essential documents include proof of cohabitation, such as tenancy agreements or joint utility bills, evidence of joint financial responsibilities, such as joint bank accounts or shared debts, and proof of the nature of the relationship, such as photographs together or letters from friends and family. It is important to ensure that these documents are up to date, correctly translated if not in English, and meet the specific requirements outlined by the Home Office.
Need Help With Unmarried Partner Visa UK
It is important to note that the application process for this visa can be complex and time-consuming. Applicants must provide extensive evidence of their relationship and meet stringent requirements to be considered for a visa. Working with an experienced immigration solicitor can help ensure a successful outcome.
Do we need to meet face-to-face for an unmarried partner visa?
The UK Unmarried Partner Visa relationship requirement has various factors:
- You and your partner must have met in person and the relationship is genuine and subsisting;
- You and your partner must have lived together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for at least 2 years;
- You and your partner must intend to live together permanently in the UK;
- Any previous relationship must have broken down permanently.
Unmarried Partner Visa Duration
The initial validity of the unmarried partner visa will be 33 months (if applied for from outside the UK) or 30 months (if applied for from within the UK). For you to receive a five-year extension, you must apply online before the expiry of your current unmarried partner visa. You will be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after five years on an unmarried partner visa UK if you are still living with your partner and can continue to meet the above requirements.
The application process for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK
The application process for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK involves several steps. Firstly, the applicant needs to complete the online application form, providing accurate and detailed information about themselves and their partner. After submitting the application, the applicant will be required to attend a biometric appointment to provide their fingerprints and photographs.
Following this, the applicant will need to submit their supporting documents, which should be carefully organized and clearly labeled. It is crucial to ensure that all documents are included and meet the specified requirements. Finally, the applicant will need to pay the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge. It is important to keep track of the application progress and respond promptly to any requests for additional information or clarification.
Cost of Applying for a UK Unmarried Relationship Visa
The Home Office fee is £1048 to apply from inside the UK and £1846 from outside the UK. On top of this, you will have to pay for an immigration health surcharge, which is £624 a year.
Rights and benefits of the Unmarried Partner Visa UK
Once granted the Unmarried Partner Visa UK, the applicant enjoys various rights and benefits. They have the right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the visa. They can also access public funds, such as healthcare and education. Additionally, they have the option to apply for settlement, also known as indefinite leave to remain, after living in the UK for a qualifying period. This visa category provides a pathway to long-term settlement in the UK for couples who are not married or in a civil partnership.
Common challenges and tips for a successful application
While applying for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK, there can be common challenges that applicants may face. One of the main challenges is providing sufficient evidence to prove the genuineness and subsistence of the relationship. It is crucial to provide a wide range of documents that demonstrate the nature of the relationship, such as photographs, travel itineraries, or joint commitments. Another challenge is meeting the financial requirements. It is important to carefully review the specific requirements and seek professional advice if necessary to ensure compliance. Additionally, it is advisable to submit a well-organised and comprehensive application with all the necessary supporting documents to avoid delays or rejections.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can we apply for the Unmarried Partner Visa UK if we have been in a long-distance relationship?
Yes, the visa is designed to bring together couples who have been in a genuine relationship, even if they have been living apart.
How long does the unmarried partner visa last?
The visa is granted for 33 months initially and can be extended for a further 30 months.
What are the financial requirements for the visa based on relationship requirement?
The sponsor must earn a minimum salary of £18,600 per year or have sufficient savings to support the applicant.
Can the unmarried partner visa lead to permanent residency?
Yes, after five years of continuous residence in the UK on the unmarried partner visa, the visa holder can apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Do we need to be engaged or married to apply for this visa?
No, the Unmarried Partner Visa UK is open to couples who are in a committed relationship and have been living together for at least two years.
Can I work in the UK with the Unmarried Partner Visa?
Yes, the Unmarried Partner Visa UK typically grants permission to work in the UK, allowing you to support yourself during your stay.
Can I switch to the Unmarried Partner Visa from another visa category?
In many cases, you can switch to the Unmarried Partner Visa UK from certain other visa categories without leaving the UK.