Unmarried Partner Visa
An Unmarried Partner visa allows a British citizen or a person settled in the UK to bring their unmarried partner to join them in the UK so that they can establish their relationship as a couple. The unmarried couple must have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least 2 years and be able to provide documentary evidence of this. At Osbourne Pinner, we provide extensive guidance and assistance to our clients to help them apply for an Unmarried Partner visa successfully.
If yourself and your partner are in an unmarried partnership and have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years, your unmarried partner may be able to apply for a visa to the UK as the unmarried partner of a British Citizen or of a person present and settled in the UK.
In order to successfully qualify for an unmarried partner visa, you must meet the following criteria:
Eligibility criteria as set out in the Immigration Rules:
- Both partners must be aged 18 years or over
- Both partners must have met in person
- Both partners must have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years and be able to provide documentary evidence of this
- The relationship must be genuine and subsisting
- The couple must intend to live together permanently in the UK
- Any previous relationship of either partner must have broken down permanently
- The sponsoring individual or the applicant (if he/she is in the UK with permission to work) must have a gross annual income of at least £18,600 or have adequate cash savings to support his or her spouse. If there are children, the gross annual income or savings requirement is increased.
- The couple must have adequate accommodation for themselves and their dependants in the UK
- The applicant must satisfy a basic English language requirement in speaking and listening to at least level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
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Suitability criteria as set out in the Immigration Rules:
- The applicant must not be the subject of a deportation order
- The applicant’s exclusion from the UK must not be conducive to the public good (for example, because he/she has been convicted of an offence for which he/she has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment or because their conduct, character or associations make it undesirable to grant them leave)
- The applicant must not have submitted false information, representations or documents in relation to the application or have failed to disclose material facts in relation to the application
- Within the period of 12 months prior to the date on which the application is submitted, the applicant must not have been convicted of or admitted an offence for which he/she has received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record
- The applicant must not have failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office or have failed to pay charges in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations
Exemption from the £18,600 financial requirement:
If your British Citizen or settled partner is in receipt of one of the following benefits and is able to provide evidence that both of you can be maintained and accommodated in the UK without recourse to public funds, then you do not need satisfy the £18,600 financial requirement:
- Attendance allowance
- Carer’s allowance
- Disability living allowance
- Personal independence payment
- Armed forces independence payment or guaranteed income payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
- Constant attendance allowance, mobility supplement or a war disablement pension under the War Pensions Scheme
- Severe disablement allowance
- Industrial injury disablement benefit
- Police injury pension
- How long does an Unmarried Partner visa last?
Once your visa is granted, you will be able to work in the UK without restriction. The visa will be granted for an initial period not exceeding 33 months after which you will be eligible to apply for an extension for 30 months. After the five-year period, you will be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK.
How long is the visa process – outside of the UK?
If you apply from outside of the UK, the application can take several months to process. However, if you pay for the Priority visa for settlement service which is £573, your application will be placed at the front of the queue for priority processing and most people get a decision within 15-30 working days.
How long is the visa process – inside of the UK?
If you apply from within the UK, the application can take several months to process. However, if you pay for the Super Priority visa for settlement service which is £800, you can get a next working day decision for your application.
Proving that you are eligible for an Unmarried Partner visa requires obtaining and submitting a lot of supporting documents, particularly in relation to the financial and cohabitation requirements.
At Osbourne Pinner, our experienced Immigration Solicitors help you gather all of the necessary documents to expedite the process and to help you obtain your Unmarried Partner visa as soon as possible.