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Unmarried Partner Visa UK

Even if you are not married, there is a route for unmarried partners to be able to live together in a de facto married relationship. This is known as the Unmarried Partner Visa.

If you need help with your UK unmmaried partner visa application, our team of Newcastle immigration lawyers are ready to help you and your loved one. Call us on 0191 303 8965 or use the contact form to speak to one of our advisers.

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Who should apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa?

The Unmarried Partner Visa UK is also known as the same sex partners visa or the de facto visa. This is an immigration category that allows an unmarried person to join their partner in the UK in order to live together in a relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership.

The UK-based partner must be a British citizen or have a valid form of settled status for the application to be granted.

The immigration rules stipulate that the couple must have been living together in a relationship “akin to marriage or civil partnership” which has lasted for at least two years or longer.

As well as these requirements, there is a complex application process where you should be prepared to provide proof of how you are eligible for the visa.

If you require support with your unmarried partner visa application to join your loved one in the UK, contact us on 0191 303 8965 or use the form to get in touch with us.

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What are the general requirements for the Unmarried Partner Visa?

There is a significant requirement for UK unmarried partner visa applicants to demonstrate that they are in a marriage-like relationship with their partner that has lasted for at least two years.

This can be evidenced in a number of ways, including by submitting a supporting letter outlining the nature and development of your relationship, with reference to evidence. This could include joint payments or bills, photographs, hotel or plane tickets, etc.

As well as submitting your personal information and evidence, you must also provide proof that your partner has the right to British citizenship or nationality to immigrate to the UK through the unmarried partner visa route.

Some of the specific requirements of the UK unmarried partner visa application include:

  • Evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship
  • Evidence of English language abilities
  • Evidence of intention to live together permanently in the UK
  • Evidence of ability to meet the minimum financial requirements
  • Evidence of plans to live in appropriate and adequate accommodation

While it is possible to submit an Unmarried Partner Visa application without the support of a specialist immigration lawyer, the process is not always straightforward or easy to understand.

Some of the legal guidelines can be difficult to understand and the benefit of engaging an immigration solicitor is that they are vastly experienced in this area and understand the exact requirements of the application.

Financial requirements for the Unmarried Partner UK Visa

Some of the Unmarried Partner Visa requirements are similar to those of the Spouse Visa requirements, including the financial requirements.

To be granted the UK Unmarried Partner Visa, you must meet the following financial requirements:

  • You can show that you have at least a gross annual income of £18,600 (this can be an annual salary, or another form of income, or savings)
  • If you have savings or you are in receipt of certain benefits, the evidence you provide will be different than if you have an annual salary
  • If you have child dependents, you must show an additional £3,800 for the first child and a further £2,800 for any children after this.
  • If you intend to show cash savings, you should prove that you have savings of over £62,500. This will then be accepted as meeting the financial requirement
  • If you have savings of over £16,000 but less than £62,500, your financial requirement may be lowered
  • If you are in receipt of a ‘permitted benefit,’ you will have to meet the ‘adequate maintenance test’

The financial sources you may use to evidence your application can come from a number of sources, including income from employment or self-employment, cash savings, pension payments, income from a rental property, or another acceptable source.

Genuine relationship requirements

In order to be granted the UK defacto visa, you will need to provide proof that you and your partner have been in a relationship for at least two years prior to the application date.

This relationship must be similar to a marriage or a civil partnership in order to be accepted by the immigration authorities.

There must be evidence of exactly 24 months of cohabitation and a consistent relationship throughout this time period for the application to be approved.

It is unlikely that any time spent living with your partner while in the UK on a Visitor Visa will count towards the two years of cohabitation for the UK unmarried partner visa requirement.

Further, the amount of evidence that is required is substantial in order to prove the genuineness of the relationship with your partner.

Depending on your circumstances, you may need to submit information such as photographs, evidence of communication between the partners, evidence of joint finances, vouching letters from family, friends, or community members who can attest to your relationship.

It is likely that you will need to show evidence of having visited your partner’s home country and vice versa, as a requirement of the Fiancé Visa is that you and your partner must have met in person (i.e., not an online-only relationship).

What documents do you need for the Unmarried Partner Visa?

Depending on the type of requirement you wish to prove, there is a significant amount of documentation and evidence that must be submitted with your UK unmarried partner visa application.

Some of the documents required as part of the identity check process include the following documents that should be submitted by you and your partner/ sponsor:

  • Valid passport or travel document
  • Dates of your parents’ birth and nationality
  • National Insurance number (where relevant)
  • Accommodation arrangements in the UK

Some of the information that can be submitted as part of the financial requirements criteria include bank statements, savings accounts, employer payslips, rental property income evidence, and title deeds for any owned properties.

The documents required to prove that the relationship is genuine and is similar to that of a marriage or civil partnership include:

  • Evidence of shared financial commitments, including bank accounts in both partners’ names, leases, mortgages, insurance policies, etc
  • Birth certificate of any children born as a result of the relationship
  • Official letters addressed to both partners from utility companies, government departments, etc.
  • Other proof that the couple is committed to each other on a long-term basis
  • Messages between the couple over a sustained period of time (e.g., outlining or discussing plans for the future relationship)
  • Call logs to show that the couple has a history of communication

Additional documents (where relevant to your circumstances) include evidence of English language ability, evidence of a healthy tuberculosis certificate, or a letter of support from your partner/ sponsor or any other required letters

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What are the fees and waiting times for the Unmarried Partner Visa?

To apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you will be required to pay a Home Office application fee of £1,523 if your application is made outside the UK. If you make the application inside the UK, it will cost you £1,033.

However, there are additional costs that you should be aware of when submitting your visa application to join your partner in the UK.

These include English language tests (where applicable), the costs associated with gathering your evidence, translation fees, biometric evidence processing fees, and the immigration health surcharge.

It is a complex and costly visa application to make, and it is worth preparing it to the highest possible standards. This will give your application the best chance of success on the first submission and will avoid the need to appeal or resubmit.

The average waiting time for a decision on your Unmarried Partner Visa is approximately 12 weeks. This timeline is for unmarried partner visa applications submitted outside the UK.

For people who submit inside the UK, it will take approximately eight weeks to receive either a positive or negative decision.

What happens if your application is accepted?

In many ways, the UK Unmarried Partner Visa is similar to the Spouse Visa. If granted, the applicant will be granted limited leave to remain in the UK for up to 33 months or 30 months (depending on whether the application was submitted outside or inside the UK).

If your UK unmarried partner visa application is accepted, you will be notified by official email or letter of the decision. This means that you will then be allowed to work or study in the UK and will be provided with a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Similar to the Spouse Visa, if you are eligible, unmarried partner visa holders may be able to extend the visa when it expires for a further 30 months.

After this time, you may wish to switch your visa category towards a more permanent immigration category. If you fulfil the eligibility requirements, you may be granted indefinite leave to remain.

For eligible applicants, they will hold Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) for one year and then move to apply for British citizenship.

What happens if your application is rejected?

For unmarried partner visa applications that are refused or rejected, it can be very frustrating to either lodge an appeal or resubmit the documentation.

Some of the following circumstances may result in your UK unmarried partner visa application being refused:

  • The applicant has received a formal notice that they do not have the right to enter the UK or been issued a deportation order
  • The behaviour of the applicant has given the caseworker cause for concern in granting them a visa
  • The applicant has not complied with the requests of the Home Office in the past in terms of attending interviews, providing information, etc.
  • The applicant has been sentenced to lengthy imprisonment due to a criminal conviction
  • The applicant has submitted incorrect, inaccurate, or misleading information

However, each case will be considered on its individual merits. You will be issued with an official Home Office letter or email outlining the reasons why your application has failed.

You may have the right to lodge an appeal against the decision, or request an administrative review if you believe there is a reason why the unmarried partner visa UK application should have been accepted.

In order to assist you with your case, it’s recommended to engage a specialist immigration lawyer to help give you the best chance of success.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Unmarried Partner visa UK category refers to a relationship that is similar to a married relationship or civil partnership. This means that a couple must have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for two years prior to the application.

This visa category is for a partner who wishes to live permanently with their partner in the UK but they are not married.

Yes, you can work or study in the UK if you have been granted this visa. You also have other rights when it comes to the conditions of your stay as an unmarried partner, including the right to self-employment.

Typically, you will receive a decision on your visa application within 12 weeks if you apply from outside the UK. If applying inside the UK, you will have to wait approximately eight weeks. If you choose the priority service, you may be able to receive a quicker decision on your application.

If successful, you will get an unmarried partner visa valid for 30 or 33 months.

Unlike the Fiancé Visa, it is not a prerequisite to get married to your partner in order to be granted an Unmarried Partner Visa. However, if you do decide to marry your partner while in the UK on this visa, you can then change your unmarried partner category to the UK Spouse Visa.

We can help you – contact our UK law firm specialised in immigration for professional legal advice on immigration. Call us today at 0191 303 8965

Previously, the UK unmarried partner visa was based on Tier 1 and 2. However, in 2020, the UK government dropped the tier system and now, it’s under the family UK visas.

When applying, you must prove that you have been in a relationship and living together for at least 2 years as at when you apply.