The Unmarried Partner visa category is for long-term partners of British citizens, persons with indefinite leave to remain in the UK or limited leave to remain under Appendix EU or Appendix ECAA, who wish to join, or stay with their partner in the UK. You can also apply if your partner is outside the UK, but intends to return to the UK with you.
Requirements for a UK Unmarried Partner visa application
In order to qualify for a UK Unmarried Partner visa you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that you meet the following requirements:
- Your partner is British, holds indefinite leave to remain, limited leave to remain under Appendix EU or limited leave to remain under Appendix ECAA;
- 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;
- 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.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
To discuss your Unmarried Partner visa for UK application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our Unmarried Partner visa UK lawyers on 07810 447971 or complete our enquiry form below.
Financial requirement for a UK Unmarried Partner visa
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.
The financial requirement for a UK Unmarried Partner visa application states that 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; plus
- £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).
Satisfying the Unmarried Partner visa for UK financial requirement
You can meet the Unmarried Partner visa UK financial 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.
Different considerations will apply if your partner is in receipt of certain benefits.
Unmarried Partner visa UK processing times
UK Visa & Immigration aims to process 95% of UK Unmarried Partner visa applications within 12 weeks.
If you require a faster visa processing timeline, most visa application centres outside the UK offer a Settlement Priority Visa Service. This will ensure that your UK Unmarried Partner visa application is placed at the front of the queue at every stage of the decision-making process. The visa processing time for a UK Unmarried Partner visa submitted via the Settlement Priority Visa Service is normally not more than 30 working days. A well-prepared visa application may result in a quicker processing time.
If you apply to switch into or extend your stay as an Unmarried Partner from within the UK, you will be able to choose from two processing timelines. If you apply via the Standard Service, your in-country application will normally be decided within 8 weeks. If you apply via the Super Priority Service, you should normally receive a decision on the next working day after providing your biometric information.
UK Unmarried Partner visa application fee
The Home Office application fee for a UK Unmarried Partner visa application submitted outside the UK is currently £1,523. The Home Office application fee to switch into the Unmarried Partner category from within the UK or extend stay as an Unmarried Partner is currently £1,033.
UK Unmarried Partner visa validity period
If your application for a UK Unmarried Partner visa is successful, your 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 expires, you will need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration to extend your stay. If your application for further leave to remain as an Unmarried Partner in the UK is successful then you will be granted further leave to remain for a period of 30 months.
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.
Can an Unmarried Partner UK visa holder work in the UK?
Unmarried Partner visa holders have a full right to work and study in the UK.
Unable to satisfy the requirements for a UK Unmarried Partner visa?
If you are not able to satisfy certain of the requirements for a UK 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.
UK Unmarried Partner visa application: How our immigration barristers can help
Our immigration barristers regularly assist foreign national unmarried partners to relocate to, and settle in, the UK with their British citizens or settled partners. We have assisted hundreds of foreign national unmarried partners to prepare and submit successful Unmarried Partner visas for UK applications.
Whether you require expert advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent assessment of your prospects of qualifying for a visa, or professional assistance with preparing an immigration application, our immigration barristers can help.
The financial requirement rules are particularly complex and include mandatory requirements in terms of the documentary evidence that must be provided to UK Visas and Immigration in order to demonstrate access to the relevant funds. Our immigration barristers specialise in assisting applicants with complicated financial circumstances to secure successful outcomes in their Unmarried Partner visa applications.
We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team of immigration barristers, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to family members as part of a professional and friendly service.