Unmarried Partner Visa

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The UK Unmarried Partner Visa (or UK de facto visa) allows an unmarried person with a partner who is a British citizen or settled in the UK to reside in the country for up to 33 months initially. To qualify, those in a de facto relationship must have been in a genuine relationship with their UK-based partner for at least 2 years. You will also need to meet the full set of eligibility requirements for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa that is listed in the article below. Applicants can be in an opposite or same-sex relationship to qualify for an Unmarried Partner Visa.

Unmarried Partner Visa holders can extend their visa for an additional 30 months before their visa expires (assuming they are still eligible). After 5 years of living in the UK on a UK de facto visa, it is then possible to apply for permanent settlement (indefinite leave to remain or ILR).

Who can apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa UK?

Overseas nationals can apply for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa if they have been in a genuine relationship for at least 2 years (and remain so) with a partner who:

The immigration unmarried partner rules also state that if an applicant does not meet the above requirements, they may still be able to apply:

Unmarried Partner Visa UK requirements

In order to apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa UK, applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

Relationship requirement

Partners looking to apply under this route must be able to show they have been living together for the past 2 years in a relationship that is like marriage or civil partnership. The 2-year rule for an Unmarried Partner Visa is necessary to satisfy the genuine relationship requirement. To prove you meet the relationship requirement, you will need to provide suitable Unmarried Partner Visa UK evidence that you have been living together (see the documents required below).

Financial requirement

When assessing your application, the Home Office will check that you have sufficient money to live for the period of time you are in the UK. The Home Office specifies a minimum gross income (i.e. before tax and national insurance is deducted) requirement of:

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.

When working out how much annual income you have, bear in mind that this does not only relate to paid employment; other sources of income can be used, including:

To calculate how much your cash savings over £16,000 can reduce the income requirement, you simply need to:

Step 1: Work out your average amount of savings over the past six months

Step 2: Take £16,000 from the amount of average savings

Step 3: Divide the figure remaining by 2.5 (2.5 is the number of years a partner visa will be issued for, hence this ensures you have enough money for the full period of the visa).

If you have £21,000 you can reduce your annual income requirement by £2,000. An amount of £62,500 would cancel out the £18,600 minimum income requirement completely.

If an applicant’s UK-based partner receives one of the benefits listed below or allowances on behalf of their child, they may meet the financial requirement through “adequate maintenance” rather than the minimum income requirement. These benefits include:

English language requirement

Applicants who are over 18 and under 65 will need to meet the English language requirement. This can be met in one of 3 ways:

UK Unmarried Partner Visa required documents

When applying for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you will be asked to provide a number of documents to prove your eligibility. These may include:

How to apply for a UK Unmarried Partner Visa?

To apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa, you will need to complete the following steps:

Unmarried Partner Visa UK cost

The Unmarried Visa application fees are £1,048 per person if applications are made in the UK and £1,538 per person if application are made outside the UK.

Other costs include healthcare surcharge £624 per person per year or £470 for children. This will provide you access to the NHS in the UK.

Unmarried Partner Visa to ILR

Once you have resided in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years as an unmarried partner, you may be eligible to apply for ILR. As an unmarried partner applying for ILR, you must:

Unmarried Partner Visa extension

If you plan to remain in the UK, you will need to apply for an extension of your Unmarried Partner Visa before the expiry date. If your extension is granted, you can remain in the UK for a further 2.5 years, at which point you can apply for ILR.

To gain an extension, you must still meet the same criteria you met when you were granted your Unmarried Partner Visa. This means you must still be in the same genuine relationship with your UK-based partner and continue to meet the financial requirements. The only difference is that if you passed an approved English language exam at CEFR level A1, you will now need to meet level A2. 

UK Unmarried Partner Visa refused

UK Unmarried Partner Visas can be refused for a number of reasons, including:

If your application is refused, depending on your circumstances, you may have a number of options available to you, including: