Explore the requirements for an unmarried partner visa in the UK and learn how to apply, the criteria and application process

Unmarried Partner Visa

The UK is a popular choice for those wanting to live with their British or settled partner. The Unmarried Partner Visa, allows couples to live together in the UK, regardless of their sexual orientation. This guide covers everything about this visa, from its requirements and application process 

What is the Unmarried Partner Visa

This visa enables spouses of non-Europeans economic areas, and non-Swiss nationals to live in the UK with their British citizen or settled partner. it is important to build lasting relationships that last at least two years. It is stated in Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights which protects the right of a foreigner to stay in the UK with his partner.

Eligibility Requirements 

To qualify for this visa, couples must meet specific criteria:

Relationship Duration:

Demonstrate a genuine and subsisting relationship of at least two years at the time of applying.

Age Requirement:

Both the applicant and the UK-based sponsor must be 18 years old or older.

Immigration Status of Sponsor:

The UK-based sponsor must have one of the following statuses:

Full British citizenship

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Humanitarian protection or refugee status

Proof of living together for at least two years before the application, showing a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership.

Financial Requirements:

The UK-based partner must meet specific income thresholds to support both themselves and their partner:

Annual income of at least £18,600 (no dependent children)

Additional funds are required for dependent children

The non-EEA partner may need to demonstrate English proficiency through an approved test or evidence of proficiency in a British language.

Ensure suitable and sufficient accommodation for the couple and any dependents.

Previous relationships, whether married or unmarried, must have ended before applying for the Unmarried Partner Visa.

Both partners must be capable of supporting themselves in the UK without relying on public funds.

Meeting Financial Requirements for the Unmarried Partner Visa

Ensuring the financial aspects of the Unmarried Partner Visa application are met is crucial. The UK-based partner must demonstrate an annual income of at least £18,600, with additional considerations for dependent children. Financial requirements can be fulfilled through various means:

Regular employment income

Self-employment earnings

Savings exceeding £16,000 (with an additional £2.50 for every £1 of income below the threshold)

Property rental income

Trust funds

Maternity, paternity, adoption, or sick pay

Pension payments

Duration and Extension of the Unmarried Partner Visa

This visa lasts for either 30 months (if applied within the UK) or 33 months (if applied from abroad). Couples who want to live together in the UK without getting married can choose this visa.

To settle in the UK eventually, the non-EEA partner must live in the country for at least five years as an unmarried partner of a UK citizen. The initial 30 or 33 months of the visa is not enough for this requirement. So, an extension of another 30 months must be applied for before the visa expires to reach the five-year goal.

Applying for the Unmarried Partner Visa

The process of applying for the Unmarried Partner Visa involves several straightforward steps:

Complete the application form online on the Home Office website.

Submit comprehensive supporting documents with your application to demonstrate the genuineness of your relationship, cohabitation, financial stability, and other eligibility criteria.

Schedule a biometric appointment to provide fingerprints and a photograph.

The processing time varies based on your location and chosen service. Applicants within the UK typically receive a decision in around 8 weeks, while those applying from abroad usually get a decision within 12 weeks.

Cost of the Unmarried Partner Visa

The cost of the Unmarried Partner Visa application varies based on the location of the application:

Applications made from outside the UK: £1,538.

Applications made within the UK (including switching or extending visas): £1,048.

Additional fees apply when adding dependents to the application, matching the visa fee.

Bringing Dependents 

Applicants for the Unmarried Partner Visa can request to bring dependents with them to the UK, particularly children under 18 years old. It’s recommended to include dependent applications when submitting the initial visa request.

Unmarried Partner Visa Refusal and Appeals

If your Unmarried Partner Visa application is refused, you may have the option to appeal the decision through these steps:

Identify and meet the appeal submission deadline (14 days within the UK or 28 days outside the UK).

Apply for an appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal within the specified timeframe.

Work with an immigration solicitor to gather supporting documents and present compelling reasons for visa approval.

Hearing: Attend the appeal hearing.

Wait for the appeal outcome. If unsuccessful, consider further appeals to the Upper Tribunal within 14 days.

The Unmarried Partner Visa UK provides a realistic path for couples who are committed to building their lives together in the United Kingdom. By meeting the eligibility criteria, and financial requirements, and carefully navigating the application process, couples can begin their journey toward shared love and partnership in the UK.

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